Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

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Takeda Pharmaceutical is weighing a bid for Shire. The takeover would provide Takeda an entry into drugs for cancer, gastrointestinal disease, and nervous-system ailments and would make the Japan-based company one of the largest drugmakers globally. (Wall Street Journal)


The FDA has approved Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo-Yervoy application. The combination of Opdivo and Yervoy would be used for the treatment of colorectal cancer. The FDA has set an action date for July 10. (Bristol-Myers Squibb)


Rite Aid has transferred 1,932 stores and three distribution centers to Walgreens. Rite Aid received $4.2 billion in cash for the sale. The more than 2,500 remaining Rite Aid stores will be sold to Albertsons with Rite Aid shareholders maintaining ownership of 28-29.6% of the combined company. (Forbes)


Cigna has reduced customers' use of opioids by 25%. In 2016, the health insurer made plans to cut back customer opioid use by 2019, but it met this goal early. Doug Nemecek, chief medical officer for Cigna's behavioral health division, credited a decrease in opioid prescribing. (The Hill)


Oscar Health has raised $165 million in new funding. The startup, cofounded by Joshua Kushner, brother of top White House aide Jared Kushner, received funding from Founders Fund and Alphabet, Google's parent company. It is now valued at $3.2 billion. Oscar's executives believe the company will be profitable soon. (CNBC)


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