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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: July, 2012

POSTED: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 3:50 PM

Billion-dollar fines for inappropriate drug marketing are considered part of the cost of doing business for pharmaceutical companies, industry critics argue, and such conduct won't change until more executives go to jail for illegal activity.

Asked Wednesday about that criticism, GlaxoSmithKline chief executive officer Andrew Witty said he would let "governments and society" choose the drivers of enforcement. But he insisted his company is operating in cleaner manner under his watch, whatever anyone might think in the wake of Glaxo's recent $3 billion payment for conduct under its previous leadership.

"The question of how people get punished or how entities get punished is a big question," Witty said. "It goes far beyond the drug industry and is for others to think about. I can absolutely answer you that I don't think it would have made any difference to the seriousness with which this organization has dealt with and reacted to the issues brought to our attention.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 9:20 AM

Because so many mental health mysteries remain unsolved - and difficult to define - pharmaceutical companies view the area with great hope for profits.

It's not an accident that many of biggest criminal and civil fines paid by pharmaceutical companies involve antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs.

With people living longer - often because of completely legitimate use of drugs - Alzheimer's disease is more and more of an issue. Most people want to keep living longer and not suffer the debilitating effects of the disease. Populations in many developed nations are getting older.

POSTED: Monday, July 23, 2012, 5:50 AM

Being the United Kingdom's largest pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline is all in when it comes to the Summer Olympics, which open Friday in London.

Sunday's Inquirer story is here.

Glaxo will not do actual testing of urine and blood samples, but it contributed a drug-testing laboratory in Harlow, Essex, along with equipment and expertise, worth about 20 million pounds, which converts to about $31.3 million.

POSTED: Friday, July 20, 2012, 9:15 AM

We wrap up the week by mentioning several issues involving pharmaceuticals and pharmacies. Oh, and money and more money.

First, a group of consumers will actually get nary a dime in a case they brought against McNeil Consumer Healthcare related to the dozens of recalls involving the Fort Washington-based unit of Johnson & Johnson.

Philadelphia federal district court judge Mary McLaughlin said in a memo - followed by an order to dismiss the case - that customers who bought McNeil products could not sue because they did not demonstrate any harm had come to them from using products recalled by McNeil.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 9:13 AM

To listen to Johnson & Johnson's new chief executive officer Alex Gorsky Tuesday during the quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts, one might have thought there is no bigger fan of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"We feel very good about our overall relationship with the FDA," said Gorsky, who succeeded Bill Weldon as CEO in April.

But J&J is in a dicey position regarding the federal government on several fronts, so anything short of happy talk would have been shocking.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 8:26 AM

Health-care giant Johnson & Johnson reported Tuesday that second-quarter overall revenue fell and profit dropped nearly 50 percent over the same time period in 2011.

Currency rates, acquisition and integration costs of recently-acquired medical device maker Synthes, Inc., and costs related to litigation for artificial hips and the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal were all factors that hurt the financial performance in the quarterly report.

The second-quarter sales were $16.5 billion, a decrease of 0.7 percent over the second quarter of 2011.

POSTED: Monday, July 16, 2012, 8:04 AM

GlaxoSmithKline said Monday it has a deal to buy Human Genome Sciences for about $3 billion, which is $400 million more than the London-based drugmaker offered in April.

GSK has operations in Center City and the Philadelphia suburbs.

In April, GSK offered $2.6 billion, or $13 per share, for HGS, which is based in Rockville, Md.

POSTED: Saturday, July 14, 2012, 9:00 AM

AmerisourceBergen is the largest company by revenue with headquarters in Pennsylvania.

Don’t worry, if you didn’t know. You’re not alone.

Valley Forge-based drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen Corp. is unknown to most consumers, but is smack in the middle of the pharmaceutical supply chain, which is why it had $80.2 billion in revenue in its fiscal year ending Sept. 30 and is 29th on the Fortune 500 list.

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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