Two Massive Commercial Flops May Send Chilling Effect Through Biotech Industry

first_img Shares of drug wholesalers were slammed Friday amid signs that a price war has broken out in the sector, following a dour earnings report from McKesson Corp., one of the largest pharmaceutical distributors in the U.S. McKesson sharply cut its annual profit outlook Thursday afternoon, citing the decelerating rise of drug prices and internal competition among the companies that bridge drug manufacturers with pharmacies. (Minaya, 10/28) Stat: New Cholesterol Drugs Aren’t Selling, And That’s Worrying Biotech The Wall Street Journal: FDA Rejects Sanofi-Regeneron Arthritis Drug Over Plant Deficiencies U.S. health regulators have rejected a promising rheumatoid arthritis treatment being developed jointly by Sanofi SA and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. over deficiencies found at a French plant, the companies said Friday. Sanofi, which had disclosed the deficiencies earlier in the day when it released third-quarter results, has submitted a plan to correct the issues, the companies said. (Armental, 10/28) The Wall Street Journal: Warning Of A Price War Among Drug Wholesalers Sends Shares Sliding A year ago, two new drugs that used a novel mechanism to drive down cholesterol levels came on the market, and were promptly crowned as blockbusters in waiting. Analysts estimated sales at more than $3 billion a year. But the two drugs have been commercial flops, in part due to a complicated reimbursement system that has frustrated doctors, confused patients, and left the biotech industry worried about the implications for other high-priced drugs in the pipeline. (Garde, 10/28) Previous, related KHN coverage: Tracking Who Makes Money On A Brand-Name Drug (Appleby, 10/6) There are early warning signs that the steady march upward of drug prices is slowing. That is bad news for drug makers and for all of the health-care companies that have profited from consistently higher prices. (Grant, 10/28) center_img Stat: Drug Maker Faces A Shareholder Suit For Failing To Tell The Whole Truth Two Massive Commercial Flops May Send Chilling Effect Through Biotech Industry New cholesterol drugs that were expected to make billions failed to live up to their potential. And the disappointing sales has the new sector — which relies on the idea that the risky, expensive process of developing new drugs can one day pay off big — on edge. Meanwhile, the market is in flux after a dour earnings report from one of the largest pharmaceutical distributors in the U.S. Memo to biopharma executives: when talking to shareholders, take care to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That’s the message delivered this week to Arena Pharmaceuticals after a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that shareholders can proceed with a lawsuit alleging the company deliberately withheld crucial information about a potential problem with a widely anticipated diet drug. At issue was a series of statements Arena executives made in 2009 about the progress they were making in winning US Food and Drug Administration approval for the Belviq diet pill. At the time, the drug was one of three forthcoming such medicines — which were being developed by different companies — that were closely tracked by physicians and investors, given the dearth of treatments for the overweight. (Silverman, 10/28) The Wall Street Journal: McKesson Sounds The Drug-Price Alarm And in other pharmaceutical news — This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img

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