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  • Audience

    Occasionally -- when the bosses will let me -- I take a day to network, learn and maybe pick up a story idea by attending a biotech or healthcare investment conference. Many firms put on the events for their clients and they often invite reporters to hang out. ... The PR guy told me a couple of sessions during the day would be "closed" to me. It wasn't clear what the closed sessions were all about, and so my curiousity was piqued...

  • After the closing bell yesterday, Merck announced that it plans to get rid of 12-hundred or around 15 percent of its sales reps. Like Schering-Plough, the company is having to adjust to lower sales of its Vytorin and Zetia cholesterol drugs and on top of that the Food and Drug...

  • Chantix Ad

    While thumbing through “Parade” magazine yesterday, the fluffy publication that you find tucked inside some Sunday newspapers, I noticed an ad for Pfizer’s stop-smoking drug Chantix. It caught my eye because the company had stopped doing what’s called “branded” advertising for the pill earlier this year because of new safety concerns...

  • Former Merck CEO Prodding Industry On Drug Pricing Thursday, 1 May 2008 | 10:31 AM ET
    Dr. Vagelos

    I didn't post yesterday because I was in Philadelphia shooting a story for an upcoming episode of "The Business of Innovation" on CNBC. It's a piece about big pharma and we went to Philly to interview the still very busy former CEO of Merck (two CEOs ago), Dr. Roy Vagelos.

  • Merck "Adapts" To Tredaptive Setback Tuesday, 29 Apr 2008 | 11:37 AM ET

    Investors are finding no solace in Merck's reaffirmation that it'll still hit its earnings numbers this year. Instead they're punishing the stock after the company announced what everyone is calling a surprise and a significant setback.

  • Regulatory "Risky Business" for Pharma & Biotech Monday, 28 Apr 2008 | 11:56 AM ET
    Risky Business

    It's a big day for pipeline progress...or not. Late Friday, Merck and Schering-Plough announced that the Food and Drug Administration won't approve their combo Claritin-Singulair combo pill for allergies.

  • Amgen: Is "A" For Anemia Or Acquisition? Friday, 25 Apr 2008 | 12:35 PM ET
    AMGEN

    The morning after Amgen reported its first quarter earnings my inbox runneth over with analyst research reports on the biotech behemoth. The company beat the Street by eight cents a share. But the focus remains on the anemia drug franchise.

  • Pfizer's Kindler Doesn't Duck Tough Questions Thursday, 24 Apr 2008 | 1:55 PM ET
    Jeff Kindler, Pfizer Chairman and CEO

    Pfizer held its shareholder meeting Thursday morning at the historic Memphis hotel where the ducks march through the lobby. I haven't seen the spectacle yet, but I'm told it's quite the scene. Watch my exclusive interview with Chairman and CEO Jeff Kindler.

  • AstraZeneca Raises Guidance, Quarterly Sales Light Thursday, 24 Apr 2008 | 7:11 AM ET

    AstraZeneca nudged up its forecast for 2008 earnings on Thursday, but sales of key products in the first quarter were weaker than hoped for, knocking its shares.

  • Schering Plows Through Vytorin Firestorm Wednesday, 23 Apr 2008 | 12:57 PM ET

    Schering-Plough beat the Street by a surprising 16 cents per share and the beaten-down shares are rallying. In an exclusive CNBC interview Wednesday morning, Chairman and CEO Fred Hassan explained how the company was able to blow away estimates...

  • Halftime Report: Da Bears Are Winning Tuesday, 22 Apr 2008 | 12:41 PM ET

    This halftime report is not brought to you by (pick your prescription drug). So, we're pretty much at the midway point of big pharma's earnings season and Goldman Sachs analyst James Kelly is sizing things up so far...

  • Merck: Its Ups And Downs Monday, 21 Apr 2008 | 1:17 PM ET
    Merck

    I usually cover pharma earnings from my desk at CNBC HQ in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. But because Merck made a rare offer to interview its Chairman and CEO Dick Clark exclusively this morning I'm out at Merck's idyllic HQ campus in central NJ.

  • Springtime for Pharma: A Big Week Ahead For Earnings Friday, 18 Apr 2008 | 12:01 PM ET

    The irreverent producers of "Squawk on the Street" who are stationed in the pod next to mine here at CNBC like to call it "Pharmapalooza." They're referring to weeks like the one coming up when nearly every big drug company reports earnings.

  • Pfizer's "Crown Jewel" Lipitor: Has It Lost Its Value? Thursday, 17 Apr 2008 | 12:12 PM ET
    Lipitor

    The world's biggest drug company kicked off pureplay pharma earnings season this morning with disappointing results that look to be dragging down the whole sector. PFE missed Wall Street expectations on revenue and profits.

  • Bobby Murcer as New York Yankees broadcaster

    The world's biggest pharma company is stepping up to the plate again. After the closing bell today PFE announced it's doing a deal worth up to $440 million over time with a baby biotech called Avant Immunotherapeutics.

  • Glaxo, Pozen Become "Headache Free" On Migraine Drug Wednesday, 16 Apr 2008 | 11:21 AM ET

    After navigating what has to be one of the most frustrating paths to Food and Drug Administration approval of a new drug, the small biopharma company Pozen and its big pharma partner GlaxoSmithKline have finally emerged victorious.

  • Dendreon's Secret "Lover" Finally Revealed Tuesday, 15 Apr 2008 | 11:04 AM ET

    It's not Carl Icahn. Earlier this month I blogged about a mysterious institutional investor taking a big stake in the ever-popular biotech Dendreon. DNDN's CFO was quoted as saying the secret admirer was familiar with biotech leading some to speculate it might be the billionaire activist investor who has taken stakes in Biogen-Idec, MedImmune and ImClone, just to name a few.

  • MannKind Being Its Own "Man" About Inhalable Insulin Thursday, 10 Apr 2008 | 12:22 PM ET

    This morning there's a plethora of stuff to blog about: the Takeda-Millennium deal, more commentary about Merck and Schering-Plough and the extent of the Vytorin/Zetia fallout, Genentech's biotech bellweather earnings after the closing bell today, just to name a few.

  • CNBC and other media outlets have done a significant amount of reporting on cardiologists' reaction to the Vytorin/Zetia study and the effect the ACC panel's opinion might have on the heart doctors' prescription writing.

  • Antigenics Finds That "Russian Roulette" Pays Off Tuesday, 8 Apr 2008 | 10:31 AM ET

    This morning a little biotech company, Antigenics, announced that Russia has approved its kidney cancer drug Oncophage. It's the first so-called therapeutic cancer vaccine to win full-out approval anywhere in the world.