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Pharma News

(Forbes) A large observational study finds that people who received a prescription for a generic statin were more likely to take their pills than people who received a prescription for a brand-name statin. This increased adherence appeared to lead to a small but significant improvement in outcomes.
(Reuters) Switzerland, home to the world's two biggest drugmakers, might be expected to give them an easy ride. But Roche and Novartis are finding no immunity in their home market from a European-wide price squeeze. Governments and healthcare authorities around the world are questioning whether they are getting the best value for money as they struggle to find space in their budgets to care for an ever older and sicker population. Their demands that medicine prices be cut is a growing challenge for drugmakers.
(Businessweek) Actavis Plc (ACT:US) was sued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is trying to stop the drugmaker from swapping one version of its Namenda Alzheimer’s drug for another. The Dublin-based company’s plans to discontinue the immediate-release version of its Namenda Alzheimer’s drug and switch patients to an extended-release version with patents that expire later violate state and federal antitrust laws, Schneiderman said in a complaint filed today in federal court in Manhattan.
(Reuters) Merck & Co on Monday said it expects next year to seek U.S. approval for its long-delayed experimental osteoporosis drug, odanacatib, after the once-weekly medicine met its primary goals in a late-stage trial.
(Reuters) Abbott's Absorb dissolving heart stent proved as safe and effective one year after being placed in a diseased artery as the company's market-leading Xience drug coated metal stent with a significantly lower rate of chest pain, according to data… Absorb works in the same way as traditional heart stents, propping open arteries that have been cleared of blockages to restore normal blood flow. But unlike metal stents that remain permanently in place, Absorb softens over several months and dissolves in two to three years, allowing the treated artery to regain more normal flexibility to expand and contract.
(Reuters) Injecting Roche's cancer drug Avastin as a cheap eye treatment does not appear to increase deaths or serious side effects, according to an independent study that is likely to fuel a row over the medicine's unapproved use. An analysis of nine clinical trials - including three unpublished ones - concluded that health policies favoring the much more expensive eye drug Lucentis over Avastin were not supported by current evidence.
More . . .
FDA staff: NPS drug effective; no significant safety imbalance
(Reuters) NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc's hormone replacement therapy Natpara reduced the need for calcium and vitamin D supplements in clinical trials… Natpara is designed to treat hypoparathyroidism, a condition in which the body's parathyroid gland does not secrete enough parathyroid hormone (PTH). The hormone works with vitamin D to regulate body calcium.
(Reuters) Pfizer Inc and India's Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd on Friday won dismissal of a U.S. antitrust lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to delay sales of generic versions of the best-selling cholesterol drug Lipitor.
(Reuters) The American unit of Bayer AG is making unsubstantiated claims about its Phillips Colon Health product, the United States said on Friday as it sought to hold Bayer Corp in contempt of a court order for the statements. Bayer claimed the product can "defend against" occasional constipation, diarrhea and other problems, but did not have reliable scientific evidence to support the description, the U.S. Department of Justice said. The statement violates a 2007 court order that prohibited Bayer from making unsubstantiated claims about any dietary supplements it promotes or sells, the government said.
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