Hepatitis C research is among the fastest moving industry sectors as medications hailed as game-changes just two years ago are being trumped by newer therapeutics in the pipeline. Some physicians are telling HCV patients to wait for the newer drugs, while others say patients should be treated immediately with what is already available.
Bloomberg reported Merck has been eliminating thousands of jobs and trying to boost demand of existing products to overcome the revenue drop from its once-leading drug Singulair, an asthma medication that began facing competition from cheaper copies in August.
China Diabetes Triples Creating $3.2 Billion Drug Market. Beijing doctor Li Guangwei sees China’s struggle with 90 million diabetes sufferers daily. Among the standing-room-only crowd waiting outside his clinic door are patients with slurred speech, mismatched clothes and aggression.
Rival hepatitis C drugs from Merck & Co and Vertex Pharmaceuticals are effective in patients also infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to data released on Tuesday. The Vertex drug had the more impressive results, the data showed.
China, the land of opportunity for pharmaceuticals? Merck was the latest pharmaceutical to announce a major investment with the establishment of a new Asian R&D headquarters in Beijing and $1.5 billion to research and development in China over the next five years.
Among those waiting eagerly for the FDA biosimilars guidelines is Michael Kamarck, president of Merck BioVentures. “We don’t know exactly what the guidelines will say,” Kamarck says. “But we are confident we have a path to move forward and we can succeed.”
Pfizer’s campaign to promote Lyrica is part of a stepped-up arms race among Western drug makers for a bigger presence in Japan, the world’s second-largest pharmaceuticals market after the U.S., with about $100 billion in yearly sales.