Archive: November, 2012
Health care is part of the debate and discussion regarding the fiscal cliff and how the federal government might solve its near and long-term economic problems.
Wharton Health Care Management Professor Jonathan Kolstad said that while there are health-care issues in resolving the immediate problem of the fiscal cliff, the long-term problem of deciding how the nation pays for health care extends beyond the Nov. 6 election and the Jan. 2 deadline.
“Perhaps you can use the near-term negotiations to look for ways structure future costs, but if you come at it from a budgetary perspective, those are very blunt instruments,” Kolstad said.
The news that oil giant BP agreed on Thursday to pay $4.5 billion to settle some of the allegations by the U.S. Justice Department about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill surely brought smiles to some faces in the pharmaceutical industry, especially Pfizer.
When the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in 2010, 11 workers were killed. The water and beaches of the Gulf of Mexico were spoiled, businesses were destroyed or disrupted, and untold numbers of animals died.
The $4.5 billion figure included $1.256 billion in corporate criminal penalties, thereby pushing drugmaker Pfizer out of the top spot in the ranks of largest fines for corporate criminal behavior in the United States.
A "citizen petition" sounds so wonderfully basic. It sounds like one person asking her or his government to consider a matter of public policy, health and safety.
And sometimes that's what they are.
And sometimes a citizen petition is a tool for corporations to try to gain an edge in the regulatory world, and thus the marketplace, of pharmaceuticals, through rulings by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration - or the delays that such actions create.
Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd., said Monday newly installed chief executive officer Jeremy Levin is shaking up the leadership of the company's Americas unit, which is based in North Wales, Montgomery County.
Teva is the world leader in generic pharmaceutical sales, but that title is jeopardy as competitors fight for greater share of the expanding market for cheaper, copy-cat medicine.
The company said that Bill Marth, who had led the unit, will retire at the end of 2013. He is being replaced by Allan Oberman, whose title will be president and CEO of Teva Americas Generics.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers have offered to cap the national bill for drugs for Greece, if the country pledges to pay its current bills and not allow any payment problem to arise in the future, Reuters reported Monday morning.
Reuters said one of reporters saw a copy of the proposal from the trade group the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), which was sent in a letter to the Greek ministers of health and finance. A link to the story is here.
The proposal would cap the national outpatient pharmaceutical expenditure at $3.7 billion, but EFPIA wants the Greek government to commit to pay off all outstanding debts and promise not to allow further arrears to build up. Under the plan, individual drug companies would be subject to a "clawback" if the cost ceiling is breached, based on their share of the Greek market, Reuters reported.
Federal agencies warned Thursday night that the problems with two compounding pharmacy companies in New England have shown up in other drugs produced by one of them and the recalls might lead to further shortages of six drugs.
The New England Compounding Center is at the center of the national fungal meningitis outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 386 cases in 19 states with 28 deaths.
Ameridose is a second company with the same corporate parent, and after the FDA found problems there, it recalled all of its products.
Pfizer and Teva are the largest branded and generic pharmaceutical companies, respectively, as measured by revenue and both reported lower profits Thursday morning. And, perhaps with some irony and connection of dots, each company's result is tied to the other's business.
Pfizer is headquartered in New York, but also has a big operation in Collegeville and other spots in the Philadelphia area.
Teva is based in Israel, but has its Americas headquarters in North Wales, Montgomery County.