Being the largest company by any number of measures--revenues, earnings, those kinds of yardsticks--is a good thing. Being the largest by number of employees is trickier, unless yours is also the largest by those other measures. As we have seen time and again in recent years in the pharma industry, having lots of employees and falling revenues is a formula that leads to layoffs. As a whole, the top 10 companies had fewer employees at the end of 2012 than at the end of 2011. Read the report >>
Blood test versus a tumor biopsy: Which reveals more gene mutations in the diagnostics and treatment of gastrointestinal cancer? New research from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston points very much to the former.
In the annals of Big Pharma, 2012 was expected to be the year of all patent-cliff years, with more than a dozen patent expirations. The biggest blockbuster lost patent protection in 2011--Pfizer's Lipitor--but in 2012, a whole list of big sellers would drop. Even the Lipitor damage would hit then, because its patent expired only one month before 2011 ended.
A flurry of regulatory decisions around the world delivered a big new European approval for Bayer's Xarelto, an FDA nod for Novartis' new antibiotic for cystic fibrosis patients, and a Japanese clearance for Roche's subcutaneous formulation of Actemra.
The logistics of getting drugs delivered in underdeveloped countries can be tricky. Many companies turn to partners with the expertise that can help them navigate the import laws and distribution obstacles that those countries present.
The fight over drug patents in India is quickly ratcheting up even as other countries are looking at new twists on the model for getting their hands on cheaper drugs.
Bayer and Merck have weighed in on the big pay-for-delay case. The two drugmakers filed briefs taking pharma's side in the case, which comes up for hearing at the Supreme Court later this month. And no wonder: It's the culmination of a years-long debate over patent settlements between generics companies and branded drugmakers.
Johnson & Johnson and Bayer AG are looking on the bright side of things when it comes to Xarelto. They are undertaking new trials they hope will lead to much wider use of the new kind of blood thinner. The announcement comes days after the FDA for the second time rebuffed their bid to get it a coveted approval for treatment of acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Johnson & Johnson and Bayer tried again to persuade FDA on a new use for Xarelto, in patients with acute coronary syndrome. But once again, the attempt failed.
Bayer's new drugs are bringing home the bacon. The German drugmaker raised its 2015 forecast for 5 key products to €2.5 billion ($3.3 billion)--and confirmed previous promises that those drugs would surpass €5.5 billion by 2020.