Eli Lilly says about 100 jobs will be lost in its dry products operations as it rejiggers tablet and capsule production over the next several years, but that employees will have the chance to move to other positions, like in its growing insulin operations.
When it comes to selling big, cancer drugs have a lot going for them. Their targets--deadly diseases that in many cases can kill quickly--put them in high demand, even as they continue to redefine "premium pricing." Some newer drugs can be targeted at patient groups who have the best chances of benefiting, helping justify those high costs. And biologics, for now, don't face the same generic onslaughts that pummel pharma sales come patent expiration time.
That's not to say they don't face roadblocks. Plenty of cancer heavyweights have run into failed label expansions, governmental cost critics, patent woes and biosimilar threats. But even so, the top 10 managed to rake in worldwide sales between $1.7 billion and $7.8 billion, according to EvaluatePharma data.
There has been talk in recent years about how the industry should expect fewer blockbusters and how drugmakers need to look toward selling more products for fewer dollars, euros, pounds or yen. But it is the big sellers, the blockbusters--no, megablockbusters--that drug execs aspire to develop. And a look at the top 10 best-selling drugs globally can't help but impress with its big numbers.
First of all, each of the top 10 best-selling drugs in the world knocked out more than $5.5 billion in sales last year, according to data provided by the market intelligence gurus at EvaluatePharma. Together, the top 10 turned in $76.38 billion in sales. Yes, that's more than $75 billion in sales from just 10 products. One other drug, Eli Lilly's Cymbalta, topped the $5 billion mark, but having lost its patent in December, it's headed for a serious nosedive this year.
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Another company is having to recall products because of packaging issues which could lead to serious health consequences for patients. This time the mix-up could result in patients getting ibuprofen instead of their scheduled dose of a seizure drug presribed for epilepsy patients. Read more >>
Problems with a new manufacturing process at the GlaxoSmithKline influenza vaccine plant in Canada caused some of the issues raised by regulators there, and so the U.K. drugmaker is reverting to its earlier process to get product to the market for the upcoming flu season.
Merck KGaA will start construction next month on a plant to make diabetes drugs in China, a market it says is key to its future. The market is so important that the executive board of the German drugmaker held an event there to reiterate that point to Chinese officials.
GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson, which control most of the needed supplies for the industry, want authorities to approve genetic engineering so opium farming can be both expanded and made less susceptible to pests and so they can assure their customers they can keep up with demand.
The FDA continues its battle with a Dallax, TX compounding pharmacy which it says is not meeting sterility standards.
After its competitor UPS settled with U.S. authorities over accusations that it was a key link in the supply chain for Internet pharmacies, FedEx vowed to fight any charges that came its way. It will get the chance to do just that after the Justice Department filed charges against the international delivery service.
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Gilead Sciences' juggernaut, Sovaldi, keeps on rolling along despite the pushback from payers, politicians and health officials over the high price of the hepatitis C cure. It racked up another $3.5 billion sales in the second quarter, on top of the nearly $2.3 billion in the first, a sum that made it the fastest drug launch ever.
Researchers are hoping to get into the clinic in the next three to 5 years with a self-assembling nanoparticle that targets tumors. The idea behind the technology is to make cancer cells more identifiable when using magnetic resonance imaging screening.