Monday, March 30, 2015

POSTED: Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 8:07 AM
Johnson & Johnson's products. (Photo illustration by Chris Hondros / Getty Images)
Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that its revenue rose 4.2 percent and its profit soared 18 percent for all of 2014.

J&J released financial results for the year and the fourth quarter, both of which ended Dec. 31. The company said it had sales of $74.331 billion in 2014 compared to $71.312 billion in all of 2013. The full-year profit increased from $13.831 billion in 2013 to $16.323 billion in 2014.

The fourth quarter was more challenging for the company. Quarterly sales declined .6 percent and the profit fell 28.4 percent.

POSTED: Monday, January 19, 2015, 4:31 PM
HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell (center) discusses the healthcare needs of Project HOME clients with Monica McCurdy (left), vice president for healthcare services, and Sister Mary Scullion, president of Project HOME. They met at the Stephen Klein Wellness Center in Philadelphia for a Martin Luther King day of service. (David Sell, Inquirer staff)
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell joined Project HOME president Sister Mary Scullion Monday for a discussion of signing up people for the health insurance as part of the Dr. Martin Luther King day of service. They gathered at the Project HOME's Stephen Klein Wellness Center at the corner of 22nd Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue in Philadelphia.The Project HOME website is here.

"I am pleased to introduce to you the woman who is leading the charge for quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans," Scullion said in her introduction of Burwell to the people gathered in the lobby. "On this anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's birth, I can think of no other issue that deserves the attention and support of all Americans more than making healthcare accessible to all."

Burwell, who took over HHS from Kathleen Sebelius in June of 2014, said the Klein Wellness Center was chosen for a day of service visit because Project HOME is helping the uninsured apply for health insurance in advance of the Feb. 15 deadline. The center is across the street from the Martin Luther King Adult Center. The face of the building includes a photo-mural of King and other civil rights leaders during the march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965.

POSTED: Friday, January 9, 2015, 9:44 AM
Endo International P.L.C., which operates from Malvern, said Friday it is again changing executives below chief executive officer Rajiv De Silva.

Endo is completing the acquisition of Auxilium, which operates in nearby Chesterbrook. On Jan. 5, Endo said that chief legal officer Caroline B. Manogue would retire on July 1. On Friday, Endo said Don DeGolyer, the chief operating officer of the pharmaceuticals division "has decided to leave Endo to pursue other opportunities." DeGolyer will step down effective March 1 and remain as an advisor until Aug. 1.

The rest of the Endo statement is here.

POSTED: Friday, January 9, 2015, 9:19 AM
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
With a new year and new Senate alignment, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey said again Thursday that Congress should repeal the medical device tax that was designed to help pay for part of the Affordable Care Act, but not at the expense of the whole law.

"I have supported the repeal of the medical device tax," Casey said in a conference call with reporters. "If we can get a consensus, we should also arrive at a consensus on how to pay for it. I don't think we're there yet."

It's still early, but that might be the understatement of the day.

POSTED: Thursday, January 8, 2015, 7:28 AM
Bribery? Some people view it as a cost of doing business - and not just in faraway countries where well-founded and well-enforced rules of law are nonexistent. Some people view it as a crime. Whatever the view and legalities, healthcare and life sciences companies are part of that scene.

EY, which is the umbrella label for Ernst & Young's collection of firms, released its a report called "Top Fraud and Corruption Trends for 2015," and healthcare and life sciences made the list at No. 5.

This won't shock many, but EY's Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services (FIDS) division - which is in business to sell services in these areas - produced the report.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 7, 2015, 7:14 AM
We all think our health, and that of loved ones, is priceless. But everybody's wallet has a bottom.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute released a report looking at the 10 biggest issues in healthcare in 2015 and No. 5 was all about drug companies having to justify the prices they are charging for medicine.

The report can be found on the institute's portion of the PwC site, which is here.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 12:25 PM
In this Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014 file photo, health workers load a suspected Ebola patient into the back of an ambulance in Freetown, Sierra Leone. (AP Photo/Michael Duff, File)

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical subsidiary said it started the first human phase of a clinical trial on a potential vaccine for Ebola, which has killed 8,153 people in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, according to World Health Organization figures.

The trial is being led by the Oxford Vaccine Group. J&J has also added production capacity to the effort, saying that more than 400,000 regimens of the vaccine have been produced and will be available by April. If the formula works, plans are in place for production of two million does through the end of 2015.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 7:46 AM
Sovaldi, by Gilead Sciences, costs $1,000 a day in the U .S. Gilead Sciences
The still-new changes in the relationship between health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and drug companies took another turn late Monday when drugmaker Gilead signed a deal with CVS Health to exclusively distribute Gilead's hepatitis C drugs, just weeks after competitor AbbVie compromised to gain exclusive distribution through Express Scripts. A link to the Bloomberg News story on the topic is here.

None of the companies revealed the discounts that resulted from the negotiations - and it often does not reach patients.

Express Scripts and CVS Health (part of the drugstore chain's parent company) are pharmacy benefit managers, who act as the middle person in managing the drug portion of health insurance plans. They are paid by health insurance companies and large employers.

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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