Last week in pharma.bio.device.lab November 5-11 2017

What cafepharma users clicked, read, and discussed last week

As the end of the year approaches, layoffs tend to be a common theme in the news, as well as on the cafepharma discussion boards. 
The top five most popular news articles for the week:
  1. Amgen and Genentech are the latest drug makers to lay off workers
    By far the most popular news item on cafepharma last week was this Stat article about layoffs at Amgen and Genentech. Amgen is reportedly laying off approximately 200 R&D staffers, primarily in California, and Genentech has announced 130 cuts from a manufacturing facility, also in California. The original article has been moved behind a paywall, so you can find more information at Endpoints, Fierce Biotech, and Biospace.

  2. Eli Lilly counts up 2,300 early retirements in $500M cost-cutting drive
    The second most popular news item was from Fierce Pharma, discussing how Lilly has gotten around 2300 employees to agree to early retirements, which will partially fulfill the 3500 job cuts announced in September of this year. The article indicates that the remaining cuts will come from consolidation and reduction of other departments, including some manufacturing facilities. 
  3. Limits on pharma payments to doctors back on policy menu
    This Medical Marketing & Media article details a resurgence of regulatory issues surrounding the relationships between physicians and the pharma industry - particularly on a state level. Factors such as drug pricing and the opioid crisis may be motivators. More than 30 states have introduced laws on drug pricing this year, while just three states (New Jersey, California, and Maine) have legislation regarding pharma payments - with Maine having a flat ban on promotional payments to doctors. However, there may be more to come.

  4. FDA chief to big pharma: ‘End the shenanigans'
    This piece from Drug Delivery Business News covers FDA head Scott Gottlieb’s scolding of pharma companies for tactics that discourage generic competition. In particular, companies have been trying to extend negotiations of REMS (risk evaluation and mitigation strategies) in efforts to prevents generics companies from purchasing products to test in bioequivalence studies. This week the FDA issued draft guidance on REMS, in an effort to streamline the process, and prevent extended delay tactics.

  5. Valeant hands off its controversial, $1B female libido drug to Sprout backers in sweetheart deal
    The fifth most popular news article was this Endpoints piece detailing Valeant Pharma’s sale of the Addyi, the female sexual dysfunction drug to a company associated with the founders of Sprout Pharmaceuticals. Around two years ago, Valeant purchased Addyi from Sprout for $1 billion, and it was touted as a future blockbuster. When the commercial launch did not go well, Sprout took troubled Valeant to court. With this new deal, Sprout is agreeing to drop the lawsuit, as well as receiving a $25 million loan to get the new company off the ground. 

The most popular discussion threads on the cafepharma boards last week centered around layoffs - whether rumored, confirmed, pending, or currently in play. These included threads from Genentech, Allergan, Novo Nordisk (here and here), and Amgen.

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