Breaking news from the ACC:
Vytorin/Zetia gets panned – shows no benefit on the primary endpoint, though effective in reducing some markers. Doctors now wary and skeptical. Merck and Schering-Plough comment. Good summary with more links from Ed Silverman (Pharmlot blog – one of the best btw!) here.
Prasugrel gets a boost – The investigational antiplatelet drug prasugrel plus aspirin produced a marked and highly statistically significant reduction in the risk of coronary stent thrombosis (ST) – a major concern for physicians and patients with potentially fatal consequences – in patients who received a stent as compared to standard therapy with clopidogrel (Plavix®) plus aspirin (1.13 percent vs. 2.35 percent, p<0.0001), according to a stent analysis from the head-to-head TRITON-TIMI 38 trial…more. And, more here from Pharmalot.
Angiomax: pretty much equivalent to heparin – A study released on Saturday found the two drugs worked about the same in low- to moderate-risk patients in preventing death, heart attack and the need to repeat medical intervention on a diseased blood vessel…more
Positive results for AstraZeneca’s cholesterol-reducer Crestor – AstraZeneca Plc is stopping a clinical trial of its blockbuster cholesterol fighter Crestor early because of the clear benefits of the medicine compared to placebo, the company said on Monday…more
——OK, now on to other news:
Free drug samples – higher prescription costs? – Following free drug sample receipt, patients who receive these samples have significantly higher out-of-pocket prescription costs than those who don’t, according to the first study to look at the out-of-pocket cost associated with free-sample use…more
Wyeth cutting 1,200 sales reps – The positions are being eliminated as of Monday as part of a major companywide program announced two months ago to save money in the face of regulatory setbacks and generic competition. At the time, the drugmaker acknowledged plans to cut about 10 percent of its global workforce of 50,000 or so, and that sales reps were high on the list. Wyeth employs roughly 25,000 people in the US…more
Sanofi-Aventis to give daily Cialis a boost – Sanofi-Aventis of France is partnering with Eli Lilly of America’s heartland to give Lilly’s impotence pill Cialis a boost over here…more
Speaking of Sanofi and Lilly: Lantus shows better efficacy than Humalog – A once-daily injection of Sanofi-Aventis‘s insulin drug Lantus controls blood sugar as effectively as Eli Lilly‘s Humalog, which needs to be taken three times daily, researchers said on Friday…more
Singulair trouble – suicide link? – The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it is investigating a possible link between Merck‘s best-selling Singulair and suicide. FDA said it is reviewing a handful of reports involving mood changes, suicidal behavior and suicide in patients who have taken the popular allergy and asthma drug…more
Takeda drops cholesterol drug candidate lapaquistat – Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Japan’s biggest drug maker, on Friday dropped development of a cholesterol-lowering drug candidate that had once been seen as one of its most promising medicines…more
Otsuka pays for fraudulent Abilify marketing – Otsuka American Pharmaceutical, the US unit of the Japanese drugmaker, agreed to pay more than $4 million to resolve allegations that it marketed the Abilify antipsychotic for off-label uses…more
Disease-mongering brought to a whole new level (are these people serious)? – Anyone familiar with involuntary emotional expression disorder? This is another way of saying uncontrollable laughing or crying, and a little drugmaker called Avanir Pharmaceuticals hopes to market a pill for this “distinct neurological disorder.” Also known as pseudobulbar affect, the affliction has gotten talked up in recent years and investors are buying into the concept…more
The Vytorin studies – what will be revealed at the ACC meeting? Good news from the Enhance study? And why is the Improve-It study being expanded/delayed? Is it for sound data gathering reasons, or is it a conspiracy?
Physician gifting crackdown? – The latest legislative maneuver to control pharmaceutical marketing: Last week, congressman Pete Defazio (D-OR) introduced the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, a bill that will create a public registry of gifts and payments to physicians in excess of $25 by pharmaceutical companies…more
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