pharmaceuticals

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:

New Cystic Fibrosis Drug Treats the Disease's Cause

Vertex Pharmaceutical shares soared 15% Wednesday as Wall Street cheered the results of a late-stage study of its new cystic fibrosis drug, an experimental treatment that targets the underlying cause of the disease rather than just its symptoms.

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.

Sanofi-Aventis, Genzyme on the Brink of a Merger

It seems that months of merger talks between French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis and U.S. biotech Genzyme have entered the home stretch. This week, Sanofi is expected to offer $74 per share for the rare disease drugmaker, with an option included potentially worth $5 to $6 a share.

More Proof That Whistleblowing on Medicaid Fraud Works

Whistleblowing firm Ven-A-Care has recovered $2 billion for taxpayers by suing drug companies that overcharge the government and create windfalls for participating pharmacies. It also has made $380 million for itself. What's the problem with that?

Pfizer Joins Other Pharmas in Giving a Cautious Outlook

Pfizer reported fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday that nearly quadrupled from a year ago as revenue rose 6%. But it also lowered its sales guidance for 2012, due to some of its bestselling drugs going off patent. What's ahead for the world's biggest drugmaker:

Another Cancer-Drug Failure Highlights Difficulties Facing Pharmas

Sanofi-Aventis announced its cancer drug candidate iniparib failed in a late-stage clinical trial. Other pharmaceutical companies have also experienced recent setbacks as they scramble to bolster their pipelines ahead of the patent cliff, when they will be forced to compete with cheaper generics.

As Diabetes Explodes, Big Pharma Is Gearing Up

Diabetes is a growing global scourge, but for Big Pharma it's more of a lifesaver. As the number of people with diabetes and prediabetes explodes, drugmakers are cranking up their research efforts. After all, many existing drugs will soon be losing their patents, and diabetes could be a $55 billion market by 2019.

Government Recoups $4 Billion from Health Care Fraud Cases

The government recouped a staggering $4 billion in fiscal 2010 that was stolen from federal health care programs, the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services announced Monday -- the highest annual amount ever. More than half of the fraud money recovered came from drug companies.

Glaxo Faces First of Many Possible Avandia Trials

Did GlaxoSmithKline's blockbuster diabetes drug Avandia cause fatal heart attacks? The first federal trial of an Avandia lawsuit began this morning in Philidelphia. As many as 50,000 more lurk in the wings.

A Depressing Outlook for Big Pharma's Next Few Years

After several years of robust expansion, the leading branded pharma companies will see growth slow to just 1.3% from now to 2015, independent market analyst company Datamonitor said in a new report. The primary culprit: expiring patents and an onslaught of generic competition.

What Pfizer Sees in Lpath's Innovative Blindness Drugs

Lpath focuses on developing therapeutics that target bioactive lipids for treating a range of human diseases, including cancer and diseases that cause blindness. Its promising drugs have attracted attention -- and lots of money -- from Pfizer. More of both could be coming.

Drug Shortages: A Deadly Problem With No Cure in Sight

If gasoline or jobs or milk were in short supply, we'd all know about it. But unknown to most Americans, the country is now in the grips of a life-threatening drug shortage. Medical professionals are quite aware of it, however, and they're deeply concerned.

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?

Genzyme Talks Up Possible Sales of Its New MS Drug

Biotechnology company Genzyme is holding an analyst and investor meeting Monday focused on the commercial potential of its multiple sclerosis drug Campath as it tries to convince Sanofi-Aventis that it's worth more than the Paris-based pharmaceutical giant has been offering.

Pharmaceuticals Reveal Latest on Blood Disease Drugs

At the 52nd annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, which wraps up Tuesday, Novartis, Celgene and Seattle Genetics revealed the latest news from their studies on blood diseases and cancers. But despite some positive results, all three had down days in the stock market.

Tiny Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Is Getting Plenty of Attention

What's Spectrum's particular allure? Beyond being the subject of takeover rumor, it has two oncology drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration that are already on the market, plus two other promising drugs that are in late-stage clinical trials.

Can GE and J&J Help Detect Alzheimer's Earlier?

Medical imaging and diagnostics powerhouse GE Healthcare teams up with pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to research methods of detecting Alzheimer's in patients -- even before they begin to exhibit symptoms of the devastating disease.

The New-Drug Pipeline: U.S. Biotechs Lead the Way

The U.S. leads the world in creating new drugs, and big pharmaceutical companies companies play an important role in the process. But according to a new study, a unique system of collaboration between universities and small biotech firms is the key to the system.