The year of the mega-merger continues with Merck & Co’s move to buy Schering-Plough for $41.1bn, with the intention of boosting its pipeline, entering new markets and creating a “powerful biologics presence”.
Two approvals in a week for drugs made at Ranbaxy’s New Jersey OHM Laboratories subsidiary have eased the generics firm’s North American regulatory woes and strengthened its position in the expanding US market.
King Pharmaceuticals has unveiled plans to reduce its workforce by 22 per cent in a bid to further reduce costs after the US District Court decision to invalidate patents protecting its lead product, the muscle relaxant Skelaxin (Metaxalone).
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) claiming there is no evidence that brandname cardiovascular drugs are superior to their generic counterparts, despite claims to the contrary.
UK drug giant GSK is to shed 200 jobs at its manufacturing plant in Barnard Castle, County Durham to cut costs ahead of generic competition for products made at the facility, which include the anti-emetic Zofran (ondansentron).
Competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said that some drugmakers operating in the EU are deliberately stalling the introduction of generics, costing European patients around €3bn ($3.87bn) a year more to buy medicines.