Saturday, November 28, 2015

Archive: April, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, April 5, 2012, 8:16 AM

The March jobs report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas had good and bad news for health-care categories.

Challenger said companies in its Health Care/Products sector lost 2,049 jobs in March, bringing the yearly total to 6,880. The Pharmaceutical sector lost 123 jobs, which takes that yearly total to 4,459.

However, both of those sectors were among those announcing plans to add jobs.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 6:49 AM

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said doctors and health-care facilities should be aware that it has seen more counterfeit Avastin, the injectable drug used to treat several forms of cancer.

"Medical practices that purchase and administer illegal and unapproved foreign medications are putting patients at risk of exposure to drugs that may be fake, contaminated, improperly stored and transported, ineffective, and dangerous," the FDA said in a statement. "Illegal drugs purchased from foreign sources may not be genuine or meet appropriate quality, safety, and efficacy standards, putting patients at risk and depriving them of proper treatment."

Some of the problem could be that the medicine has no active ingredient. Some of the problem could be bad stuff in the bottle.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 12:15 PM

Biomet, Inc., offered $280 million to Johnson & Johnson for the trauma segment of J&J's DePuy Orthopaedics unit, which will help satisfy European Union antitrust concerns about J&J's acquisition of Synthes, Inc.

“DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. has received a binding offer from Biomet, a leading, diversified orthopaedic company, by which Biomet will acquire the DePuy Orthopaedics worldwide trauma business," J&J spokesman Bill Price said via email. "The offer includes the purchase of DePuy’s internal and external fixation products used in the treatment of bone fractures as well as the organization supporting this business. The sale is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012.

“We believe this divestiture will satisfy all regulatory concerns relating to the pending purchase of Synthes by Johnson & Johnson, but we will not know with certainty until the regulatory processes in the EU and U.S. are completed. We continue to make progress in our work with antitrust authorities on the Synthes transaction and look forward to closing in the first half of this year.”

POSTED: Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 7:12 AM

A batch of lawyers are scheduled to argue on a conference call Tuesday morning, with the topic being Monday's acquisition of Medco Health Solutions by Express Scripts.

Attorneys for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), and nine retail pharmacy companies near Pittsburgh filed suit last week in federal district court, trying to stop the proposed merger of the two pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) companies.

Judge Cathy Bissoon will preside over Tuesday's discussion about a request for restraining order.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 3:40 PM

Federal District Court Judge Judge Cathy Bissoon said Tuesday in Pittsburgh that she will hold a hearing April 10 to consider a request for a preliminary injunction to halt Express Scripts' $29.1 billion acquisition of Medco Health Solutions.

Attorneys for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), and nine retail pharmacy companies near Pittsburgh filed suit last week in federal district court, trying to stop the merger of the two pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) companies.

Express Scripts immediately completed the deal Monday morning after the Federal Trade Commission voted not to stop it on antitrust grounds.

POSTED: Monday, April 2, 2012, 6:18 AM

Gretchen Morgenson, a 2002 Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a must-read column in the New York Times Sunday business section. She often sheds light on malfeasance in the financial services industry. She has a habit of noting that big banks scream against government involvement and regulation, except when they need the government to bail them out because their derivative bets went bad.

Sunday's column involved an interview with two University of Chicago professors who recently published a paper with a thesis that suggested aspects of the banking industry should be regulated by an organization like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Basically, each new derivative - credit default swaps, for example - would be evaluated like a new drug to measure the speculative nature and possible adverse side effects of the product.

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.

David Sell Inquirer Staff Writer
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