Archive: December, 2012
At least on a headquarters basis, some of Johnson & Johnson's famous over-the-products could be moving from the Philadelphia suburb of Fort Washington to Chattanooga, Tenn.
Sanofi-aventis, the Paris-based pharmaceutical company with U.S. headquarters in New Jersey and a research facility in the Philadelphia suburb of Malvern, increased its over-the-counter consumer products business in 2009, when it spent $1.9 billion for Chattem, Inc.
Chattem, which has been in operation since the 1880s, is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tenn., and has name brands such as Gold Bond, Icy Hot, ACT, Cortizone-10, Selsun Blue and Unisom.
Two former prosecutors say the ultimate impact of the decision in U.S. v. Caronia won't be known until further court action, but in the meantime, former colleagues prosecuting cases might be more careful in forthcoming cases.
But the Dec. 3 opinion also doesn't give a free pass to pharmaceutical companies and their sales reps to say anything about any drug.
"I don't think this opinion is a license to do that," said Geoff Kaiser, who was one of the U.S. Attorney's in Brooklyn who brought the original charges against Orphan Medical, Alfred Caronia and doctor Peter Gleason for off-label marketing. "I don't think it establishes that it's okay for a pharmaceutical company to promote an unapproved indication."
In something of a suggestion for a New Year's resolution, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended again Wednesday that people who have not gotten flu shots find a spot to get one.
If the needle is the issue, some vaccine is available via nasal spray.
The Food and Drug Administration notes that everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated and that "seasonal flu vaccines have a very good safety track record."
Drugmakers Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi have a pending deal involving an element of J&J’s consumer products subsidiary, McNeil PPC Inc., according to a posting on the Federal Trade Commission web site.
But the deal will not include selling the McNeil Consumer Healthcare facility in Fort Washington, Montgomery County, according to McNeil spokeswoman Barbara Montresor.
McNeil PPC has several units, including McNeil Consumer Healthcare, and products such as Band Aids, Tylenol and Listerine.
The never-ending - and often profit-driven - hope for miraculous cures and the reality of the health-care business was displayed again over the last few days.
The New York Times provided the latest story about three big pharmaceutical companies trying to figure out how to get the right molecules to overcome the wrong molecules and thereby cure forms of cancer.
The link to the story is here.
A team from Bloomberg News crunched data and reported that one in five U.S. insider-trading cases involve health-care stocks.
A corresponding Bloomberg survey of 30 health-care companies showed that those companies say their policies designed to prevent abuse are sufficient - or they refuse to publicly discuss the issue at all.
A link to the story is here.
Perhaps only in the strange business of pharmaceuticals would a company sue to have a federal agency declare that one of its products was in any way unsafe and then be disappointed when it loses the the suit.
But that's what happened with Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Endo Health Solutions, Inc., of Chadds Ford.
The drug in question is Opana ER, which is an opioid painkiller. That group of medicine has been a source of debate because of overdoses by abusers.
Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to the United States, was in Philadelphia last week and spoke with reporters and editors from the Inquirer business section. Later that day, Westmacott was the featured guest at the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia holiday lunch at the Ritz Carleton Hotel.
A foreign service veteran, Westmacott was posted to Washington in the mid-1990s as the embassy's counselor for political and public affairs. He was ambassador to Turkey and then France before starting as U.S. ambassador in January of 2012.
Like other aspects of the US-UK friendship, the health-care systems are sometimes compared.