pharmaceutical industry

Is Your Doctor on Big Pharma's Payroll?

Drug companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year to influence doctors' prescribing habits -- money that often goes directly into physicians' pockets for "consulting fees" and "educational presentations." Wondering if your doc one of them? The nonprofit journalists at ProPublica can tell you.

Big Pharma Ads Flaunt FDA Rules

Officially, it's the FDA's job to ensure that pharmaceutical ads adhere to guidelines. But the agency's annual compliance budget is $9 million, while drug companies spend $58 billion a year on marketing. So it comes as no surprise that only 18% of ads are in compliance with the rules. But it's still disturbing: This is your health.

Top-Selling Drugs About to Lose Patent Protection

The pharmaceutical industry is about to fall off a cliff -- a patent cliff. Over the next few years, some of the world's most popular and lucrative medicines will go off patent, and generic competition will siphon an estimated quarter of a trillion dollars from companies' bottom lines. Here's a rundown:

Big Pharma Looks Beyond Drugs to Smartphone Apps

Pharmaceutical companies looking for fresh sources of profit are increasingly investing in a range of health care innovations that aren't drugs at all, from smartphone apps and educational websites to social media platforms and wireless devices, reports Ernst & Young.

Which Sector Lost the Most Jobs in 2010? Pharma

If you don't count the U.S. government and nonprofits, the pharmaceutical industry had the most job cuts last year. Mergers, acquisitions and major restructurings made pharma a much smaller and leaner sector -- will those changes now play in its favor?

What a Wild Year It Was
for Health Care

Led by the health insurance reform law, a flurry of drug and food recalls, key medical breakthroughs and plenty of layoffs and lawsuits, 2010 proved to be an exciting -- if not always positive -- year. Here's our list of the year's biggest health stories.

AstraZeneca's Brilinta Fails to Win FDA Approval

AstraZeneca failed to win FDA approval for its potential heart drug Brilinta, a drug the company -- which is about to face a severe patent cliff -- had high hopes for. Shares in the U.K. drugmaker dropped in London and were over 5% lower in premarket trading in New York.

Biotechs and Big Pharma Squabble in Sweden

At a recent life-sciences conference in Stockholm, execs of several U.S. and foreign biotechs clashed with Big Pharma in a lively debate on the merits of their respective goals and products. The result, however, was a stand-off.

Sanofi Says MS Drug Reduces Relapses

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis says its multiple sclerosis drug teriflunomide significantly cut relapses in patients who took the once-daily oral treatment.

Sanofi Denies Offering $69-$80 Price Range to Genzyme

There's a new plot twist in the takeover battle between French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis and U.S. drugmaker Genzyme. A regulatory filing made by Genzyme on Thursday claims Sanofi may be willing to go much higher than its current $69 bid -- a claim the French company disputes.

World Drug Sales to Hit $880 Billion in 2011

Global pharmaceutical sales are expected to grow by 5% to 7% in 2011 to around $880 billion, thanks to robust growth in emerging markets, especially China, as well as new innovative treatments, and despite patent expirations and budget pressures in the developed world.

Novartis Halts Two Drug Development Programs

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis announced Tuesday that it had discontinued the development of two drugs -- the hepatitis C treatment Zalbin, and antifungal agent Mycograb. The company will take impairment charges of approximately $590 million in third quarter of 2010.

Pharmas Probed Over Foreign Bribery Allegations

Federal investigators are looking into allegations that major drug companies, including Merck, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb and GlaxoSmithKline, paid bribes overseas to boost sales and accelerate approvals.

Endo to Acquire Generics Company Qualitest for $1.2 Billion

Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP) agreed to buy generics company Qualitest Pharmaceuticals for $1.2 billion cash. Qualitest is the sixth-largest U.S. generics company as measured by prescriptions filled. Qualitest will add about $400 million to Endo%u2019s annual revenue and 40 cents per share in annual adjusted earnings, Endo said in a statement.

Novartis Sells U.S. Rights to Enablex for $400 Million

Novartis (NVS) agreed to sell the U.S. rights to bladder medicine Enablex for $400 million. Ireland-based Warner Chilcott will take over the marketing, sales and manufacturing of the drug in the United States, Novartis said in a statement. The deal is expected to close by the end of October.

Four Cash-Rich Pharma Picks From Goldman

While a new report from Goldman says health care is in a state of flux that most of the sector's companies haven't adjusted to yet, it also pinpoints four that have plenty of cash that could be put to good use for investors.

Sanofi Is in No Rush to Reach Deal With Genzyme

Sanofi-Aventis CEO Chris Viehbacher said Wednesday that he believes his French pharmaceutical company will eventually buy U.S. biotech company Genzyme at a reasonable price. However, he expects it will take some time to agree on a deal, and he won't rush into anything.