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Biotech and Pharma News: Justice Deparment Investigates CVS Prescription Fraud


Plus, Merck and Theravance sign $153 million partnership, and more!

This column highlights the most useful biotechnology and pharmaceutical news and commentary from around the Web.

Los Angeles Times
US Investigating CVS Prescription Refills
"The US Justice Department's civil fraud division is investigating claims that CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) wrongly refilled prescriptions and billed insurers without the knowledge or the approval of its customers....The investigation also will look into whether CVS violated a $17.5-million settlement reached with federal authorities last year over allegedly falsified claims to Medicaid programs in California and nine other states..."

Press Republican
Walgreens Must Refund Flu Shots
"The New York State Attorney General's Office has reached a settlement with the Walgreen Co. (NYSE:WAG) after an investigation determined that more than 3,000 people insured by the New York State Empire Plan were misled into thinking they were covered for flu shots administered at the pharmacy when they were not."'
Wells Fargo Analysts Upgrade Abbott Laboratories to 'Outperform'
"Analysts at Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) upgraded pharmaceutical company Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) from 'Market Perform' to 'Outperform' on Friday...."

Seeking Alpha
Bristol-Myers Squibb Offers a 4% Yield With a Significant Upside
"Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) currently offers a compelling, low-risk way of capitalizing on the next wave of pharmaceutical breakthroughs...this article will explore the three main disease state categories that will power BMY to future gains."

Eli Lillly's Stomach-Cancer Drug Improves Survival
"Eli Lilly & Co.'s (NYSE:LLY) experimental stomach cancer drug helped patients with advanced disease live longer, a study found. The shares rose....The most common side effects for the medicine, called ramucirumab, were high blood pressure, diarrhea and headache, the Indianapolis-based company said in a statement today."

Montreal Gazette
GlaxoSmithKline Wins Supreme Court Tax Case
"The Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday for GlaxoSmithKline Plc (NYSE:GSK) in a tax case that centered on whether the drug conglomerate charged its Canadian subsidiary inappropriately high prices for ingredients so that it could avoid Canadian taxes."

Daily Finance
Can Anything Stop Johnson & Johnson?
"Shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) hit a 52-week high on Wednesday. Let's take a look at how it got there and see if clear skies are still in the forecast...Far removed from the instability of Europe's debt crisis and China's growth slowdown, J&J's cash flow continues to stream in uninterrupted, year-in and year-out."

Fox Business
Pfizer's Inlyta Drug Misses Primary Endpoint
"Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) said a late-stage study of its drug Inlyta for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma didn't meet its primary endpoint."

Link: FDA Panel Backs Sanofi SA, Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. Drug for Rare Disorder

"Reuters reported that a US Food and Drug Administration panel of outside experts recommended Sanofi SA's (NYSE:SNY) and Isis Pharmaceutical Inc's (NASDAQ:ISIS) drug, Kynamro, for treatment of a rare genetic disorder that causes unusually high cholesterol and life-threatening cardiovascular disease..."

Pharma Times
Merck & Co and Theravance Sign $153 Million Cardio Pact
"Merck & Co (NYSE:MRK) is linking up with Theravance (NASDAQ:THRX) to develop treatments that target hypertension and heart failure....In exchange for granting the US giant a worldwide, exclusive license to its therapeutic candidates, Theravance will receive $5 million upfront, funding for research, and be eligible for milestone payments up to $148 million for the first indication."

Wall Street Journal
Watson's Bottom Line to Get Lift From Actavis
"Generic drug maker Actavis is growing faster than the European sector, according to its chief executive, and is set to contribute at least €2 billion ($2.6 billion) in sales this year to US based Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:WPI), which bought the Switzerland based competitor earlier this year."

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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