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Pharmaceuticals, health and wellness

Pfizer strong-armed governments in COVID-19 vaccine supply talks, report says

Pfizer is playing a leading role in producing vaccines against COVID-19, but new documents released by Public Citizen shine a light on the company’s aggressive tactics when negotiating supply deals.  In draft and final deals with the U.S., the U.K., Brazil and other countries, Pfizer retained rights to “silence” governments and “throttle supply” in an effort to “maximize […]

AstraZeneca’s Soliris needs a 97% to 98% discount in myasthenia gravis, ICER says

It’s well known that AstraZeneca’s Soliris, at more than $650,000 per year before discounts, is one of the most expensive drugs in the U.S. After the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) looked at the drug’s profile in myasthenia gravis, the organization has serious concerns about its cost. How serious? ICER thinks Soliris should […]

On heels of GBT Oxbryta campaign, ad agency launches pharma comms division, Riester RX

Independent advertising and public relations agency Riester helped create the first TV commercial for a sickle cell disease drug in the U.S. last summer, and it’s eyeing a lot more pharma work in the future.  The Phoenix-based company has just spun out a new division, Riester RX, focused solely on pharma and biotech communications. To […]

WHO plots multibillion-dollar campaign to buy COVID-19 antivirals for $10 per course: Reuters

Almost immediately after Merck reported impressive data for its COVID-19 pill, questions about pricing and access started swirling. It turns out officials at the World Health Organization are already working through those issues with a multibillion-dollar international effort. The agency wants to buy 28 million courses of COVID-19 antiviral pills for low- and middle-income countries at $10 […]

Johnson & Johnson goes local to help Black, Hispanic patients left behind by health inequality

When it comes to health equity, Johnson & Johnson believes in going local for advice. The pharma’s latest innovation challenge bears that out by focusing on six cities—and by seeking suggestions directly from the people healthcare is leaving behind. The Health Equity Innovation Challenge is set to start in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York […]

Boehringer’s interchangeable tag for Humira biosim is a ‘landmark’ win for the field: analyst

Even after many biosimilar players inked patent settlements with Humira maker AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim held out to challenge AbbVie’s “patent thicket” in court. Although Boehringer eventually settled, the company’s copycat has now scored an “interchangeable” designation—a landmark development that shows it could be a formidable competitor, one analyst writes. Boehringer on Friday said its drug […]

Regeneron, Novo Nordisk, Lilly and AbbVie stake claims on September’s list of top TV ad spenders

Call it a tale of two therapeutic fields. Immunology treatments and diabetes drugs together dominated September’s list of top spenders on TV ads, with four brands in each category. Once again, Regeneron and Sanofi claimed the lead in ad spending for the month as they continuing pumping up ads for Dupixent in eczema and asthma, according to […]

Pandemic launch woes: Esperion cuts 40% of workforce, goes all in on cholesterol drug’s outcomes trial

Just as Esperion’s cholesterol sister meds Nexletol and Nexlizet launched at the start of the pandemic, pharma marketing went virtual. As its cash dwindles, the company is reaching for the ax. Esperion is cutting 40% of its workforce, or about 170 employees, to reduce costs by at least $80 million a year in 2021 and […]

Revance’s Botox rival turned away by FDA after inspectors flagged manufacturing ‘deficiencies’

Despite a pandemic delay and an FDA warning about quality control and record-keeping problems at a production site, Revance insisted it was optimistic the agency would approve its would-be Botox rival as recently as last week. Turns out the FDA had other plans. Late Friday, the FDA turned away Revance’s application for its frown-line injection DaxibotulinumtoxinA […]

Implant maker AbbVie launches breast cancer campaign to highlight reconstruction options

Information is power. But nearly three in four women diagnosed with breast cancer don’t know their options when it comes to breast reconstruction, according to AbbVie’s Allergan Aesthetics. The company, which sells breast implants, wants to change that with its new “Power of You” campaign, which aims to celebrate patients’ courage and inner strength — and also […]

Keytruda maker Merck rolls web series to illuminate triple-negative breast cancer and Black women

Maimah Karmo was barely in her thirties when she found a lump in her breast. Her doctor dismissed her as too young and too healthy to have breast cancer. But Karmo knew her body—and she persisted until she was given a biopsy that revealed TNBC. Black women know they need to advocate for themselves when it comes […]

Fierce Pharma Asia—Takeda’s cell, gene therapy deals; BMS-BeiGene Abraxane brawl

Takeda is investing more in cell and gene therapy through new deals with Poseida Therapeutics and Immusoft targeting liver and neurometabolic disorders, respectively. BeiGene’s Abraxane China licensing deal with Bristol Myers Squibb’s Celgene is falling apart amid manufacturing problems and a legal battle. And more. 1. Billions club: Takeda taps Poseida for 2nd $1B-plus gene therapy […]