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Top Ten most popular articles on this week!

Published on 05/04/19 at 10:54am

As Brexit looms, pharma trade lobby the ABPI called for a ban on exports of medicines in the case of no-deal Brexit. The industry organisation warned that a plummeting pound could incentivise distributors to sell drugs in markets abroad.

Meanwhile, this month’s feature ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love the placebo effect’ looked at what placebos mean for clinical trials. In talking to Harvard professor Dr Ted Kaptchuk, Louis Goss asked what the placebo effect is and what it means.

Nevertheless, Swiss multinational Novartis were told they must face kickback allegations in court while our top story covered the news that AstraZeneca’s Lyrica was made a class C drug in Northern Ireland amid more than 30 deaths. Check out this week’s top ten stories on! 

10. Vertex destroyed nearly 8,000 packs of Orkambi in 2018

Vertex destroyed nearly 8,000 packs of the $272,000 a year cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi in 2018, the company said in a letter to Sarah Wollaston MP.

9. Novartis must face kickback allegations in court

The US government has accused Novartis of paying doctors millions of dollars in kickbacks as part of a “company-wide kickback scheme.”

8. Sangamo and Pfizer's gene therapy increases FVIII activity in severe haemophilia A in early study

Sangamo Therapeutics and Pfizer have unveiled new Phase 1/2 data for their jointly developed investigational gene therapy SB-525, demonstrating that the treatment “was generally well-tolerated and demonstrated a dose-dependent increase in Factor VIII (FVIII) levels” across four dosages in severe haemophilia A.

7. Janssen closes plant in California, 49 positions axed

Janssen are letting go of 49 employees due to the closure of their plant in Vacaville, California.

6. NICE recommends Eli Lilly's Verzenio in combination with Fulvestrant for breast cancer

Britain’s cost effectiveness body, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has recommended Eli Lilly’s Verzenio (abemaciclib) in combination with Fulvestrant, for women with advanced breast cancer. The drug will be available to NHS patients through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

5. CHMP recommendation for bluebird bio's gene therapy in β-thalassaemia

Massachusetts-based bluebird bio has taken a significant leap forward in its pursuit of regulatory authorisation for its first gene therapy, Zynteglo, securing recommendation from the EMA’s CHMP in the treatment of transfusion-dependent β-thalassaemia (TDT).

4. AstraZeneca's early-stage Fasenra study smashes primary endpoint in hypereosinophilic syndrome

AstraZeneca has revealed new data for Fasenra (benralizumab), demonstrating that patients using the drug can “achieve near-complete depletion of eosinophils and improve clinical outcomes” in hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES)

3. ABPI calls for temporary export ban in effort to prevent shortages in case of no-deal Brexit

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has called for a temporary ban on exports as a means of preventing shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

2. Feature – How I learned to stop worrying and love the placebo effect

Louis Goss talks to Harvard Medical School placebo expert Dr Ted Kaptchuk in asking what the placebo effect means for doctors, patients and pharmaceutical companies in clinical trials.

1. Lyrica to be made class C drug in Northern Ireland

Pregabalin – sold under the brand name Lyrica – will now be treated as a class C drug in Northern Ireland.

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