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2015 Pharma Year In Review

Drug pricing, appetite for acquisitions, and new technology make headlines in 2015

by Business Department
December 7, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 48


Credit: Shutterstock
A series of pill bottles ascending in height.
Credit: Shutterstock

With just weeks remaining in 2015, C&EN is taking stock of the biggest news and trends in the pharmaceutical industry. The following pages feature the stories that had the most impact—positive or negative—on companies, researchers, investors, and patients.

We take note of the themes that consistently found their way into the headlines, and even the presidential race, this year: the rapidly rising cost of drugs, the pressure for big companies to get even bigger, the promise and peril of the gene-editing technology CRISPR, and the great potential to harness the immune system to quash cancer.

We look at the launch of well-funded biotech companies, many of which were jockeying for lab space in Boston, a city that is emerging as the center of the life sciences universe. And we explore the financial trends that impacted the top 10 drug firms, a list that will get reshuffled if Pfizer’s recently announced deal to acquire Allergan is consummated next year.


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