Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, February 4, 2016

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1. Valeant Pharmaceuticals' interim CEO Howard Schiller is expected to use his time in front of House lawmakers making the case to change rules that prevent drugmakers from providing financial assistance to Medicare patients to cover the costs of their medicines. Doing this is considering a kickback under federal laws. (WSJ)


2. Schiller as well as Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, are set to testify in front of House lawmakers about corporate decisions to raise the prices of newly acquired drugs. The hearing is scheduled for today, starting at 9 am ET. (Reuters)

3. Lundbeck said that a FDA advisory committee agreed that the drugmaker can add information about how its anti-depression drug Brintellix can improve cognitive functions on leaflets. If the FDA follows the committee's recommendation, it will make Brintellix the only drug on the market with that information available on the leaflet. (Reuters)


4. Drugmakers are spending money developing programs and incentives that encourage patients to take their prescriptions. This includes smart pills, gift cards that serve as thank-yous for refilling prescriptions and hiring patients to talk about the benefits of taking their medicines. (Stat)


5. GlaxoSmithKline said 16.5% of its pharma business is generated by new products even as it posted a loss of roughly $616 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. GSK CEO Andrew Witty said the company is focused on integration and restructuring. (AP)

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