Bernard Munos, one of the sharpest critics of the drug development industry, takes Big Pharma to task once again on the innovation front after reviewing just what's been approved over the past 12 years.
New price controls are on their way in India, and brokerage house HSBC has identified which companies are most likely to suffer from the cuts. Meanwhile, regulators are once again looking at new hurdles to foreign investment, inspired by another round of pharma dealmaking.
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.
After all, investors and shareholders responded strongly to Pfizer's animal-health spinoff and nutrition-unit sale--so much so that analysts are calling on CEO Ian Read for more.
While the success rate in developing new disease treatments remains alarmingly low, a cadre of R&D executives from some of the world's biggest drug developers insisted at BIO that they've zeroed in on a number of ways to boost the chance a promising drug will actually reach patients.
Abbott Laboratories wanted to buy out its vaccine partner in Russia to better establish itself there. But the Russian government has not exactly thrown its arms open to Big Pharma and Abbott's hope has now been dashed on the hard wall of that reality.
Caution: Big Pharma's tax-avoidance tactics are in jeopardy. As Bloomberg reports, U.S. lawmakers are eyeing overseas profits--and the $7 billion-plus in taxes sidestepped by drugmakers last year--with changes in mind.
Will the rest of Big Pharma follow in Pfizer ($PFE) and Abbott Laboratories' ($ABT) footsteps? Certainly, Pfizer's animal health spin-off and unit sales have sparked talk--and not only about a bigger break-up down the line. And as a Reuters analysis notes, Abbott Laboratories' successful spin-off of AbbVie ($ABBV), its pharma unit, only added to the speculative fire.
In Europe, the talk from pharma is how much government payers are clamping down on prices. Not to be outdone, U.S. officials have data of their own to illustrate their stinginess.
Pfizer may be a bit behind schedule, but it's on track to hack its R&D budget to the $6.5-billion-to-$7-billion target laid out in a radical restructuring plan.