Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, February 2

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AstraZeneca has inked deals with Chinese companies Alibaba and Tencent, it said during its fourth-quarter earnings announcement on Friday. The deals involve the use of AI to help patients find and stay on their medicines and online tracking to fight drug counterfeiting, respectively. Other pharmas partnering with Chinese companies to reach consumers include Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, and Eli Lilly. (Evening Standard)

New York State's attorney general is suing opioid maker Insys Therapeutics, accusing it of deceptively promoting its fentanyl spray, Subsys, for unsafe uses and seeking at least $75 million. The company has been the subject of a federal investigation for allegedly bribing practitioners to overprescribe the drug. (Reuters)

Health officials in the Philippines said Sanofi Pasteur's anti-Dengue vaccine may be causally linked to the deaths of three children who received the inoculation. The government halted its mass immunization drive last November, the same month Sanofi said the shot, Dengvaxia, might increase the risk of severe disease in people who had never been exposed to the virus.  (ABC News)

Array BioPharma filed suit against AstraZeneca to remedy what it claims is a breach of a deal the firms signed in 2003 granting the biotech 12% of any royalties AZ received from sub-licensees of cancer drug selumetinib. The $192 million sought represents that share of an expected $1.6 billion upfront payment from Merck. (Reuters)

The Justice Department wants more information on the proposed merger of pharmacy chain CVS Health and insurer Aetna. While it's unclear what additional information is sought, the request is reportedly the DOJ's second regarding the $69 billion tie-up, which was announced in December. (Forbes)

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