Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, January 29, 2016

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1. The FDA approved Merck's two-drug hepatitis C regimen, Zepatier, for the treatment of patients with genotypes 1 and 4. Merck gave Zepatier a list price of $54,600 for 12 weeks of treatment, according to Evercore ISI analyst Mark Schoenebaum, a $40,000 discount compared to Gilead Sciences' Harvoni. Harvoni runs $94,500 for a course of treatment.

2. Sridhar Iyengar, co-founder of Misfit Wearables and mobile-health firm AgaMatrix, will provide the keynote address at MM&M's Transforming Healthcare conference in May. He is expected to talk about embedding nontraditional capabilities into biopharma business models. (MM&M)

3. Gilead Sciences' CEO John Martin, 64, is stepping down and will be replaced by COO John Milligan. Martin will remain as executive chairman. Martin took the role of CEO in 1996 and oversaw one of the fastest-selling drugs of all time in Sovaldi. He originally joined Gilead in 1990 as a research scientist before becoming CFO in 2002 and COO in 2007. (Bloomberg)

4. Hillary Clinton took aim at Valeant price hikes in a blog post on her website. Clinton read a letter from an audience member at an Iowa event, saying that the list price of a migraine drug had increased to more than $14,000 in December after costing about $3,000 in June 2014. “This is predatory pricing. It is unjustified. It is wrong,” Clinton said. (

5. The FDA approved Eisai's chemotherapy drug, Halavan, for a type of soft tissue cancer called liposarcoma. The disease targets fat cells in muscles, tendons, blood vessels and nerves. In a late-stage clinical trial, patients who took Halaven had a survival rate of 15.6 months compared to 8.4 months for those taking another chemotherapy agent. (Reuters)

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