U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear dispute over biologic drug sales

A Novartis logo is pictured on its headquarters building in MumbaiBy Andrew Chung NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a dispute over whether companies that make copycat versions of biologic drugs must wait six months after winning federal approval to begin selling them. The justices will take up an appeal by Novartis AG of a 2015 federal appeals court decision that prevented the Swiss pharmaceutical company from selling its biosimilar version of California-based Amgen Inc's $1-billion-a-year Neupogen until six months after the Food and Drug Administration approved it. Unlike traditional drugs, biologic drugs cannot be copied exactly to make generic versions.

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Psoriasis with arthritis linked to heart disease risk

By Carolyn Crist (Reuters Health) – Arthritis that accompanies the skin condition psoriasis may also come with a higher risk of heart problems, according to a Hong Kong study. In particular, patients with so-called psoriatic arthritis may have a three- to four-fold higher prevalence of plaque in their coronary arteries, which leads to a higher heart attack risk. Clinicians need to identify patients with high cardiovascular (CV) risk so they can provide lifestyle advice and preventive treatment to those individuals, said study author Lai-Shan Tam of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
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Pharma company executives debate drug pricing increases

A person holds pharmaceutical tablets and capsules in illustration picture in LjubljanaThe pharmaceutical industry is typically reluctant to talk about U.S. drug prices, generally the highest in the world due to a combination of market fragmentation and free market policies. AbbVie Inc on Wednesday became the third global drugmaker to publicly promise to cap annual price increases at under 10 percent, following earlier pledges by Allergan Plc and Novo Nordisk A/S . "I do think that the industry is off to a good start in terms of good behavior," Allergan Chief Executive Officer Brent Saunders told investors here this week during J.P. Morgan's annual healthcare conference, the largest industry meeting of the year.

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Eli Lilly defeats Teva appeal over Alimta cancer drug

A sign bearing the logo of Teva is seen in JerusalemA U.S. appeals court on Thursday said Eli Lilly and Co may block Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd from selling a generic equivalent of its top-selling lung cancer drug Alimta, in a closely-watched patent case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit let stand a lower court finding that Teva and other defendants would be liable for inducing infringement by doctors who prescribe generic versions of Alimta. Writing for a three-judge panel, Chief Judge Sharon Prost said evidence that Teva's proposed product labeling for its generic would lead some doctors to infringe the Lilly patent "establishes the requisite intent for inducement." Teva spokeswoman Denise Bradley said the Israel-based generic drugmaker is disappointed with the decision, which upholds rulings by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in Indianapolis.

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As drug supplies run short, Egyptians turn to herbal remedies

Samy Al Aatar, owner of a herbal store, takes ingredients to prepare natural herbal drug in CairoBy Mohamed Zaki and Mohamed Abd El-Ghany CAIRO (Reuters) – In an economic crisis that has led to a shortage of medicines, Egyptians are skipping trips to drug stores and instead turning to herbal remedies to treat every-day illnesses.     In the Cairo working class neighborhood of Basateen, dozens can be seen lining up outside a decades-old herbal spice shop with pyramid-shaped stacks of jars on display, filled with everything from honey and ginger to camel's hay. …

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Bayer says had productive meeting with Trump over Monsanto deal

The logo of Bayer AG is pictured at the Bayer Healthcare subgroup production plant in WuppertalGerman drugs and pesticides maker Bayer , which will need regulatory approval for its $66 billion deal to buy U.S. seeds giant Monsanto , said company chief executives had a productive meeting with U.S. president-elect Donald Trump. Trump talked to Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant and some of their advisers in New York, his transition team said on Wednesday, part of meetings before he takes office later this month. "It was a productive meeting about the future of agriculture and the need for innovation," a Bayer spokesman said on Thursday, declining to provide more details for the moment.

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Novo Nordisk shares hit by U.S. lawsuit, Trump comments

The logo of Danish multinational pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk is pictured on the facade of a production plant in ChartresBy Teis Jensen COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk's shares fell more than 5 percent on Thursday following the filing of a lawsuit against the company in the United States and also in response to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's criticism of drug prices. Trump said on Wednesday that pharmaceutical companies were "getting away with murder" in what they charge the government for medicines, and promised that would change, knocking down U.S. drugs stocks. Late on Wednesday, a U.S. law firm filed a securities class action lawsuit on behalf of Lehigh County Employees' Retirement System against Novo Nordisk.

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