Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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1. Astellas Pharma is looking to acquire new innovative medicines as the company will face patent expirations for its overactive bladder treatment Vesicare and lung cancer drug Tarceva in 2019. The company's CEO, Yoshihiko Hatanaka, said the company is exploring an acquisition and its internal researchers are looking to expand into new therapeutic areas. (Bloomberg)

2. Novo Nordisk said its long-acting insulin Tresiba is less likely to dangerously lower the blood sugar of people with type 2 diabetes compared to Sanofi's Lantus. The company noted that Tresiba carries the same risk of heart problems as Lantus. (WSJ)

3. Pfizer awarded its Nexium business to advertising agency Grey. The account for the over-the-counter heartburn reliever was previously held by Leo Burnett Chicago, which won the business in 2013. (Adweek)

4. President-elect Trump selected Seema Verma, a healthcare consultant, to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Verma will oversee Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Verma helped design Indiana's Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. (NPR)

5. The anti-vaccine movement sees an ally in Donald Trump. Andrew Wakefield, whose discredited paper linking vaccines to autism lead to the rise in popularity of “anti-vaxxers,” said in an interview: “I feel very positive about this, because Donald Trump is not beholden to the pharmaceutical industry.” (STAT)

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated Xtandi's patent expiration. It expires in 2027. 

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