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Published on 09/01/17 at 10:55am

Happy New Year from us here at Pharmafocus! As we leave 2016 behind, take a look at ten of its biggest stories, according to our readers.

It was a busy year as usual for the pharma industry and a look at the most popular articles throughout 2016 reveals a good cross-section of where the industry stands at present. There are the big drug developments that have caused waves in the industry, the introduction of a whole new category of drug and the usual, eye-grabbing smattering of scandals.

10. Astellas UK suspended from ABPI for “deception”

This story emerged a year after the original story, wherein Astellas was found to have breached the ABPI code by arranging a meeting, in Milan, on the pretext of it being an ‘advisory board meeting’. Yet it was revealed that less than half of the time had been spent obtaining advice from the health care officials present. As a result of this, ABPI took strong action on the pharmaceutical company – one that is still imposed on the company as of writing.

9. GSK explains decision to halt payments to doctors

From one on-going story to another, this one started at the very beginning of 2016. GSK announced a policy that began on 1 January that it would no longer pay doctors to promote its products at medical seminars. The move garnered serious attention in pharmaceutical industry as other companies wondered whether it was a step that they would need to follow.

8. Five major pharma firms break ABPI code of conduct, according to watchdog

This recent revelation saw five pharmaceutical companies in the line of fire, after having breached the ABPI code of conduct. In a separate twist, four companies was found to contravene the code in different ways.

7. First Enbrel biosimilar launches in UK

Biosimilars have gradually gained a presence this year as more and more are being approved for use. This news story proved to be a ground-breaking first approval and leads directly onto the next mostly widely read story.

6. British Biosimilars Association launches in UK

With the launch of the first biosimilar, there was a need for an industry body to increase understanding and uptake of the drugs. This particular UK-focused group were aiming to improve uptake in the UK, which still lags behind European and even the US markets.

5. UK lung cancer patients get early access to breakthrough BMS drug

One of the biggest stories of 2016 was the impact that immuno-oncology had upon the fight on cancer, so it’s no surprise that one of our most read stories concerns Opdivo’s impact on the market.

4. Zuckerberg appoints AstraZeneca’s Cornelia Bargmann

Big names often mean big news and there are few bigger names in the world than the founder of the largest social network, Mark Zuckerberg. There’s more to the story than at first glance, as it demonstrates a wider shift towards the large tech companies making move into the healthcare field, bringing their own expertise with them.

3. AstraZeneca sells off third drug in five days

A big news story from late in the year saw AstraZeneca do exactly as the title suggests. It came at a tricky period in the year, as Brilinta failed in clinical trials shortly before the fire sale of drugs. Brilinta had been predicted to make $3.5 billion in sales.

2. Mylan latest target of US anger on drug pricing with EpiPen price increase

In a year dominated by the discussion of drug prices, it’s not surprise that a story on Mylan would appear on our top stories. There’s been a flurry of news stories generated by this turbulent period in Mylan’s history, with more news appearing regularly. This included a generic rival to Mylan’s EpiPen being shot down and then the recent news that Mylan will even release its own generic – in competition with its own branded medication.

1. 80% of Chinese clinical trials' data fabricated

The most read news story of the year is by far the most staggering – the release of the Chinese own government review that the clinical data produced by pharmaceutical companies was largely fraudulent.

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