Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, March 27, 2018

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GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $13 billion for Novartis' 36.5% stake in their joint consumer healthcare venture. The move would give GSK control of consumer brands including Sensodyne toothpaste, Panadol headache tablets, muscle gel Voltaren, and Nicotinell patches. It came less than a week after the company dropped out of the race to acquire Pfizer's consumer healthcare business. (Wall Street Journal)

Aetna is planning to pass rebates it negotiates on prescription drugs to 3 million of its members. The insurer, following a similar move by UnitedHealth Group, pinned the blame for rising drug prices on drug developers. “We want people to see the truth, and now they see it,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said. “When drug prices keep going up, and drug costs keep going up, they'll have one place to look.” (Bloomberg)

A jury ordered AbbVie to pay more than $3 million to a man who claimed the company misrepresented the risk of its testosterone replacement drug AndroGel. The jury found that the company was not liable for falsely marketing the drug, but it acted negligently. Thousands of similar cases are pending. Most have been filed against AbbVie, although other drug companies, including GSK and Eli Lilly, have also been hit with lawsuits over testosterone replacement products. (Reuters)

An estimated 450,000 people who received coverage under the Medicaid expansion in California were not eligible for it, according to a report from the Health and Human Services inspector general. The state spent $738 million on illegible beneficiaries (Los Angeles Times)

California's drug pricing transparency law, which requires pharma companies to give purchasers 60 days notice before a significant price increase, is beginning to show results. Valeant and Teva both disclosed they are planning to raise prices substantially on generic drugs. Copycat bills are pending in other states. (Politico)

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