Press review


Bayer Iberia’s sales up more than 2% to 842 million euros in 2017

MADRID, Mar 16 (APM) - Bayer Iberia, the company’s subsidiary in Spain and Portugal, has reported a 2.3% increase in sales to 842 million euros, daily El Diario, financial El Economista and medical journal Diario Médico report on Friday.
El Diario quotes Rainer Krause, Bayer’s regional head, as saying the Iberian market has grown faster than the firm’s average of 1.5%.
The Spanish market accounted for 678 million euros in sales last year, 1.7% more than in 2016, whereas Portugal grew 4.6% to 163 million euros during the same period, the newspaper adds.
El Economista focuses on the company’s plan to further invest in its manufacturing plant in the northern region of Asturias due to the increasing global demand for aspirin, particularly in Asian markets. The financial spoke to the plant’s director, Jorge Álvarez, who noted that a 10% increase in demand for the drug was registered in China in 2017.
In 2014, the plant in Asturias became the only one producing the medicine’s active principle (acetylsalicylic acid), which is exported in powder form to eight Bayer production sites from which the final product is distributed worldwide. A total of 200 million of these aspirin tablets are taken each day around the globe, of which 124 million are used in Spain, the financial adds.
“This investment will mainly be devoted to a new packaging process to allow production of the same amount of aspirin in fewer batches. This will make the plant more productive in our deliveries to Bayer’s production sites,” Álvarez told El Economista.
Krause presented these data at Bayer’s new premises in La Felguera in Asturias region on Thursday, El Diario notes.

AbbVie's Humira top-selling drug in 2017

Sales of AbbVie’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira (adalimumab) were close to 15 billion euros in 2017, 15% higher than in 2016, making it the world’s top-selling drug for two consecutive years, financial Cinco Días reported on Tuesday.
Humira is also approved in other indications - psoriasis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The drug is not only the biggest pharma blockbuster, but its sales are increasing, leaving other products far behind. Sales are already double those of the second and third top-sellers - Celgene’s myeloma treatment Revlimid (lenalidomide, 6.6 billion euros) and Roche’s cancer drug MabThera (rituximab, 6.3 billion euros).
The financial noted that sales of Gilead’s hepatitis C treatment Harvoni (sofosbuvir+ledipasvir), which was the top-selling drug in 2015, are dropping as patients in Europe and the U.S. are cured.
Humira accounts for 65% of AbbVie’s sales. Big pharma depends upon this kind of big-selling drugs to a great extent, with just a few really innovative - and pricey - products. Among the biggest 20 pharmaceutical companies, nearly 20% of income depends on this kind of product, the financial noted.
Revlimid sales account for 63% of Celgene’s income, while Biogen’s multiple sclerosis therapy Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) represents 34% of the company’s sales. A similar, only more extreme, situation can be observed in small biotech firms which become successful based on just one product. Bigger companies such as Roche, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline tend to be more diversified, the financial added.

AstraZeneca presents new data on Forxiga

AstraZeneca has presented new evidence on the cardiovascular benefits of its diabetes drug Forxiga (dapagliflozin), as shown in a new analysis of the CVD-REAL study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), medical journal Acta Sanitaria reported on Wednesday. Financial El Economista, Europa Press agency, medical journals Redacción Médica and IM Médico Hospitalario carry the story on Friday.
The CVD-REAL study evaluates cardiovascular risks among type 2 diabetes patients receiving treatment with SGLT-2 inhibitors such as Forxiga. Outcomes include all-cause death, hospitalisation for heart failure, myocardial infarction and stroke in patients treated with these drugs compared to those treated with other drugs.
The journal quotes Elisabeth Bjork, vice-president and head of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases for AstraZeneca's global medicines development business, as saying: “The relevance and consistency of the latest data from the CVD-REAL study are encouraging for the scientific community. These results suggest there is a strong association of cardiovascular benefits with the use of Forxiga across diverse patient ethnic and racial demographics."

Shkreli sentenced to seven years for fraud

Martin Shkreli, the ‘pharma bro’, has been sentenced to seven years' prison for fraud, dailies El País, La Vanguardia and El Español reported on Saturday. (APMHE 57248)
Judge Kiyo Matsumoto’s ruling said that Shkreli’s offences were “extremely serious”, including investment advice “based on lies”, El País noted. The former pharma executive has been in prison since September 2017, after he offered $5,000 to anyone who could get a strand of hair from Hillary Clinton, which made the authorities consider him a safety concern.



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