Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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The top lawyer at Novartis is resigning after payments the company made to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen became public. Felix Ehrat has decided to step down after seven years at the drugmaker after it was revealed he co-signed the $1.2 million, year-long contract with a shell company set up by Cohen (Bloomberg). "Although the contract was legally in order, it was an error," Ehrat reportedly said. (Reuters)


Six states filed lawsuits against opioid maker Purdue Pharma. Purdue, which manufactures OxyContin and other painkillers, has been accused of using misleading marketing tactics that are fueling the nation's opioid epidemic by the attorneys general of Texas, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Tennessee. Purdue said in February that it would cut its sales staff and stop promoting OxyContin to doctors. (MM&M) Lawsuits against Purdue were previously filed by 16 other states and Puerto Rico. (Reuters)


Johnson & Johnson is relaunching its baby-care line after a decline in sales. The revamped line will appeal to millennial moms, who are looking for baby products with more natural ingredients. J&J's baby sales have declined 20% since 2011, and were down 14% in the first quarter if this year. J&J is planning to roll out the line in August. (CNBC)


The FDA is calling out drugmakers accused of hindering generic drug development. The move is part of the Trump administration's plan to bring down drug prices by fostering competition. “I'm looking to bring transparency around what I think are reasonable public health questions,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. (Kaiser Health News)


Pfizer's anemia treatment Retacrit got the nod from federal health regulators, who deemed it a biosimilar to rival medicines from Amgen and Johnson & Johnson. The FDA rejected Retacrit a year ago. (Reuters)


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