Saturday, February 6, 2016

POSTED: Thursday, January 14, 2016, 5:11 PM

     The scribbler behind PhillyPharma is moving on to a new stage of life at our media company. Thank you for reading. All the best.


POSTED: Friday, December 4, 2015, 2:58 PM
GSK employs thousands in the Philadelphia area, including at a research and development facility in Upper Merion. (David Sell, Inquirer staff)

The ever-more public debate about the price of prescription drugs and healthcare overall is not the first such debate.

But GlaxoSmithKline's Jamey Millar, senior vice president for managed markets and government affairs, said Thursday in Philadelphia that this discussion feels different from the early-to-mid 1990s when then-First Lady Hillary Clinton led an effort to reform how America's expensive, inefficient, gap-ridden, dysfunctional healthcare system operates.

And the difference, Millar said, is only partially a function of Clinton running for president.

POSTED: Friday, November 27, 2015, 2:30 PM
Lannett Co., maker of generic drugs, is among firms subpoenaed in a federal investigation of large rises in generic-drug prices. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)

Philadelphia-based drugmaker Lannett Company, Inc. said Friday that it closed its $1.23 billion purchase of Princeton-based Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc., the U.S. specialty generic pharmaceuticals subsidiary of Belguim-based UCB S.A.

Lannett said in its statement that the two companies combined to produce revenue of more than $800 million for the 12 months ended June 30, 2015.

Lannett has one branded product and the rest of its business is generic pharmaceuticals. Lannett has three facilities in Philadelphia and two other properties it hopes to develop.

POSTED: Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 8:51 AM

Congressional Democrats, who have grabbed headlines and started investigations about drug pricing, have launched a task force to address the issue and they are planning an announcement Wednesday.

Last week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a report saying that high costs for prescription drug costs are the top concern for 77 percent of people recently surveyed. The KFF noted that it was the top priority of Democrats, Republicans and independents, with seven in 10 in each group citing drug prices being a concern.

A link to the KFF report is here.

POSTED: Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 8:57 AM
GSK employs thousands in the Philadelphia area, including at a research and development facility in Upper Merion. (David Sell, Inquirer staff)

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty declined to comment Tuesday morning when asked on a conference call with reporters if the London-based drugmaker had rebuffed Pfizer's initial approach about a takeover.

The Financial Times reported Tuesday that Pfizer made the inquiry, got a chilly response and then shifted focus to acquiring Allergan. Allergan said last week that it had received Pfizer's inquiry and the two companies were engaged in talks. The FT requires registration, but a link to the home page is here.

The GSK conference call was previously arranged as part of an investor day being held in New York to discuss research and development projects.

POSTED: Monday, November 2, 2015, 7:42 AM
A sign sits in front of Shire's manufacturing facility in Lexington, Massachusetts July 18, 2014. (Reuters)

Shire, PLC, said Monday it will pay about $5.9 billion to buy Dyax Corp., a Massachusetts-based company whose most prominent drug candidate is designed to treat a rare disease that causes swelling in various body parts but has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

 Shire is based in Ireland and has a presence, albeit declining, in the Philadelphia region.

For Shire, Dyax's most appealing future product is, for now, called DX-2930. It is meant to treat a form of hereditary angioedema (HAE), which is an orphan disease by FDA standards, meaning there are fewer than 200,000 patients.

POSTED: Thursday, October 29, 2015, 5:25 PM
At a distribution facility, boxes filled with orders for (AmerisourceBergen)

Drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen, Pennslyvania's largest company by revenue, said its full-year sales increased from $119.57 billion in 2014 to $135.96 billion in its fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

AmerisourceBergen, whose top executives work in Conshohocken and Chesterbrook, said it had a full-year loss of $134.89 million after posting a profit of $284.03 million in 2014.

AmerisourceBergen recorded an expense of $912.72 million in 2015, compared to $422.74 million in 2014, on managing stock warrants issued to Walgreens Boots Alliance, resulting in the loss.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 2, 2015, 6:10 PM

Philadelphia drugmaker Lannett Company, Inc. said Wednesday it agreed to pay $1.23 billion for Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc., the U.S. specialty generic pharmaceuticals subsidiary of Belgian-based UCB S.A.

Lannett, which has operated in Philadelphia since 1942, said the deal includes Kremer Urban’s 381,000 square foot facility in Seymour, Ind. In its statement, Lannett said that “cost savings are anticipated immediately following the transaction and increasing to more than $40 million annually after the third year.”

There was no immediate word on whether that would mean layoffs in Philadelphia.

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

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

Reach David at or 215-854-4506.

David Sell Staff Writer
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