Monday, September 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Friday, September 27, 2013, 9:57 AM

A decision this week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is the latest in a debate about whether multiple lawsuits alleging harm to patients from the same pharmaceutical product should be heard in state courts or federal courts.

The 2-1 opinion by the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit, which conservatives generally view as much too liberal, favored Judith Romo, other plaintiffs and their attorneys and against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA. Teva is based in Israel, but its Americas headquarters is in North Wales, Montgomery County.

Conservatives and business groups hope the decision in Romo v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA will eventually lead to a Supreme Court hearing to settle the issue. With a conservative majority in the Supreme Court, business groups like their chances in that venue.

POSTED: Thursday, September 26, 2013, 9:41 AM

Pharmaceutical companies have been trying hard to squeeze as much revenue out of every drug they develop, which can mean seeking approval for different ailments or expansion of the groups that might benefit from that same drug.

The theory is that having already done the research and testing, they will expand the consumers of such medicine.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 9:42 AM
"I intend to speak until I am no longer able to stand," Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said Tuesday in his push to defund the Affordable Care Act.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) said he would keep talking on the Senate floor, in hopes of killing Obamacare, "until I am no longer able to stand."

If Cruz literally falls down and hits his head on a lectern or the floor, he might need medical care. As a government employee, taxpayer-funded health insurance probably would cover most of the cost of a visit to the hospital emergency room, doctors, medicine, supplies and so forth.

Perhaps in his zeal, Cruz will pay for all of it himself, if only to make a point. (Or he might have a rich, conservative, Tea Party donor pay the tab.)

POSTED: Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 9:08 AM

Consolidation in the medical device segment of health care continued Wednesday as Stryker Corp., said it will pay $1.65 billion to buy MAKO Surgical Corp.

Stryker is based in Kalamazoo, Mich., but sells nationally and competes with Johnson & Johnson's Synthes/DePuy division among others. Synthes was based in West Chester until it was bought by J&J for $19.7 billion.

MAKO was founded only in 2004 and is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Most of its acclaim within the industry was around its robotic devices used by surgeons.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 8:52 AM

As colleague Harold Brubaker wrote in Tuesday's Inquirer, former Merck chief executive officer and chairman Richard Clark will help the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia try to raise more cash by guiding what the church says is an independent charitable foundation. A link to the story is here.

The church's hope is that after scandals involving priests or church officials sexually abusing children or looking the other way, disaffected Catholics might reach for their wallets more often if the charitable foundation seemed a bit more independent. That gives birth to the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia.

Clark, who still lives in Bucks County, spent 39 years at Merck. He was CEO of the pharmaceutical giant from May 2005 through December 2010. He became chairman of the board of directors in 2007. Philly native Ken Frazier has since replaced Clark as CEO and chairman of the board.

POSTED: Monday, September 23, 2013, 7:08 AM
GlaxoSmithKline's Duncan Learmouth

The United Nations General Assembly gets underway in earnest this week in New York and the Millennium Development Goals for 2015 will get special attention on Wednesday.

The goals were:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

POSTED: Thursday, September 19, 2013, 9:29 AM

Google has joined the search for the fountain of youth and ways to alleviate the problems of aging.

The Internet giant, which has changed the world in other ways, announced Wednesday that it was starting a biotech research company called Calico that, "will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases," according to the company statement. A link is here.

Calico, which is short for California Life Company, according to Arthur D. Levinson, who will be the chief executive officer and founding investor.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 9:04 AM
CDC researcher Kitty Anderson examines samples of bacteria. (Photo courtesy of CDC)

Just wipe your nose and stop whining.

Don't run to the doctor and demand that she or he give you a prescription for antibiotics just because you have the sniffles. Drink more water and get a good night's sleep.

If you keep using the antibiotics for middling, run-of-the-mill problems like a runny nose, they might not work when you develop a really nasty infection after landing in the emergency room with some horrible injury and a surgeon has to put your organs and limbs back in their proper places.

About this blog
David Sell blogs about the region's pharmaceutical industry. Follow him on Facebook.

For Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

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