Biotech and Pharmaceuticals Medicine

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    If you're left-handed, bowl with your right, eat red licorice, but only on Sunday afternoons, are female under 24-and-a-half years old or male over 33-and-three-quarters and loved "Dances With Wolves," then our drug is now approved for you to take.

  • I don't buy into the silly conspiracy theories that global health authorities worked in cahoots with the big, bad drug companies to gin up a pandemic scare just to goose vaccine and flu drug sales. Try telling that to the family of someone who died from H1N1.

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    The big drug companies are all looking to increase their footprints in emerging markets like India. But a young Ph.D., top-talent employee at Bristol-Myers Squibb apparently wanted to plant the flag on his own in his native country.

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    Thirteen-grand a year. That's about how much Acorda Therapeutics says it'll charge for its newly approved drug Ampyra for multiple sclerosis.

  • Nearly every city and state wants biopharma. They fiercely compete for the relatively clean industry and the well-paid, highly educated jobs it brings.

  • For Roche/Genentech the timing could not be worse. At a time when cutting healthcare costs could still end up being put back on the frontburner in Washington comes a study showing how to possibly save a heckuva lot of money.

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    Three out of four prescriptions in the U.S. are filled with generics. But a new, albeit small, survey by a prominent generic drug industry analyst shows even the people filling those pill bottles have issues with generics.

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    Big pharma is in the middle of getting leaner and meaner. Most, if not all, of the majors are getting rid of employees. They need to cut costs to preserve profits in the face of tens of billions of dollars worth of brand-name drugs going generic and their pipelines not delivering enough to fill that void. It's a sad reality of the business.

  • Barry Levinson

    Levinson has not had a big hit like "Rain Man" in quite awhile, but he will reportedly be taking on the topic of bigness in the new GlaxoSmithKline-funded documentary about obesity. GSK makes the over-the-counter diet drug Alli.

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) sponsorship as seen during a practice session for the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships

    We're used to major corporations sponsoring big sporting events, but a non-profit like ASCO? Huh?

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    In a new survey 72 percent of smokers said they thought the use of the word "sucks" was appropriate or extremely appropriate in Glaxo's Nicorette ad campaign that I've been blogging about over the past several weeks.

  • Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford in Extraordinary Measures

    Bristol-Myers Squibb headquarters have moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon and Genzyme’s from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Seattle. Not for real, but in the movie “Extraordinary Measures” that opens today. I got to see it last night at the New York premiere.

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    These have been sunny days for Merck. Setting aside today’s action, the stock’s been on a pretty good tear lately hitting levels not seen in nearly two years. But the sun isn’t shining everywhere within the company.

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    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the stock markets' self-policing arm, is looking into trading in Vivus shares around the time it announced its positive late-stage test results on its diet drug, Qnexa.

  • Richard Pops

    The Chairman and CEO of Alkermes had the chutzpah to get on Twitter yesterday. And he apparently isn’t just there to be a voyeur and to keep an eye on what’s being said in the biopharma Twitterverse. Pops has already sent out at least a couple of tweets.

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    Based on what little I know about the way Hollywood works (Julia Boorstin's our go-to reporter on that stuff), when I saw that CBS Films was releasing "Extraordinary Measures" in January, I assumed that couldn't be a good sign.

  • Stethescope and money

    Should someone in Idaho or Nevada have significantly different health care coverage from someone in Massachusetts? That, essentially, is one of the biggest questions Congress will be wrestling with as it tries to meld House and Senate bills into a single law to revamp the nation’s health care system.

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    I'm on my way back from the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. Oh, it's still going on for another day-and-a-half or so, but two days is about all I can take.

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    A group of House lawmakers and the head of the Federal Trade Commission want Congress to include a provision in the health care legislation that they say could save American consumers several billion dollars a year on prescription drugs.

  • Vivus is getting the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference off to a sexy start. The company announced this morning that its late-stage experimental erectile dysfunction drug apparently gets the job done in 15 minutes.