Press review

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Janssen hikes Imbruvica price in U.S. as study shows lower dose may be as effective as higher one

Country : China, Italy, U.S.

Keywords :
MILAN, 27 Apr (APM) - Janssen has hiked the price of Imbruvica (ibrutinib) in the U.S. after doctors showed that a lower dose may be as effective as a higher one, ANSA reported on Monday.
Citing an article in the Washington Post, the Italian news agency said the drug is normally provided in single 140 mg pill which some patients take several times a day for an annual cost of €148,000.
In a small trial last year, doctors showed smaller doses may work as well as larges doses, which would generate significant savings. The no-profit organisation Value in Cancer Care Consortium decided to conduct tests on patients, ANSA reported.
However, before it could start, Janssen and the company distributing Imbruvica, Pharmacyclics, decided to introduce a range of different pill dosages and effectively triple the price.The consortium claimed that the changes mean it will no longer be possible to benefit from using lower dosages. (APMHE 57760)
Janssen was reported to have issued a statement saying that the new dosages have been planned since 2015. The company claimed that it will mean savings for patients using the highest dosage pill, ANSA explained.

Boehringer’s sales in Italy up 28% to €455 million

Boehringer Ingelheim’s sales in Italy rose 28% to €455 million in 2017, specialist publication About Pharma reported on Thursday.
The German group is looking for further growth this year and will develop its manufacturing capacity in Italy, especially at Fornovo San Giovanni, near Bergamo, About Pharma said. Investment in 2018 is expected to total more than €9 million.

Sanofi to expand production at north Italian site

Sanofi is planning to significantly expand production at Origgio in Lombardy, according to Saturday’s Il Sole 24 Ore.
It will have invested more than €16 million between 2016 and 2018 by the time it completes a modernisation programme aimed at making manufacturing of oral liquid medicines more efficient, the paper said.
The site will increase supplies of enterogermina as Sanofi enters the Russian market with the product for the first time, the paper said. Production of antacid product Maalox will be doubled over the next three years.
Global production of Bisolvon (bromhexine) and Mucosolvan (ambroxol), which were part of Boehringer Ingelheim’s consumer healthcare business bought by Sanofi in 2016, will be transferred to the site, the paper added.

Nerviano developed entrectinib despite financial crisis - scientist

Nerviano Medical Sciences managed to develop cancer drug candidate entrectinib, now in Phase II trials in lung cancer, despite years of serious financial crisis, a scientist told La Repubblica in an interview published on Monday.
Elena Ardini was one of a team who started working on entrectinib in 2006. Sometimes cash was so short they were not paid monthly salaries and there was no funding to buy the reagents needed to progress, she said.
However, the team persevered and the first patients were given entrectinib tablets in 2012 at Milan’s Istituto dei Tumori. Ardini described the results as very good even with small doses. “Not only did patients not have negative reactions but they showed improvement right from the beginning,” she said.
Later Nerviano licensed the drug to Ignyta, which was acquired by Roche for $1.7 billion in December last year (APMHE 56183).

Italy’s pharmacy ownership rules will not liberalise market - politician

Italy’s new pharmacy ownership rules, which allow chains, will not liberalise the market, a pharmacist who sits in the chamber of deputies told La Repubblica in an interview published on Monday.
Andrea Mandelli said that it is still too early to say how the new competition rules will affect the sector. But he pointed out that a single company is now allowed to own up to 20% of pharmacies in each region.
Mandelli said this could mean that five companies control the whole market. “it seems that rather than being a law to stimulate competition, it is a law which opens the way for oligopolies,” he told the paper.

Chinese investors buy medical devices firm Esaote

A group of Chinese investors has bought Italian medical devices maker Esaote, Corriere Fiorentino reported on Monday.
No price was disclosed for the sale, but reports suggest it was about 300 million euros. There is a simple strategy behind the acquisition: “The Chinese have the money to invest, know the markets where to sell and the Italians have the products to supply them with,” the paper said.
China, which has a medical devices market worth €2.6 billion, will be one of the targets. Esaote currently only takes around 3% of its €270 million sales from there.
One of the Chinese investors suggested that the simmering trade war with the U.S. will help Esaote because its products will become more competitive in China.
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