Saturday, October 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2014, 8:24 AM
Shire Pharmaceuticals Group corporate headquarters in Wayne, PA. (Tom Gralish / Inquirer) (INQUIRER GRALISH)
AbbVie's board of directors essentially pulled the plug on the drugmaker's $54 billion acquisition of Shire Pharmaceuticals because of tougher tax rules announced by the federal government in September to deter U.S. companies from deals designed to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

As it suggested it might do earlier this week, the AbbVie board voted Wednesday night to change its mind and recommend that AbbVie shareholders not approve the takeover of Shire, which was announced in July.

AbbVie's board was scheduled to meet Monday, but moved up its meeting after Shire earlier on Wednesday waived a requirement that AbbVie wait three business days before discussing the proposed agreement.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 7:45 AM
Shire P.L.C. is headquartered in Ireland but has operations in Exton and Wayne (above). (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer, file)
One of the more prominent tax inversion-prompted corporate takeovers appears to be coming undone because the U.S. Treasury Department stepped in to deter U.S. companies from trying to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes.

Drugmaker AbbVie, which is based near Chicago, had agreed to pay $54 billion to buy Shire, which is headquartered in Ireland but mainly operates from Chesterbrook in suburban Philadelphia.

Early Wednesday, AbbVie said in a statement that its board of directors is going to "reconsider" its recommendation to shareholders that they vote in favor of the deal.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 12:22 PM
Johnson & Johnson headquarters in New Brunswick, N.J.
Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson reported third quarter financial results Tuesday morning, with sales increasing to $18.5 billion, 5.1 percent more than the same period in 2013.

J&J's headquarters is in New Brunswick, and it has several other facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Sales of the company's hepatitis C drug Olysio helped boost the pharmaceutical division, but several companies compete in that category, so the high prices many of them charge might drop a bit. A bit.

POSTED: Monday, October 6, 2014, 3:53 PM

Teva Pharmaceuticals would not say Monday afternoon on how many people lose jobs in the wake of Monday morning's announcement that it will discontinue 14 pipeline projects in it women's health and oncology divisions.

Teva is based in Israel, but it has multiple facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

"At this time, we are not disclosing any additional information beyond that provided in the release," Denise Bradley, Teva vice president for global corporate reputation, said via email.

POSTED: Friday, October 3, 2014, 2:44 PM
How do you define - and price - value and benefit?

In an article posted Friday on the Journal of American Medical Association website (free, link here), Dr. Peter B. Bach of the Health Outcomes Research Group at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, writes that some in his community are worried that the high prices of some drugs are not properly linked to their benefits and value.

"As policy makers consider how to handle high-priced drugs, an important concern is that the price of the drug is not currently linked to its benefits," Bach wrote.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 2:46 PM
Shire Pharmaceuticals L.L.C. will pay $56.5 million to settle allegations that it inappropriately promoted the sale of ADHD medicine, among other drugs, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia said Wednesday.

Shire is registered in the Channel Islands and headquartered in Dublin, but operates from the United States, including Wayne. Drugmaker AbbVie has a deal to buy Shire for $54 billion, in hopes of re-registering for the sake of lowering the corporate taxes it pays. Ireland has lower corporate taxes than the United States.

Shire admitted no wrongdoing, but also entered into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 12:22 PM
Officials for drug maker Auxilium ring the opening bell on June 25, 2012. (Photo from Nasdaq.com)

Chesterbrook-based drugmaker Auxilium Pharmaceuticals responded Wednesday to the unsolicited takeover offer from Endo International, P.L.C., by saying it will look at the offer — as required by financial regulations — but also by instituting a poison pill stock dividend plan to ward off Endo.

Endo valued the cash-and-stock offer at $28.10 per share, or $2.2 billion in total, but it did not specify how much was stock and how much was cash.

Endo chief executive officer Rajiv De Silva sent the takeover letter to Auxilium CEO Adrian Adams Friday night and then went public with the offer after the stock market closed in New York on Tuesday.

POSTED: Thursday, September 4, 2014, 3:50 PM
This is a big day for Merck, which got fast-track approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a new drug to fight cancer.

The FDA said "yes" to Keytruda, which is the brand name for pembrolizumab. It is the first anti-PD-1 drug approved by the FDA for treatment of some of the deadly forms of melanoma.

Merck & Co., is based in Whitehouse Stations, N.J., and employs thousands of people in Montgomery County.

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

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

Reach David at dsell@phillynews.com.

David Sell
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