Top Story

Morning Read: Is Martin Shkreli pharma’s version of the patent troll?

Also, the narrative shifts for FDA nominee Robert Califf, good news on Merck’s c. diff treatment, and here’s one part of Obamacare everyone hates.


Martin Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals are getting the backlash they deserve – in the form of backhands across the face by the likes of John Carroll, as well as in-depth examinations by The New York Times.

When you take a drug, and change the price from $13.50 to $750 and provide a response that’s essentially:

You’re going to have a problem.

Dr. Aberg of Mount Sinai said some hospitals will now find Daraprim too expensive to keep in stock, possibly resulting in treatment delays. She said that Mount Sinai is continuing to use the drug, but each use now requires a special review.

“This seems to be all profit driven for somebody,” she said, “and I just think it’s a very dangerous process.”

The medical industry doesn’t deal with patent trolls in the way the tech sector does. But drug-price spiking seems to be healthcare’s generic alternative. – FierceBiotech,  The New York Times & Forbes

On Friday the story was that Robert Califf, nominee to run the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, received $200,000 in consulting fees from pharmaceutical companies and the fees were donated to nonprofit groups. By Saturday, the story Califf has “deeper ties to the pharmaceutical industry than any F.D.A. commissioner in recent memory.” What’s next? – The Wall Street Journal & The New York Times

sponsored content

A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.


Cancer drug startup Deciphera has raised $75 million through New Leaf Venture Partners. Next stop: IPO? – Xconomy

BioClinica acquired Synowledge to expand into the drug safety and regulatory business process outsourcing market.  – PRNewswire

Shire ‘s ADHD treatment INTUNIV won European Union marketing approval for use in children. – PRNewswire

A better tool to look through drug research? The site,, let’s you search several databases at once and regurgitates any research on the topic in a clean(ish), Google-esque way. – TechCrunch

The latest study on Merck’s c. diff drug is promising – it cuts the risk of infection by 10 percent. – Reuters


India home healthcare company Portea Medical closed $37.5 million in funding from the likes of Accel and Qualcomm Ventures. – Business Wire


AltusCampus, which has an online platform meant to improve managing continuing medical education in healthcare, is closing $800,000 in seed money (but will be raising a bigger A-round soon). – Xconomy

MedData has acquired the Alegis Revenue Group. – Business Wire


One part of Obamacare everyone seems to hate: a rule that will increase premiums for small and mid-sized businesses. Look for changes in that part of the law if Congress can continue to play nice about it. The New York Times


Here’s something to kick around the startup watercooler: a list of six tests that measure your potential as an entrepreneur (among them the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Gallup’s Clifton Strength Finder, Marcus Buckingham StandOut Assessment and MAPP Career Assessment). Three questions: Have you taken them? How did you score? Do you agree with the list? – Startup Professionals Musings

Photo: Twitter