Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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1. Pfizer sued Johnson & Johnson, alleging that J&J is keeping Pfizer's Inflectra — a biosimilar version of J&J's Remicade —  from pharmacies by signing exclusive contracts that prevent health systems and insurers from prescribing the drug. The FDA approved Inflectra in April. (WSJ)

2. As more drugs for rare diseases are approved, drugmakers are changing how they think about the size of their sales forces. Some drugmakers are trimming their sales forces down to 25 or 50 people, which is lower than the 500-person teams seen in the blockbuster era. (BioPharmaDIVE)

3. Half of Roche's pharmaceutical business is being threatened by the entrance of biosimilars. Biosimilar versions of Avastin, Herceptin, and Rituxan have all been approved in either Europe or the U.S. (Reuters)

4. Alnylam's experimental rare nerve disorder drug, patisiran, had positive results in a Phase-III trial, and the company said it will seek FDA approval before the end of 2017. If approved, patisiran would be the first drug that uses RNAi technology to block genes that cause disease. (Stat)

5. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the regulator will commit to advancing the use of real-world evidence collected by health systems. “We need to close the evidence gap between the information we use to make FDA's decisions and the evidence increasingly used by the medical community,” he said at an event. (RAPS)

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