Japan is the second largest drug market after the U.S., and Western drugmakers are giving it new attention as growth slows elsewhere. AstraZeneca has upped its bet there, paying Sumitomo Chemical about $102 million to buy full control of its Japanese subsidiary AstraZeneca KK.
AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb look to be feeling good about the future of their diabetes drug Forxiga. The drugmakers have yanked the diabetes treatment from the market in Germany because they couldn't get the reimbursement they wanted from medical insurers. The nose-thumbing move came the day after an FDA panel recommended the drug for approval in the U.S.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca persuaded the U.K.'s cost-effectiveness agency to make an about-face on their new diabetes drug Forxiga.
AstraZeneca's new chief executive, Pascal Soriot wants the diabetes marketing teams from the AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb partnership to think deep thoughts about how they are going to sell more products. To do that, they have been put together and the team then sequestered in their own home away from the distractions of their respective companies.
Forxiga, approved in November for sale in the EU, failed to impress the gatekeepers at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Essentially, NICE isn't yet convinced that Forxiga works any better as an add-on therapy than other drugs already in use.
Once again, European regulators have shown that they don't always see eye-to-eye with the their counterparts in the U.S. The European Commission welcomed a new diabetes drug from Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, dubbed Forxiga, just months after FDA rejected it on safety worries.