Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, February 1, 2016

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1. AbbVie on Friday cut its sales estimate for Viekira Pak, its hepatitis-C treatment, to $2 billion in 2016, citing new competition from Merck's Zepatier. The Merck drug was approved last week. (Reuters)

2. Abbott said it plans to acquire Alere for $5.8 billion in a deal that is expected to enhance its diagnostics business. Alere makes point-of-care medical tests used to detect HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, dengue and the flu and strep. (NYT)

3. Express Scripts said it will stop covering Glumetza, a diabetes drug marketed by Valeant Pharmaceuticals, once generic competition arrives on the market in February. (Reuters)

4. Executives from Eli Lilly and Anthem argued that anti-kickback statutes and government best-price rules prevent the development of better value-based payment models. Changing those regulations allows companies to do a better job providing access to new, innovative treatments. (Health Affairs)

5. Proton-pump inhibitors like Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec are associated with bone fractures, lower magnesium levels, kidney injuries and infections including Clostridium difficile and pneumonia. The drugs are some of the most commonly prescribed prescriptions in the US. (NYT)  

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