Payers worried about hepatitis C drug prices have been counting on impending price competition to save them money. The idea is that, once Merck, AbbVie and Bristol-Myers Squibb have treatments on the market, Gilead Sciences will have to back off its $84,000-per-treatment-course sticker price. The reality could be a little better--and a little worse--than that.
Digital health may be popular in the rest of the healthcare industry, but it's still the red-headed stepchild of pharma marketing. As Mobihealth News reports, providers and payers "have dived into the digital health world with gusto," but pharma's moves haven't been so enthusiastic. Is a new initiative from Bayer any different?
IMS Health has found that a group of cancer treatments launched over the past three years "are following the same trajectory" as blockbusters such as Roche's Avastin, Novartis' Gleevec, Bayer's Nexavar, and Merck Serono's Erbitux--at least so far.
Merck plans to use the proceeds of its planned $14.2 billion consumer business sale to Bayer to beef up its pipeline, and the in-transition pharma giant isn't wasting any time, signing a billion-dollar deal with its new partner in a move to get its hands on some new cardiovascular drugs.
And the winner is Bayer. After months of speculation--and reported bids from the likes of Sanofi, Novartis and Reckitt Benckiser--the German drugmaker has snagged Merck's consumer health unit in a $14.2 billion deal. The consumer buyout solidifies Bayer's position at the top of the global OTC game and provides Merck with a cardio collaboration--along with a hefty chunk of change.
With Reckitt Beckiser out of the race for Merck's consumer health unit, Bayer is in exclusive talks with the New Jersey company, reports say, and it could have a $14 billion deal wrapped up in the next few days.
British consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser indicated Wednesday that bidding for the consumer healthcare unit of Merck had gotten out of hand, and so it decided to step aside. By dropping out it would appear to leave Germany's Bayer as the likely buyer for the unit.
When bidding wars get hot, that often springs information leaks. The latest is that there is some swap-and-shop haggling going on between Bayer and Merck over Merck's consumer health business. That, at least, is what sources are telling Reuters.
Germany's Bayer has been on the sidelines while other Big Pharma players have been striking deals to expand or refocus. But that may not be for long with Bayer working on a couple of deals and thinking about unloading its plastics business to help pay for an expansion.
Merck has entered the home stretch with its consumer unit sale, and the deal may be even bigger than previous reports have hinted. According to Reuters, the unit could go for close to $14 billion--a number that could climb even higher as front-runners Bayer and Reckitt Benckiser duke it out.