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April 21, 2014

Vol. 11 No. 78

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Opko Health Acquires Israeli Devicemaker

Opko Health said Thursday it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Israeli-based Inspiro Medical, giving the drugmaker a delivery vehicle for its respiratory therapies. Read More

United Health: New Hepatitis C Drug Costs Far More Than Forecast

UnitedHealth Group said it spent more than $100 million to cover a pricey new hepatitis C drug from Gilead Sciences in its first three months on the market, an amount that was “multiple” times what it had expected. Read More

Cancer Doctors Plan to Compare Value of Expensive Drugs

The world’s largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients. Read More

Google Pitches Pharma on YouTube Merits for DTC Advertising

The pharmaceutical industry is warming up to direct-to-consumer advertising on YouTube, but Google, which acquired the media channel in 2006, would like drug companies to get a lot warmer. Read More

FDA Import Holds: How to Win Releases and Fight Holds and Refusals

The Food and Drug Administration faces a growing challenge in overseeing the safety of those imported products that it regulates. Just a decade ago, 6 million shipments of FDA-regulated goods passed annually through the 300 ports of entry in the United States. In 2011, that number will top 24 million—a fourfold increase. In each of the last seven years, the number of pharmaceutical products entering U.S. ports has increased by 13 percent on average. For medical devices, the average annual increase has been more than 10 percent. The trend is expected to continue at an overall growth rate of 15 percent per year through 2015. Read More

Groups Urge Tennessee Governor to Veto Prenatal Drug Use Bill

A bill is headed for the governor’s desk in Tennessee that would allow for a woman to be prosecuted if she illegally takes drugs while pregnant and the child is harmed. Read More

Free Drug Samples Come at a Cost to Patients, Study Says

Dermatologists tend to prescribe more expensive medications when they also give their patients drug samples, according to a new U.S. study. Read More

OxThera Secures $10M Investment to Continue Clinical Programs

Swedish biopharmaceutical firm OxThera has received $10 million from a syndicate of new investors, led by Kurma Partners, including IdInvest Partners and Mayo Clinic, to continue its major clinical programs. Read More