Most-clicked pharma news for week ending March 18 2023: Medtronic offers early retirement package, Novartis to sell ophthalmological assets, and Pfizer tops list of drugs with price increases

March 18, 2023

This week, stories from Medtronic, Merck, and Novartis topped our most-read news links, as well as a piece about the compensation for Johnson & Johnson’s new CEO.

The most popular news link was a piece from Medical Device and Diagnostics Industry about Medtronic offering employees an early retirement package. Medtronic, with more than 95,000 employees worldwide, has not recently announced layoffs, but appears to be aiming to cut costs before their fiscal year ends in April. The offers are apparently “irrevocable,” and include signed releases prohibiting the signer from taking any later legal actions such as wrongful termination or discrimination lawsuits.

The next most-clicked link is Fierce Pharma’s report about Novartis looking to unload ophthalmological assets, including their dry eye med Xiidra. Under a strategy announced last year, the company is focusing on cardiovascular diseases, immunology, neuroscience, solid tumors and hematology. Although it will retain some ophthalmological assets, it is specifically looking to divest those that treat the front of the eye.

Also receiving a lot of interest was this story about the top drugs that had price increases outpacing inflation in Q4 2022. Of the 27 drugs on the list, Pfizer topped the charts with five of them, which was three more than any other company represented.

Users also clicked a lot on this piece on Merck’s Keytruda and its success in a rare lung cancer form. Keytruda, used in combination with chemotherapy, significantly improved survival of patients with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma in a phase 2/3 trial, which will help it catch up with Bristol Myers Squibb’s combo of Opdivo/Yervoy in the same cancer. Bristol Myers has been approved for this indication since October 2020.

Finally, there was also a lot of interest in this article about 2022 compensation for the new JNJ CEO Joaquin Duato. After taking the helm at the beginning of last year, Duato collected a total of $13.1 million in compensation. This is actually a decrease from 2021, when he pulled in $13.8 million as vice chairman of the executive committee.

To easily keep up with the latest news in the pharma, biotech, medtech, and related sectors, please visit our front page newsfeed daily. We hand-select and feed pertinent news headlines throughout the week from a variety of sources - we do the searching so you don’t have to. 

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