Senior Correspondent, London
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Aug 6, 2015

China gets tougher for Western drugmakers

LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) – The Chinese market is getting
tougher for Western pharmaceutical companies as Beijing bears
down on a rising healthcare bill and prices come under pressure.

The country, which has overtaken Japan as the world’s second
largest market for prescription medicines after the United
States, has drawn major investment from global drugmakers in
recent years — but growth rates are now slowing markedly.

Aug 6, 2015

Britain raps Pfizer over inflated epilepsy drug prices

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog alleged on Thursday that U.S. drugmaker Pfizer (PFE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Flynn Pharma had breached competition law by ramping up the cost of an epilepsy drug used by more than 50,000 British patients.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said its provisional view was that Pfizer and Flynn Pharma each abused a dominant position by charging “excessive and unfair” prices for phenytoin sodium capsules.

Aug 5, 2015

Shire seen having to sweeten $30 billion offer to win Baxalta

LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Shire Chief Executive
Flemming Ornskov will need to dig deeper in his pocket if he
wants to win U.S. biotech company Baxalta.

The Danish doctor running the London-listed drugmaker from
offices in Massachusetts is not taking the easy option with his
$30 billion run at Baxalta.

Aug 4, 2015

New analysis underscores improving pharma R&D productivity

LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Drug industry productivity is
continuing to improve, with a bumper haul of new products being
launched and companies proving more successful in the final
stages of clinical testing, according to a new analysis.

Data from Thomson Reuters published on Tuesday showed the
number of innovative medicines, or new molecular entities,
launched globally in 2014 hit a 17-year high of 46, up from 29
in 2013.

Aug 3, 2015

Analysis – New cocktails to test limits of cancer drug pricing

LONDON (Reuters) – New cancer drug cocktails set to reach the market in the next few years will test the limits of premium pricing for life-saving medicines, forcing company executives to consider fresh market strategies.

The growing reluctance of governments and private insurers to fund very expensive drugs – even remarkably effective ones – points to a showdown as manufacturers mix and match therapies that harness the immune system to fight tumours.

Aug 3, 2015

New cocktails to test limits of cancer drug pricing

LONDON (Reuters) – New cancer drug cocktails set to reach the market in the next few years will test the limits of premium pricing for life-saving medicines, forcing company executives to consider fresh market strategies.

The growing reluctance of governments and private insurers to fund very expensive drugs – even remarkably effective ones – points to a showdown as manufacturers mix and match therapies that harness the immune system to fight tumors.

Jul 31, 2015

After Merck success, work goes on with other Ebola vaccines

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) – Scientists and drug companies
will continue to research the potential of alternative Ebola
vaccines, despite a shot from Merck and NewLink Genetics
proving 100 percent effective in a trial in Guinea.

Experts said on Friday different kinds of vaccines were
needed that might be better suited for different population
groups.

Jul 30, 2015

AstraZeneca beats profit forecasts, helped by external deals

LONDON (Reuters) – AstraZeneca (AZN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) revenue fell by a smaller-than-expected 7 percent in the second quarter, as income from selling rights to medicines offset generic competition to older drugs and a strong dollar.

The drugmaker increased its revenue forecast for the year and said it now expected a low single-digit percentage decline, against mid single-digit previously, while core earnings are still expected to increase at a low single-digit rate.

Jul 29, 2015

Exclusive: GSK faces new corruption allegations, this time in Romania

LONDON (Reuters) – Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, which was fined a record 3 billion yuan ($483 million) for corruption in China last year and is examining possible staff misconduct elsewhere, faces new allegations of bribery in Romania.

GSK confirmed it was looking into the latest claims of improper payments set out in a whistleblower’s email sent to its top management on Monday. A copy of the email was seen by Reuters.

Jul 29, 2015

GSK flags up pipeline as HIV drugs help it beat profit forecasts

LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline moved to reclaim its prowess as a research powerhouse on Wednesday by flagging up dozens of new drugs and vaccines in development, as demand for new HIV medicines helped it beat quarterly profit forecasts.

Strong sales of Tivicay and Triumeq validated GSK’s decision in May to keep its HIV business, rather than spinning it off, and offset a further slide in revenue from lung drug Advair and lower group profit margins following a major business overhaul.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Hirschler is European pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare correspondent, based in London. Previously, he was in charge of British company news and before that was posted to Johannesburg, covering the economic challenges facing post-apartheid South Africa."
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