Press review

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Patent expiries to cost pharma €22 billion in 2018 - Spanish newspaper

MADRID, 17 Aug (APM) - Roche, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline are among the pharma companies which will shortly be hardest hit by patent losses, financial Cinco Días reported on Monday.
The drop in sales due to patent expiries will be particularly steep for pharma in 2018. According to a report by Evaluate Pharma, the global pharmaceutical market will grow 5.3% to €730 billion, but sales of branded drugs will be greatly affected by generic competition, with a fall in sales that is estimated to be around €22.8 billion “but could go as high as €34 billion and, over the next seven years, it could reach €220 billion”, the financial reported.
From 2018 to 2023, the report singled out AbbVie’s Humira and Janssen’s Stelara as the most significant patent loses. Humira was the best-seller in 2017 with €14.9 billion, Stelara is expected to be among the top 10 best-selling drugs in the next few years, the financial noted.
The sales decrease figure for 2018 is the highest of those in the forecast up to 2024. Next year, patent expiries could cost pharma €20.1 billion. Sales of innovative drugs could make up for these drops, Cinco Días added.
In terms of significant patent losses in 2018, the newspaper mentioned Roche’s Mabthera/Rituxan (rituximab), Pfizer’s Lyrica (pregabalin), Amgen’s Neulasta (pegfilgrastim), GSK’s Advair/Seretide (fluticasone propionate/salmeterol), Roche and Novartis’ Xolair (omalizumab), Amgen and Janssen’s Epogen/Procrit (epoetin alfa), Janssen’s Zytiga (abiraterone acetate), Lilly’s Cialis (tadalafil), Amgen’s Sensipar/Mimpara (cinacalcet) and Allergan’s Restasis (cyclosporine).

U.S. probes Pfizer over allegations of bribes to Iraqi officials

The U.S. Department of Justice is examining allegations that Pfizer bribed members of the terrorist-run Iraqi ministry of health, which would constitute a violation of ant-terrorist laws, medical journal Redacción Médica reports on Friday.
According to the journal, which quotes a story published in Fierce Pharma, the firm sent a statement to the U.S. commission which supervises the country’s stock market saying that the Department of Justice had required documentation related to the allegations.
A company spokesperson said Pfizer categorically denies any wrongdoing.

German drugmaker tries to block execution

German firm Fresenius Kabi has tried to block the execution of an inmate in the U.S. with a motion arguing that the state of Nebraska illegally procured at least one of the drugs included in the lethal injection, financial El Economista reported on Sunday.
However, a federal judge denied the motion and the execution is scheduled for Tuesday. Fresenius Kabi will appeal, the financial reported.
European and U.S. pharmaceutical firms oppose the use of their products in lethal injections due to the pressure of anti-death penalty activist groups and the bad reputation it brings, El Economista added.

Record cash for Spanish regions to spend in 2019

According to a Thursday story in daily El País, increased taxes and cash provided by the national funding system will earn Spanish autonomous regions more cash than ever, over €165 billion.
However, they will also spend more than ever, with “continuous advances in the medical field and pharmaceutical innovation at higher and higher prices”. The fact that Spanish population is aging and chronic conditions are on the rise will contribute to higher healthcare expenditure, the newspaper noted.

Antibiotics no longer good business

On Saturday, daily El País carried a story about Novartis’ decision to give up on development of new antibiotics and close its research facilities in Emeryville California, with headline: “When antibiotics are not good business any more”. (APMHE 58904)
The newspaper quoted James Hynard, strategy director at British charity Wellcome Trust, as commenting on Twitter: “Bad news - Novartis have joined the big pharma exodus from antibiotics at a time when we desperately need new treatment options to counter the rise of drug-resistant infections.”

Glaucoma drug prevents weight gain in mice

A group of scientists at Yale University working on a research about glaucoma found that a drug for the condition could prevent weight gain even when on a high-fat diet, daily ABC reported on Tuesday.
Over a period of weeks, the researchers observed how obese mice maintained their weight in spite of being on a high-fat diet, showing a change in two genes related to gut portals which allow fat to be absorbed into the organism.
The finding has been published in Nature magazine, the newspaper reported.
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