So, do drug companies really spend more money on marketing than on R&D? In the Pipeline takes a look at that contention, and the cold hard facts are these: Probably not. But it's hard to tell for sure.
Pfizer began recalling its thyroid drug Levoxyl this year after getting complaints of odors from the bottles tied to a new formulation, a move that threatened to lead to a shortage of the drug. So its King Pharmaceuticals subsidiary returned to making the older formulation. But now it has to recall 84 lots of that product because there appears to be potency issues.
In pandemic flu preparation, a lot of focus is placed on protecting against the specific viral strain. Yet analysis of the 1918 pandemic shows secondary bacterial pneumonia directly caused many of the deaths. This brings Pfizer's Prevnar 13 into play, and the Big Pharma is talking up its role.
Pfizer says inotuzumab failed a Phase III study for aggressive CD22+ non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The monitoring committee concluded that inotuzumab in combination with rituximab was not going to deliver the data needed on overall survival.
An analysis of online data found that only 7.4% of 650 clinical trials for diabetes treatments included patient-reported outcomes, which are supposed to shed light on patients' experiences on the meds.
Joint ventures with Chinese companies have been seen as a way for Big Pharma to get better traction in the exploding China market. But it is not a one-way street. Chinese companies see the tie-ups as a way to build their own capabilities and begin to tap lucrative Western markets.
The recent layoffs of hundreds of drug sales reps mean there are fewer people in the field calling on doctors to see what they are prescribing. But they don't have to--drugmakers have found new tools that actually can tell them more about doctors' prescribing patterns than the physicians even know themselves.
An active pharmaceutical ingredient facility in Cork County, Ireland, has been targeted for closure next year, although Pfizer hopes its can save the 136 jobs there by selling it to another drugmaker.
Pfizer's "external partner management" process is not exactly "American Idol" and Pfizer's John F. Kelly is not exactly Simon Cowell, but this year the Pfizer Global Supply (PGS) unit will go through the exercise of turning a handful or two of its more than 200 contractors into stars.
A U.K. startup is partnering with a Japanese company in what has become an increasingly important focus for diagnostics developers: tests that can spot lung cancer in its earliest stages when there is a chance to beat it back.