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1. A study published in Health Affairs predicts that U.S. orphan drug spending will slow through 2018. Orphan drug spending grew from 4.8% of total pharmaceutical spending in 2007 to 8.9% of total pharmaceutical spending in 2013, and that percentage is expected to remain stable through 2018. Researchers concluded that concerns about the growth of orphan drug spending “do not appear to be justified.” (Kaiser Health News)
2. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) opened a preliminary inquiry into Mylan’s pricing and competitive practices for its emergency anaphylaxis treatment EpiPen. The senators said in a statement that they are concerned “over Mylan’s sustained price increases.”
3. Shire launched a new branded campaign — Double ii — for its chronic dry eye treatment Xiidra. The campaign is targeted at women and includes print ads, patient starter kits, websites, banner ads, and a custom video game, BLiiP. Shire launched a disease state awareness campaign — featuring Jennifer Aniston — in August around chronic dry eye.
4. Biogen launched its biosimilar version of Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade in the U.K. The drug will take the name Flixabi. It was developed by Biogen’s joint venture with Samsung Bioepis. (PMLiVE)
5. Pfizer has hired a new chief scientific officer, Ole Isacson, to take over the company’s neuroscience research division in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Isacson hails from Harvard Medical School, where he worked as a neurology professor. He is also the founding director of the Neuroregeneration Research Institute at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.