1. Healthcare providers are demanding that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services drop a recent proposal designed to curb prescription drug abuse. The proposal includes a compulsory state-run drug prescription database, which HCPs argue is too much of an administrative burden. (Modern Healthcare)
2. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will decide if Dr. Robert Califf becomes the next FDA commissioner Tuesday. The cardiologist from Duke University was well-received by Republican committee members during his confirmation hearing in November and is expected to get the nod. Some Democratic committee members have criticized his close ties to pharmaceutical companies. (STAT)
3. Celgene named Mark Alles as its new CEO, starting in March, replacing Bob Hugin. Alles was previously the drugmaker’s COO. The company lowered its 2015 profit guidance in a corresponding move. Jackie Fouse, current Celgene hematology and oncology lead, will become the new COO. (WSJ)
4. The US Supreme Court struck down a Johnson & Johnson appeal of a $124 million penalty awarded by a South Carolina jury. The jury found the drugmaker had concealed risks and improperly marketed its antipsychotic drug Risperdal. (Reuters)
5. The FDA accepted Sanofi and Regeneron’s biologics license application for experimental rheumatoid arthritis antibody sarilumab. The drug is being studied as both a monotherapy and in combination with standard RA add-ons, like methotrexate. The target decision date for the drug is October 30.