Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, May 9, 2018

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Novartis has been swept up in the Trump-Stormy Daniels scandal as payments from the drugmaker to a shell company of lawyer Michael Cohen became public. Daniels' lawyer outlined a series of “suspicious financial transactions” involving close to $400,000 in payments from the drugmaker. Novartis said the company had a one-year agreement with Cohen's company that focused on U.S. healthcare policy. (Endpoints News)

Distributor Cardinal Health apologized for sending millions of painkillers to two West Virginia pharmacies. During a congressional hearing, executive chairman George Barrett said he was sorry that the company did not act faster to stop shipping millions of hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to the two small pharmacies. Cardinal is the first corporation to apologize for its involvement in the opioid crisis. (Washington Post)

Valeant is hoping to change its reputation with a rebranding. The company, which has been hit with accounting and drug pricing scandals in recent years, plans to change its name to Bausch Health Companies. The name comes from its subsidiary Bausch + Lomb, which it acquired in 2013 and doesn't have the same stigma attached to its name. (New York Times)

For the first time since 2015, Valeant has reported organic growth. The company's Salix unit, which makes gastrointestinal treatments, and Bausch + Lomb unit were the drivers. The two units account for more than three-quarters of Valeant's sales. (CNBC)

There's a new ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo, with as many as 17 dead. Since the 2015 outbreak in West Africa, Merck has taken over the development of an Ebola vaccine, which is still unapproved. (NPR)

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