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Archive: May, 2012

POSTED: Friday, May 18, 2012, 7:01 AM

Clopidogrel - known in branded form as Plavix - is the blood-thinning drug taken by millions of people with heart disease to avoid heart attacks and strokes and it will soon be on pharmacy shelves as a generic drug.

Plavix was made through a partnership of Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb and had U.S. sales of approximately $6.7 billion for the 12 months ending March 31, 2012, according to IMS Health.

This drug is for people who have already had some history of heart disease and need to avoid clotting problems that might lead to further heart attacks or a stroke.

POSTED: Thursday, May 17, 2012, 8:42 AM

Human Genome Sciences said Thursday that its board of directors again rejected the $2.6 billion takeover offer from GlaxoSmithKline.

The two companies have partnerships linking three of HGS's most-promising drugs, which might deter other potential bidders.

Still, HGS says the $13 per share offer is insufficient and urged shareholders not to sell shares to GSK.

POSTED: Thursday, May 17, 2012, 5:03 PM

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the beleaguered Fort Washington drug maker, recalled more products on Thursday.

This time, McNeil recalled one lot of Imodium Multi-Symptom Relief, an over-the-counter medicine for diarrhea, gas, bloating and cramps.

The company said the 53,892 packages in that lot are likely still with wholesalers, so the recall is directed mainly to them. Some of the packages might be torn.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 7:05 AM

Cardinal Health, one of the big three pharmaceutical wholesalers, reached an agreement with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, under which Cardinal Health will not ship controlled substances from its Lakeland, Fla., distribution center for two years.

Misuse of prescription painkillers have passed cocaine and heroin as drugs that kill people in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So-called pill mills in Florida have been one hotspot in that national problem.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 6:58 AM

San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals has been a takeover target for several months and more companies are reportedly looking at its books.

Amylin, which makes diabetes drugs Bydureon and Byetta, rejected a $3.9 billion offer from Bristol-Myers Squibb, which prompted a suit from investor Carl Icahn.

Icahn has since withdrawn the suit, but encouraged a sale of the company.

POSTED: Monday, May 14, 2012, 5:23 AM

The nation has a huge challenge and obligation regarding the soldiers and airmen, Marines and sailors, who are lucky enough to come home alive from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Battlefield medics and medicine, in-country surgeons and speedy airlift to hospitals in Germany and then the United States all contribute to service members surviving physical wounds that would have meant death in previous wars.

However, the psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can also be severe and are often not as identifiable as a broken bone.

POSTED: Friday, May 11, 2012, 7:06 AM

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted Thursday to endorse a pill that is supposed to prevent HIV infection.

Truvada is a once-a-day pill meant to ward off the virus for higher-risk patients, which includes heterosexual partners with one partner being HIV positive and gay and bisexual men.

Gilead Sciences Inc., is based in Foster City, Calif. The company makes Truvada and has sold it since 2004 as a treatment for HIV/AIDS. This request was to expand the label to include people who don't yet have the virus.

POSTED: Thursday, May 10, 2012, 7:26 AM

Opioid painkillers have pushed aside heroin and cocaine as the biggest drug killers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Because of that - and suspicions that pharmaceutical manufacturers are inappropriately pushing sales - Senate Finance Committee leaders, Max Baucus (D.-Montana) and Charles Grassley (R.- Iowa), began an investigation this week on the matter, though its not their first health-care inquiry.

Baucus and Grassley sent letters to drug companies and organizations they think support their causes, seeking information about payments to doctors to encourage them to write prescriptions.

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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