Generic Drugs, Antibiotics Get A Boost
Ro plans to supply generics of Lipitor and Norvasc through its virtual mail-order company. Also in the news: Lawmakers want to create a new payment model to encourage drugmakers to create antibiotics; and biotech firm G1 Therapeutics announces a CEO change.
Telehealth Startup Ro Expands Generics Partnership With Pfizer
Telehealth startup Ro is expanding its partnership with pharma giant Pfizer’s generics arm to offer its generic versions of commonly prescribed blood pressure and cholesterol medications. Through its virtual mail-order pharmacy, Ro will supply Pfizer-produced generics of Lipitor, a cholesterol drug, and Norvasc, a hypertension medication. The medications will be made available through Ro’s $5-per-month prescription drug service, which launched earlier this year and which doesn’t take insurance. (Runwal, 9/30)
New Bill Aims To Jumpstart Antibiotic Development With A Subscription Model
In a bid to combat antimicrobial resistance, two U.S. lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill that would create a new payment model to encourage drug makers to develop antibiotics. Known as the Pasteur Act, the legislation would establish a subscription-style model to offer upfront payments to pharmaceutical companies in exchange for unlimited access to their antibiotics. The idea is to enable drug makers to recover their costs and make an appropriate profit without having to sell large volumes of antibiotics. (Silverman, 9/30)
With A New CEO, A Small Biotech Is Out To Prove Wall Street Wrong
G1 Therapeutics, a North Carolina biotech company, is changing CEOs on the eve of an expected first FDA approval and hoping to shatter the industry truism about small companies struggling to sell products. Mark Velleca, who has led G1 since 2014, will step down Jan. 1 and be replaced by Jack Bailey, a 30-year pharmaceutical veteran who currently sits on the company’s board. That transition will come about a month before the FDA is slated to rule on G1’s trilaciclib, an intravenous treatment designed to preventively reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. (Garde, 9/30)