Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, March 22, 2018

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Both Republicans and Democrats have praised the inclusion of funding to fight the opioid epidemic in the federal budget compromise reached on Wednesday. Left out of the bill was a healthcare market stabilization measure authored by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Susan Collins (R-ME). (CNN)

Renowned AIDS researcher Robert Redfield has been named the next director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is the cofounder of the Institute for Human Virology and a professor at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine in Baltimore. (New York Times)

Healthcare companies are poaching pharmaceutical executives as they look for expertise outside of their core areas amid a wave of industry consolidation and Amazon's push to become a major medical products supplier (Wall Street Journal).

Case in point: Former Eli Lilly CFO Derica Rice was hired by CVS Health as president of CVS Caremark, its pharmacy benefit management group. Former GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty also joined Optum this month. (Reuters)

Reckitt Benckiser is walking away from bidding for Pfizer's consumer health group. Reckitt Benckiser said a deal “did not fit our acquisition criteria.” Johnson & Johnson backed out of its pursuit of the consumer health group of Pfizer in January. (CNBC)

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