Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, May 11, 2018

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President Donald Trump is expected to give a speech on drug pricing on Friday. Officials have hinted that his plan will include increasing competition, improving price negotiation, creating incentives to lower list prices, and reducing consumers' out-of-pocket spending. (CNN) Observers believe his speech will largely spare the pharma industry and focus on drug costs in other countries. (Reuters)


Amazon has built a “health and wellness” team within Alexa. The unit is trying to make the voice assistant more useful for healthcare, but would need to navigate privacy regulations such as HIPAA. Amazon is targeting areas like diabetes management, mother and infant care, and aging. (CNBC)


Merck's experimental Ebola vaccine is headed to Congo. The World Health Organization's chief said the vaccines will be shipped “as quickly as possible” to stem the latest outbreak, which has 32 suspected cases and 18 deaths. (Reuters)


Cancer doctors are prescribing medical marijuana without much knowledge of it. Only 30% of oncologists “felt sufficiently informed to make recommendations” about medical marijuana, according to a survey, but nearly half have recommended it to patients. (STAT)


AstraZeneca's respiratory drug Fasenra failed a late-stage trial. The drug was seen as a potential blockbuster for AstraZeneca, with estimated sales up to $2 billion. It would be used to treat COPD, a market cornered by other treatments, such as GlaxoSmithKline's Nucala, Teva's Cinqair, and Novartis' Xolair. The company has another COPD drug in trials, Terranova, with results expected this quarter. (Endpoints)


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