Stories by Emily Karl

Drug development costs may be far lower than companies claim

Gregory Bull / AP

The cost to develop a cancer drug may be significantly lower than what some companies claim, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

  • The study found the median cost to develop a cancer drug is $648 million — much lower than the commonly cited $2 billion figure, which originated from a Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development report that used private datasets.
  • Drug companies justify high prices for new drugs by citing high research and development costs. But in this study of 10 cancer drugs developed by biotech companies and approved between 2006 and 2015, some of the companies made more than 10 times as much as they spent on research and development.
  • Limitations: Business Insider points out that the study didn't look at larger pharmaceutical companies, which may invest differently in R&D, and exclusively analyzed cancer drugs that may carry different costs — and revenues — compared to other fields.

Go deeper: Putting a price on new cancer treatments

Teva has a new CEO

Dan Balilty / AP

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has named Kare Schultz chief executive after a month without permanent leadership, per the WSJ. Schultz was president and CEO of the Danish company H. Lundbeck since May 2015.

What he has to work with: Debt and a clashing executive board. As of June 2017, the Israeli company had racked up $35.1 billion in debt, which has increased significantly since it acquired Allergan's generic drug business for $40.5 billion. The executive board has been debating whether its focus should be on generic drugs or specialty medicine investments.

Why it matters: Teva is a major manufacturer of generic drugs and finally has a new CEO to steer the ship as it deals with pressure on generic prices.

Apple branches into video streaming

Alan Diaz / AP

Apple has its eyes set on television, luring two TV executives away from Sony Corp. in June with $1 billion to spend on original shows over the next year, per AP. The programming would be available with a subscription, likely combined with Apple Music.

Who: Newly hired executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg brought Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan to Sony and helped develop The Crown on Netflix.

What to look for: Breaking into television is something Steve Jobs hoped for, telling his biographer he wanted to make television sets "simple and elegant." Creating its own shows is hardly pioneering television sets, but if Apple succeeds it could branch out to other TV-related products.

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