The first TV drug ad containing list-price information debuted on Friday. Johnson & Johnson began running new ads for Xarelto that include the drug’s monthly list price of $448 alongside typical out-of-pocket costs. The company became the first drugmaker to include the list price in direct-to-consumer TV ads, a tactic supported by the Trump administration in its efforts to increase price transparency and drug competition. (MM&M)
AstraZeneca will pay up to $6.9 billion in cancer drug deal with Daiichi. AZ will share development and commercialization costs with Daiichi for the experimental breast cancer drug. Once the drug passes regulatory muster, AZ will commercialize it in China, Australia, Canada and Russia, among other markets. The drug is set to compete with Roche’s Kadcyla, which was approved in 2013. (Reuters)
CMS head Seema Verma spent government funds to bolster her public image. Verma brought on Republican-affiliated subcontractors through a $2.25 million communications contract with Porter Novelli. One House representative called for a probe into CMS’ use of communications consultants. (Politico)
Late-stage trials of Gilead’s rheumatoid arthritis drug were successful. According to the two studies, the drug has a better safety profile than Pfizer’s Xeljanz and Eli Lilly’s Olumiant. Xeljanz and Olumiant come with risks of infections, malignancies and cardiovascular events. (MarketWatch)
Activist investor Starboard Value ended its opposition to the Bristol-Myers Squibb/Celgene deal. Two advisory firms endorsed the proposed $74 billion buyout of Celgene, which Starboard had been fighting against for about a month. Celgene shares rose more than 7% on the news. (CNBC)
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