Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, August 3, 2018

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Allergan has sued Pfizer to cover the costs of opioid lawsuits. The suit against Pfizer references a legal action filed against Allergan over the marketing of Kadian, a type of morphine, in the years before Allergan acquired the drug in 2008. Allergan bought Kadian from King Pharmaceuticals, which was owned by Pfizer. (Reuters)

Drug companies are sending millions in donations to areas hit hard by the opioid epidemic. The companies include drug distributors and wholesalers Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen. The donations could be part of efforts to build goodwill or tax write-offs. (Bloomberg)

The number of opioid prescriptions isn't decreasing, according to a Mayo Clinic study. Between 2007 and 2016, the rate of opioid prescriptions remained level for commercially insured patients, the report found. Over one year, the report found 14% of commercially insured patients, 26% of Medicare Advantage senior patients, and 52% of disabled MA patients received an opioid prescription. (Healthcare Dive)

Novartis oncology executive Stefan Scherer is moving to French biotech Cellectis to lead clinical development. He will serve as SVP for clinical development and deputy chief medical officer. Cellectis develops CAR-T therapies, a type of immunotherapy to treat cancer. (Endpoints News)

The CDC is cracking down on an unapproved antidepressant being used to create opioid-like highs. The drug, tianeptine, is approved in Europe, Asia, and Latin America as an antidepressant, but there has been a spike in calls to poison control in the U.S. for the drug, which is easy to buy online. Michigan's governor has passed a measure listing tianeptine as a controlled substance. (STAT)

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