1. Pfizer set the price for Ibrance, its new breast-cancer drug, at $9,850 a month after deciding that a price of $10,000 per month would discourage usage and sales. The look into Pfizer’s pricing decision making comes as a Senate committee is scheduled to hold hearings on drug pricing today. (WSJ)
2. The American Medical Association’s recent call for a ban on direct-to-consumer drug advertising may have more impact at a time when public concern about drug prices is at a high. “This tactic is more likely to resonate than the most commonly voiced arguments against drug ads—namely, that they misinform patients, overemphasize benefits and encourage overuse,” according to Pharmlot’s Ed Silverman, now writing for Stat News. (Stat News)
3. The FDA on Tuesday approved Baxalta’s Vonvendi, making it the first engineered protein-based treatment for Willebrand disease, the world’s most common inherited bleeding disorder. The disease impacts about 1% of Americans. (Reuters)
4. Regulators in the US and Europe are investigating whether a faulty test device affected clinical trial results for Bayer’s Xarelto, an anti-blood-clotting drug. The trial compared Xarelto to warfarin in the prevention of stroke and systemic embolisms in patients with a type of irregular heartbeat. News of the investigation sent Bayer shares lower. (Reuters)
5. Cara Therapeutics announced positive top-line results for a Phase 2a trial of an oral tablet formulation for the company’s CR845 in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip. The drugmaker focuses on developing and commercializing drugs to alleviate pain and pruritus by targeting kappa opioid receptors.