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Merck Will Pay $650M to End Discount Probes

Drug company alleged to have kept Medicaid in dark on lowest prices

(Newser) - Drug company Merck will dish out $650 million to resolve lawsuits and probes into marketing schemes, the Wall Street Journal reports. Central to the investigations is the company’s “nominal pricing,” which slashed some drug prices by 90% for hospitals but hid the discounts from Medicaid, even though... More »

Big Pharma Faces Big Plunge

Profits will drop as patents expire, and chemical-based therapies are eclipsed by biotech

(Newser) - Patent protections on some of the pharmaceutical industry's best-selling drugs, like Lipitor, Plavix and Singulair, are due to expire in the next several years, and drug manufacturers have little in the pipeline to replace them. The drug companies will lose billions—as much as half their combined revenue—to generic... More »

Battle Brews in Pharma's Market

Pfizer launches attack on generic drug that threatens Lipitor's dominance

(Newser) - Pfizer is trying to stave off its own heart attack now that its flagship cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor faces stiff competition from a cheaper generic. Lipitor is still patent-protected, but a very similar drug called Zocor isn't, and since a generic version called simvastatin hit the market, many doctors and insurers... More »

FDA May Ease Rx Drug Sales

Agency considers 'behind-the-counter' drug sales by pharmacists

(Newser) - The federal Food and Drug Administration may allow more drugs to be sold by pharmacists without a prescription if they are kept behind the counter off display shelves. The FDA  announced a hearing next month to explore the "public health benefit of drugs being available without a prescription but... More »

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