Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, July 20, 2018

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Merck joined the slew of pharma companies promising to scale back price increases. The company said it will lower prices on some products by 10% or more, but the price reductions won't affect some of the company's most expensive drugs, like cancer or diabetes treatments. (New York Times)

Internationally based pharma companies also said they would not increase prices in the U.S. Roche, Bayer, and German Merck all pledged to halt increases this year. Six major pharma companies have ceased price increases after President Donald Trump criticized them this month. (Reuters)

The FDA is forming a working group to look at importing foreign versions of drugs if domestics run into supply issues or after steep price hikes. Only off-patent drugs would be eligible to be imported to preserve market incentives for drug innovation. (CNBC)

The administration is also looking at drug rebates. It has proposed a rule to scale back safe-harbor protections for rebates from an anti-kickback law. Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar criticized “middlemen,” or PBMs, for the continued increase in drug prices earlier this year. (Reuters)

The FDA has released details of its reorganization, affecting the new drugs, communications, compliance, and executive programs offices. The changes include a biosimilar focused group, the Office of Therapeutic Biologics and Biosimilars, within the Office of New Drugs. It is also planning to break the communications office into three divisions, including a new public education and outreach and online communications division. (Endpoints News)

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