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Archive: October, 2012

POSTED: Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 9:38 AM

GlaxoSmithKline chief executive officer Andrew Witty said Wednesday morning that company personnel and facilities were not harmed when Hurricane-turned-superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast of the United States.

"We have not had any injuries, or worse, in terms of personnel and that is the most important thing," Witty said in a conference call with reporters, pegged to the release of third quarter earnings. "We've had business disruptions. But our facilities are fine. We have a new facility going up in Philadelphia, which is also fine."

Glaxo employs about 97,000 people in more than 100 countries, including about 1300 in Center City. Others work in the Pennsylvania towns of Upper Merion, Upper Providence, Conshohocken, Marietta and Pittsburgh, along with New Jersey locations of Clifton and Parsippany.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 11:28 AM

Health-care giant Johnson & Johnson, with its offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York closed because of Hurricane Sandy, postponed its annual analyst meeting that was scheduled for Thursday at the company's headquarters in New Brunswick.

A company spokesman said no new date had been chosen, but it would likely be in 2013.

The company planned to use the event to focus on medical devices, especially the impact that the $19.7 billion purchase of Synthes has, and will, have on the company. With its U.S. headquarters in West Chester, Chester County, Synthes makes plates and rods, screws and nails to fix broken bones, and was the leader in the trauma category of orthopedic devices.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 7:22 AM

Drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen operated Monday and plans to do the same Tuesday to deliver drugs to health-care facilities hit by Hurricane Sandy.

"This is an event where we had time to prepare, so the impact is less," AmerisourceBergen spokeswoman Nora Beger said. "Health systems took the time to prepare on supply issues."

AmerisourceBergen, which has its corporate headquarters in Chesterbrook, is one of the three biggest wholesale operators in the United States, with McKesson and Cardinal Health being the other two.

POSTED: Monday, October 29, 2012, 7:07 AM

Hurricanes mean wind and water and all sorts of things flying around.

Take care, especially, if you are in Sandy's neighborhood.

POSTED: Monday, October 29, 2012, 6:51 AM

Drugmaker Pfizer said Sunday that it would postpone its third-quarter financial performance announcement from Tuesday until Thursday because of Hurricane Sandy.

Pfizer's headquarters is in mid-town Manhattan and public transportation into, over and under New York was shutting down Sunday night because of the storm.

POSTED: Monday, October 29, 2012, 6:45 AM

The FDA's report on the Massachusetts compounding pharmacy at the center of the national fungal meningitis outbreak was disturbing - and colorful.

This FDA announcement, released Friday evening, included the site inspection reports - form 483 in drug world parlance - that are supposed to show what the investigators saw when they visited the New England Compounding Center.

The first page had "greenish black foreign matter," in vials of methylprenisolone acetate.

POSTED: Friday, October 26, 2012, 9:43 AM

Drugmaker Merck said its third-quarter profits rose 2 percent in part because it was able to control costs in the face of generic competition.

Merck is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and has several other facilities in the Philadelphia region, including a plant in West Point, Montgomery County.

Merck reported a profit of $1.73 billion for the quarter versus $1.69 billion for the same period in 2011.

POSTED: Thursday, October 25, 2012, 8:40 AM

Drugmaker Shire, Plc., whose U.S. headquarters is in Chesterbrook, announced Thursday morning that chief executive officer Angus Russell will retire in 2013 and be replaced by Bayer executive Flemming Ornskov.

Shire said its third-quarter profit increased 17 percent. Earlier this week, the company said it signed a letter of intent to move its U.S. headquarters to a planned campus in Malvern.

Shire chairman of the board Matthew Emmens said in a statement, “The Board would like to thank Angus for his excellent leadership and impressive contributions over many years during which time Shire has grown to become an industry leading global company. Shire has a distinctive business model and is financially strong and has consistently executed on its growth strategy. Angus led the Company through a period of extraordinary growth and was instrumental in establishing a winning strategy and a powerful and compelling culture. We wish him and his family well in his retirement.”

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 Staff Writer
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