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Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Monday, September 30, 2013, 11:28 AM
Tianle Li

Romances go bad for folks in the pharmaceutical business, like most others, but rarely this bad.

A Bristol-Myers Squibb chemist, Tianle Li, was sentenced to life in prison Monday for poisoning her husband with thallium, which she ordered through work in 2010. She was unhappy with the couple's pending divorce.

The family lived in Monroe Township and Tianle Li worked at the BMS facility in Lawrenceville. Xiaoye Wang, computer software engineer, got one of his degrees at Penn.

POSTED: Monday, September 30, 2013, 7:24 AM

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., which has been under pressure from Wall Street to cut costs and which said in May it would close a Bucks County factory by 2017, has renewed leases for three facilities in Montgomery County and a fourth in Bucks County, spokeswoman Denise Bradley said Friday.

Teva, based in Israel, is the world's largest generic drugmaker by revenue.

In its 2012 annual report, Teva included its Americas' headquarters among four facilities in the North Wales area of Montgomery County.

POSTED: Monday, September 30, 2013, 7:12 AM
AstraZeneca's facility in Wilmington, Del.

 Drugmaker AstraZeneca still faces huge challenges amid a changing healthcare landscape, but a Reuters story Monday quotes a couple investors and an analyst as saying chief executive Pascal Soriot is making slow, if uncertain, progress.

AstraZeneca is now based in London, but Soriot has said the company will shift headquarters to Cambridge, United Kingdom, in hopes of being closer to academic and research people. AstraZeneca still has a lot of folks in Wilmington and Newark, Del., even after cutting thousands of jobs and moving others to Gaithersburg, Md.

As always, the caveat with investors and and some analysts is that positive comments can raise the stock price.

POSTED: Friday, September 27, 2013, 9:57 AM

A decision this week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is the latest in a debate about whether multiple lawsuits alleging harm to patients from the same pharmaceutical product should be heard in state courts or federal courts.

The 2-1 opinion by the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit, which conservatives generally view as much too liberal, favored Judith Romo, other plaintiffs and their attorneys and against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA. Teva is based in Israel, but its Americas headquarters is in North Wales, Montgomery County.

Conservatives and business groups hope the decision in Romo v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA will eventually lead to a Supreme Court hearing to settle the issue. With a conservative majority in the Supreme Court, business groups like their chances in that venue.

POSTED: Thursday, September 26, 2013, 9:41 AM

Pharmaceutical companies have been trying hard to squeeze as much revenue out of every drug they develop, which can mean seeking approval for different ailments or expansion of the groups that might benefit from that same drug.

The theory is that having already done the research and testing, they will expand the consumers of such medicine.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 9:42 AM
"I intend to speak until I am no longer able to stand," Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said Tuesday in his push to defund the Affordable Care Act.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) said he would keep talking on the Senate floor, in hopes of killing Obamacare, "until I am no longer able to stand."

If Cruz literally falls down and hits his head on a lectern or the floor, he might need medical care. As a government employee, taxpayer-funded health insurance probably would cover most of the cost of a visit to the hospital emergency room, doctors, medicine, supplies and so forth.

Perhaps in his zeal, Cruz will pay for all of it himself, if only to make a point. (Or he might have a rich, conservative, Tea Party donor pay the tab.)

POSTED: Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 9:08 AM

Consolidation in the medical device segment of health care continued Wednesday as Stryker Corp., said it will pay $1.65 billion to buy MAKO Surgical Corp.

Stryker is based in Kalamazoo, Mich., but sells nationally and competes with Johnson & Johnson's Synthes/DePuy division among others. Synthes was based in West Chester until it was bought by J&J for $19.7 billion.

MAKO was founded only in 2004 and is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Most of its acclaim within the industry was around its robotic devices used by surgeons.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 8:52 AM

As colleague Harold Brubaker wrote in Tuesday's Inquirer, former Merck chief executive officer and chairman Richard Clark will help the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia try to raise more cash by guiding what the church says is an independent charitable foundation. A link to the story is here.

The church's hope is that after scandals involving priests or church officials sexually abusing children or looking the other way, disaffected Catholics might reach for their wallets more often if the charitable foundation seemed a bit more independent. That gives birth to the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia.

Clark, who still lives in Bucks County, spent 39 years at Merck. He was CEO of the pharmaceutical giant from May 2005 through December 2010. He became chairman of the board of directors in 2007. Philly native Ken Frazier has since replaced Clark as CEO and chairman of the board.

About this blog
David Sell blogs about the region's pharmaceutical industry. Follow him on Facebook.

For Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

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