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Pharma year in review

Millionaires, mergers, mosquitos, and more made for big stories in 2016

December 5, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 48

As 2016 draws to a close, C&EN takes a look back at 10 stories that shaped the pharmaceutical industry.

The year began with the expectation that Pfizer and Allergan would join to become the world’s largest drugmaker, but it was not to be. A proposed change in U.S. tax law prompted the firms to go their separate ways. Numerous smaller deals by both soon followed.

The human dimensions of the drug industry opened up in stories of the controversial approval of eteplirsen, a therapy for a rare disease that affects young boys, and of the fight against the Zika virus and its tragic impact on pregnant women.

Another story was of tech multimillionaires such as Sean Parker and Mark Zuckerberg getting into the drug discovery act with new institutes dedicated to curing cancer and other diseases.

Others were about drug pricing and FDA’s crackdown on shoddy practices at overseas companies.

The year ended with a story that could affect the drug industry for years to come: Donald Trump’s unexpected win in the U.S. presidential race. What that outcome means for pharmaceutical firms will start to unfold in the early months of 2017.


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