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Archive: January, 2012

POSTED: Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 8:07 AM

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., is changing "very fast," chief financial officer Eyal Desheh said at Tuesday's J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, by adding more branded products to diversify the portfolio of products. It might look for partnerships and small corporate purchases, but nothing on the order of the $6.8 billion takeover of Cephalon, whose headquarters is in Frazer.

Teva is based in Israel but has a big operation in North Wales and is building a new facility in Northeast Philadelphia.

Desheh said that Teva is projecting sales of $22 billion for 2012. Of those sales projections, 55 percent would from the generic category, while 37 percent would come from branded drugs. Over-the-counter products fill about five percent and that is the fastest-growing area.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 6:12 AM

Number crunchers from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) say health care spending increases in 2009-2010 slowed down to almost nothing, using the term very loosely.

The report says U.S. health care spending grew only 3.9 percent in 2010, reaching $2.6 trillion or $8,402 per person, just 0.1 percentage point faster than in 2009. The two-year rate of growth was the lowest in the 51 years of such number crunching.

Aside from the big number and per-person average, the frequently cited worrisome number for macro-business types and health-care financial folks is the percentage of the gross domestic product that went into health care spending. This report says that in 2010, the health spending share of the overall economy was unchanged at 17.9 percent. In 1960, for comparison sake, it was only 5.2 percent.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 4:55 AM

Endo Pharmaceuticals of Chadds Ford said Monday it was warning doctors and consumers of possible short-term supply problems with some of its drugs and consumer products manufactured at a plant operated by Novartis Consumer Health in Lincoln, Neb.

Endo said there could be a short-term supply problem with drugs such as Opana ER, Percocet and Endocet, among others. The company was starting production of Percocet and Endocet at its facility in Huntsville, Ala., to help supply.

Novartis and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the production at the Novartis plant was stopped because of manufacturing problems that might result in broken or chipped pills and packaging mistakes.

POSTED: Monday, January 9, 2012, 6:58 AM

Bristol-Myers Squibb, which has five New Jersey facilities, said it will buy Inhibitex for approximately $2.5 billion or $26 per share, with the hope of competing better in the market for hepatitis C drugs.

Beyond the molecular specifics of drugs in the Inhibitex pipeline, the announcement allows BMS to remind the pharmaceutical community that it hasn't stopped its strategy of acquiring companies or forging partnerships just because Jeremy Levin departed the company to take over Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. That strategy was given the name "string of pearls," and helped boost the company since 2007.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb continues to drive advances in the field of hepatitis C research and development through internal development and selective partnerships,” said Elliott Sigal executive vice president, chief scientific officer and president, R&D, Bristol-Myers Squibb, in a statement released by the company. “The addition of Inhibitex’s nucleotide polymerase inhibitor to our own promising portfolio, which includes other direct-acting antivirals, brings additional options to develop all-oral regimens with better cure rates, shorter duration of therapy and lower toxicity than the current standard of care.”

POSTED: Thursday, January 5, 2012, 5:12 AM

Being a chief executive officer of a global pharmaceutical company is fine and all, but it's nothing like being a knight........we suppose.

Lest we get too far from the start of the year, we need to mention that GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty is now Sir Andrew Witty, having been given a knighthood in the semi-annual British tradition of bestowing "New Year's Honours," on those showing "outstanding achievement and service across the whole of the United Kingdom."

The queen completes the other half of the semi-annual piece by announcing a list on her birthday, which is in June.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 8:10 AM

Former Synthes executive John Walsh was on the road to appealing his five-month prison sentence for involvement in an illegal clinical trial of bone cement, which was used by surgeons during back operations, three of which ended in patients dying on the table.

However, in a Tuesday court filing, one of his attorneys said Walsh is reconsidering whether to appeal his sentence.

Though Walsh did not speak at his sentencing hearing Nov. 21, his attorneys were among the first and most ardent in arguing that Walsh's First Amendment rights were infringed upon by the government prosecuting him and three other executives for promoting the bone cement even though it had not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 5:03 AM

Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd., announced over the weekend that Shlomo Yanai would retire in May as president and chief executive officer of the company, to be replaced by Bristol-Myers Squibb executive Jeremy Levin.

Levin led BMS' global strategy team, which looked for smaller companies to buy or partner with to diversify BMS' portfolio in recent years. That was needed in part because BMS was losing exclusivity on the blockbuster blood thinning drug Plavix.

Levin was scheduled to have a conference call with Wall Street investment analysts Tuesday morning.

POSTED: Monday, January 2, 2012, 10:05 AM

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., which has a big operation in North Wales and is building a facility in North Philadelphia, announced Monday that it was changing chief executive officers, with Shlomo Yanai departing and Jeremy Levin taking his place.

Levin, who is a medical doctor, leaves Bristol-Myers Squibb to lead the world's largest generic drug manufacturer, which bought Frazer-based Cephalon for $6.8 billion in 2011 in an effort to broaden its business into branded products.

Yanai, 59, who will depart in May, became CEO of Teva in 2007, with most of his previous career spent in the Israel Defense Forces, retiring as a major general. Yanai had been under pressure as Teva's stock price lagged in recent months.

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

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

Reach David at or 215-854-4506.

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