Tuesday, August 4, 2015

POSTED: Friday, March 20, 2015, 12:58 AM
GlaxoSmithKline, which has about 1,000 employees in the Navy Yard, said Thursday it would give $5 million to nonprofit organizations with programs designed to help children in Philadelphia eat healthier food and exercise more.

The Philadelphia Foundation will administer the IMPACT grants and the award goes to "Get HYPE Philly!," which is a collective of 10 nonprofits headed by The Food Trust. HYPE stands for "Healthy You. Positive Energy." The website is gethypephilly.com.

The members of the collective, with their Twitter handle, are:

  • The Food Trust, @TheFoodTrust, convening Collective partners and coordinating Get HYPE Philly! activities, and empowering young people to be role models for healthy change in their schools and communities through the HYPE (Healthy You. Positive Energy.) youth leadership program
  • Greener Partners, @GreenerPartners, engaging kids in gardening and nutrition education, including at its Guild House West urban farm
  • Common Market, @CommonMkt, facilitating access to locally and sustainably grown food, and increasing participation in youth leadership programs at the East Park Revitalization Alliance
  • The Village of Arts and Humanities, @VillagePhilly, providing hands-on educational experiences in urban farming and nutrition-based activities
  • Norris Square Neighborhood Project, @iLoveNSNP, helping students become leaders for a healthier and more sustainable community through its Garden Education Program
  • The Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, @pfvYMCA, preparing kids as leaders for fitness and health through physical activity programming
  • The Free Library of Philadelphia, @FreeLibrary, engaging students through its Culinary Literacy Center and branch-based teen mentoring program
  • Philadelphia Youth Network, @PYNinc, connecting kids with work opportunities where they can model and lead healthy activities while learning work-readiness skills
  • The Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation, @PhilaTEC, supporting students in entrepreneurship and creating youth-led businesses, such as healthy snacks for farmers’ markets and corner stores
  • Equal Measure, @EqMeasure, evaluating and enhancing Get HYPE! Philly’s social impact throughout the three-year grant

POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2015, 6:57 PM
Olivier Brandicourt will leave Bayer to become CEO of Sanofi.
Olivier Brandicourt will leave Bayer Healthcare AG to become chief executive officer of Sanofi, which fired former GlaxoSmithKline executive Chris Viehbacher

Bayer is based in Germany and has a big operation in Whippany, N.J. Sanofi is based in Paris and has operations in Bridgewater, N.J. and Malvern. Brandicourt will start at Sanofi on April 2.

“Sanofi undertook a rigorous selection process to identify the right person to lead Sanofi forward at an important time for our company," Serge Weinberg, Sanofi board chairman, said in a statement. "I am very pleased that Olivier Brandicourt will be the next chief executive officer of Sanofi. Olivier Brandicourt’s strong experience combined with his international profile, deep knowledge of U.S. and emerging healthcare markets, and his capability to unite teams will provide new dynamism to Sanofi’s strategy of diversification and innovation.”

POSTED: Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 7:26 AM
Teva's best-selling drug is Copaxone, which is used to treat multiple sclerosis.
Teva's leadership shuffling in the last few years was evident again Monday evening, when the Israel-based drugmaker filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission form 20-F, which is the annual report for a foreign-based company.

The link is here. If you were to go to page 89, you would see the heading "Individual Covered Executive Compensation," which has a table and summary of the five most-highly compensated office holders, for the year ending Dec. 31, 1024.

Chief Executive Officer Erez Vigodman was the first one listed, but he didn't have the highest compensation for 2014, though only partially because he got that title on Feb. 11, 2014.

POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 8:15 AM
Pfizer said Thursday morning it will pay approximately $17 billion to acquire drugmaker Hospira, one of the pharmaceutical industry leaders in injectable medicine.

Pfizer said in a statement that it will pay $90 per share. The price tag of $17 billion would include Hospira debt.

Rebuffed in 2014 when it attempted to acquire AstraZeneca for a reported price of $120 billion, Pfizer has been on the hunt to acquire other companies to add drugs that can generate revenue immediately and in the future. Pfizer is based in New York and has a big operation in Collegeville, Montgomery County. Hospira is based in Lake Forest, Ill.

POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 7:02 AM
Nexium is AstraZeneca's heartburn medication that generated $3.6 billion in sales in 2014 and will soon face generic competition. (Bloomberg)
Drugmaker AstraZeneca said Thursday morning that its fourth quarter revenue fell two percent and that it had paid $600 million for the rights to sell Actavis' respiratory medicine in the United States and Canada.

AstraZeneca said its quarterly losses declined to $321 million from the $520 million figure reported in the same period of 2013. It had fourth-quarter sales of $6.68 billion in 2014.

Acquiring Actavis' products, which are already on the market, will help AstraZeneca generate revenue immediately, which is important because it will soon face generic competition on its heartburn medicine Nexium, which generated $3.66 billion in sales in 2014. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., received FDA approval for its generic version of Nexium in late January. AstraZeneca's cholesterol drug Crestor will soon lose patent protection and face generic competition.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 2:05 PM
GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty. (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer)
New Jersey Gov. Christie and other likely Republican presidential candidates have struggled with consistency in their public positions regarding the value of vaccine, but GlaxoSmithKline chief executive officer Andrew Witty has no such conflicts.

"Generally, vaccines go through enormous amounts of testing on safety and efficacy," Witty said Wednesday from London on a conference call with reporters after GSK reported financial results for the fourth quarter and all of 2014. "Clearly, vaccines are a remarkable potential source of human healthcare. Through one vaccine or a short course of vaccines, we can give people a lifetime of protection and it protects the whole population as the individual people are protected."

Hundreds of Philadelphia-area GSK employees work on vaccines, which generated about 14 percent of GSK's 2014 revenue, though it does not sell a measles vaccine in the United States. Measles was all but eradicated in the United States, but an outbreak started in Disneyland and revived discussion about the importance of vaccines.

POSTED: Friday, January 30, 2015, 7:45 AM
Risperdal tablets. J&J was accused of promoting the drug for unapproved uses and eventually agreed to pay a $2.2 billion penalty. Bloomberg
Benita Pledger dabbed at her tears as she sat in a wooden chair outside a court room in Philadelphia's City Hall early Thursday evening.

"I'm just having a hard time right now," she said, "hearing what the pharmaceutical company was doing."

Pledger had just finished a full day of listening to her attorney, Thomas Kline, and former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. David Kessler discuss documents that showed Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceutical subsidiary tried to manipulated data in versions of reports to hide evidence that the company's antipsychotic drug Risperdal had caused boys like her son to grow breasts.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 7:41 AM
We have at least two vaccine arguments raging - one with the epicenter in Disneyland and the other in developing nations.

Good vaccines are, like other good medicine, difficult to make. But in an area with many disputes, there is little dispute that good vaccines work very well over most populations who get them. The tricky part is getting people vaccinated and paying for it.

Measles can be a very bad disease, which is why healthcare officials spent decades working to eradicate it in the United States. But a few parents, including some with enough money and education to know better, have decided to skip vaccinating their children against measles out of misguided fear that it causes autism or bad breath or something else unrelated. So, with many visitors from foreign countries where measles has not been eradicated, Disneyland is at the center of the measles outbreak. According to Monday's story in the Los Angles Times, there have been 73 measles cases reported in California and 14 outside the state: three in Utah, two in Washington state, five in Arizona, one in Colorado, one in Oregon, one in Nebraska and one in Mexico.

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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