Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, March 8, 2018

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Cigna is planning to buy Express Scripts for $52 billion. The insurer said the deal will help the combined company expand healthcare coverage and cut back on costs. (Wall Street Journal)

Gottlieb decries ‘rigged' system. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Wednesday that a “rigged payment scheme” is keeping consumers from lower-cost versions of drugs. He blamed drug plans, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies for the cost of medicines. (Bloomberg)

Sanofi and Evotec are discussing speeding up research into the treatment of infections diseases. The two companies also said they will create an open innovation platform on the topic, led by Evotec. (Reuters)

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin announced widespread changes at VA medical centers on Wednesday. The directors of two veterans' integrated service networks are set to resign. He made the announcement at the Washington Medical Center, cited this week in an inspector general's report about lagging VA care. (Modern Healthcare)

Pfizer's decision this year to exit the neuroscience market indicates a greater shift in how Alzheimer's disease is treated, according to doctors. Medical professionals are increasingly focusing on lifestyle factors instead of waiting on the pharmaceutical industry to develop a breakthrough drug (CNBC).

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