Monday, December 22, 2014

Archive: March, 2012

POSTED: Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 7:06 AM

Tuesday is a big day - and a challenging one - for cancer crews at GlaxoSmithKline and Merck because both companies are scheduled to speak with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's oncologic drug advisory committee at FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.

The meeting starts at 8 a.m., and information about the web cast is here.

Both companies want government approval to sell drugs to treat versions of soft tissue sarcoma or bone sarcoma.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 5:24 AM

Until they need it, high-level corporate executives from plenty of sectors complain about the federal government and its involvement in their lives.

But the Justice Department is showing signs of increasing it crackdown in at least two areas, health care fraud and foreign corruption.

Justice has demanded that Johnson & Johnson, through its Janssen pharmaceutical unit, pay more than the $1 billion to settle civil charges on the illegal marketing of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal that was negotiated with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia, the Wall Street Journal reported. Bloomberg said the new figure demanded by Justice was $1.8 billion and that J&J had mulled raising its offer to $1.4 billion. The Journal story is here and the Bloomberg story is here.

POSTED: Monday, March 12, 2012, 7:30 AM

Universities of all sorts are looking for revenue to pay staff and keep tuition affordable, and Temple is trying to generate more money from scientific entrepreneurial ventures that it helps to launch.

To that end, Temple established an office at the University City Science Center to help fledgling companies gain profitable traction.

"These for-profit companies need space to grow and it doesn't always work in an academic space," said Tony Lowman, a bioengineering professor and university vice provost for research and business development. "Stephen Tang has done a phenomenal job in making that a place to be for companies getting started."

POSTED: Friday, March 9, 2012, 8:34 AM

Bernstein Research analyst Tim Anderson said in a note to clients that something has to give with AstraZeneca.

The English drugmaker, which has a big operation in Wilmington and Newark, Del., has struggled to deal with the common ailments of big pharma companies: loss of patent protection for top-selling drugs, pipelines not producing blockbuster replacements and pricing pressure from public and private insurers.

The company has cut jobs several times in the last two years.

POSTED: Thursday, March 8, 2012, 8:13 AM

Audrey Browne helps defend the prescription drug plan run for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union in in New York, District Council 37 to be precise.

"We are like a lot of plans, struggling to keep our heads above water," she said.

The plan has 313,000 members, many of them working poor, so drug benefits in a health plan matter.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 7, 2012, 1:19 PM

Coupons for drug co-payments are illegal and drive up long-term health-care costs for all, a consumer group and four trade-union health-insurance plans said Wednesday in announcing lawsuits against eight pharmaceutical companies.

Drug companies use co-pay coupons to entice patients to stay with higher-cost brand-name drugs and not switch to lower-cost generics.

Coupons reduce the consumer’s out-of-pocket cost at the pharmacy counter, but the payment process keeps that information from the health insurer, which still pays the previously negotiated price to the drug company. With no savings from generics, health plans will need to charge patients more to keep up with rising costs, the lawsuits say.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 7, 2012, 6:24 AM

Actor Michael J. Fox has Parkinson's disease and his foundation's efforts to fight the disease will translate into $468,000 for QR Pharma, a Berwyn start up, according to the company.

QR Pharma, Inc. is a clinical stage specialty pharmaceutical company trying to develop drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research gave QR Pharma the money to conduct research for the development of a drug called Posiphen to treat Parkinson's.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 1:22 PM

Synthes, Inc., the medical device maker with U.S. headquarters in Chester County, received a multi-point warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that criticizes the company for not following good manufacturing procedures and for not responding properly to complaints about products.

The FDA warning letter was posted on the agency site Tuesday and can be found here.

Previous Synthes coverage in the Inquirer can be found here.

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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