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Pharmaceuticals, health and wellness

Facing fresh pricing threats in D.C., pharma spent a record $92M peddling influence during the first quarter

With Democrats taking control of the White House and Senate and much government money still to be allocated to remedy the coronavirus pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry has ramped up its efforts to wield influence in Washington, D.C. By spending $92 million on lobbying in the first three months of this year, pharmaceutical companies have set […]

Ahead of potential semaglutide approval in chronic obesity, Novo hits ‘full go mode’ for launch, exec says

Novo Nordisk has started the year on solid footing, thanks in no small part to its GLP-1 portfolio in Type 2 diabetes. With top earner semaglutide due for a decision in obesity this June, the company is gearing up for a busy second half to the year. Reaching that untapped market will prove challenging, for […]

Lower the ‘Boiling Point’ with agitated bipolar, schizophrenia patients, new HCP campaign advises

When a situation gets heated, apply some calm. That’s what BioXcel Therapeutics’ first awareness campaign aims to help healthcare professionals do with agitated bipolar and schizophrenia patients. The “Boiling Point” campaign focuses on de-escalation techniques, aiming to help providers in emergency medicine and psychiatry identify signs of agitation and defuse the situation before it becomes dangerous to them […]

Moderna plans major expansion at Massachusetts manufacturing site to help boost COVID-19 vaccine supply

With plans to boost COVID-19 vaccine production into the billions of doses next year, Moderna is making major renovations at its Massachusetts manufacturing site that will more than double its size.  The mRNA developer on Tuesday said it plans to renovate its manufacturing site in Norwood, Massachusetts, from “a production and lab space to an industrial technology […]

AbbVie’s Humira regains top pharma TV spender spot, while sibling brands Rinvoq and Skyrizi tag along

AbbVie’s Humira drop didn’t last long. While the blockbuster immunology med dropped out of the No. 1 pharma TV spending spot in March, it bounced right back in April. AbbVie spent almost $23 million on national media buys for Humira, according to real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv, which landed it squarely atop the list again—just as it has […]

Prevnar 13 lags amid COVID-19 vaccine rollouts, but Pfizer sees a way to boost the franchise

Pfizer’s pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13 has long been the world’s bestselling vaccine, but that’s set to change in 2021 thanks to the company’s own COVID-19 shot. As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout hits its stride, Pfizer’s key Prevnar franchise is slumping. During the first three months of the year, Pfizer’s Prevnar 13 sales fell 11% to […]

BioNTech, with partner Pfizer, on track to make 3B COVID vaccine doses in 2021, CEO says

While some drugmakers have been plagued with COVID-19 vaccine production problems that have led to serious delivery delays, the same can’t be said for BioNTech and its partner Pfizer. In fact, executives are now confident they’ll surpass their own supply expectations this year. BioNTech chief Ugur Sahin on Tuesday said that thanks to the company […]

Pfizer eyes $26B in COVID-19 vaccine sales for the year, with $3.5B already in the bag

In the first three months of 2021, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine pulled in as much revenue as some pharma blockbusters make in an entire year. That’s just the beginning, as Pfizer eyes sales from more than a billion additional doses before the end of 2021. The mRNA-based shot Comirnaty—first to market in the U.S.—reeled in $3.5 billion […]

Once upon a time in pharma: New storytelling strategies help messages stick—inside the company and out

Imagine Broadway actors putting on a short production or a Cartoon Network-like animation for internal corporate communications. Now imagine that happening inside a pharma company. The Bloc ad agency’s new unit The Bloc Storytellers is forging that path. While half its work is aimed at physicians and consumers, the other half is internal work targeted […]

Acella, facing 43 ‘serious’ side effect reports, pulls dozens of lots of sub-potent thyroid drug

Last May, Acella Pharmaceuticals pulled 13 lots of its prescription hypothyroidism med NP Thyroid in the U.S. after testing revealed an excess of one of the drug’s main ingredients. Now, the company is facing the opposite problem. Acella is recalling certain lots of five separate doses of NP Thyroid after routine testing showed the batches weren’t potent […]

Activist-investor target Alkermes clears Alex Denner’s Sarissa Capital to fill board seat

Activist investor Alex Denner has made a name for himself sparring with drugmakers. Now, he’s put the pressure on neuroscience and oncology specialist Alkermes, which has already been working its way through a board shakeup for about two years.  Alkermes has agreed to let Denner’s Sarissa Capital Management, which owns a 5% stake in the company, appoint […]

Despite FTC’s harsh words for biopharma M&A, Bristol Myers CEO Caforio still enthusiastic about deal-making

Bristol Myers Squibb, expected to be among the big M&A players in the coming years, says it’s prepared to dip into its wallet yet again. While the drugmaker could face tougher antitrust pushback from the Biden administration this time around, executives aren’t concerned just yet. “I feel there are plenty of opportunities to continue to […]