Today starts a two-day FDA public hearing in Washington, DC on biopharma and social media. I decided not to go because talking heads in a meeting room just don't make for good TV. And this is just the first step in what is no doubt going to be a very long, involved policy-making process. But as it turns out, it looks like it might have been futile for me to try to attend anyway.
Health care reform has always had two main goals. The first — insuring the uninsured — carries grand overtones of social justice. The second — making the health care system more efficient — can seem abstract, technocratic and a bit nerdy. The New York Times looks at what's missing.
When I went to the FDA's Web site today I was surprised to see on the homepage a link to a letter written by Commissioner Dr. Peggy Hamburg. It's addressed to "Dear Healthcare Professional" aka a "Dear Doctor letter." That's a common type of communication from the agency and/or companies to the medical community, usually when they've got bad news to pass along about a drug or device. It's pretty rare for the commish to write one.
As health care legislation moves to the Senate, there is a growing criticism that the measure doesn't fulfill President Obama’s promise to slow runaway health care costs, the New York Times reports.
Many analysts, lobbyists and industry executives have been saying for months that healthcare reform would probably end up being a net positive for the drug companies.
Stacy and Clinton definitely had nothing to do with it, but Sanofi-Pasteur (the vaccines division of Sanofi-Aventis) greets visitors with a "What Not To Wear" brochure.
New York City health officials scrambled to explain themselves Thursday following outraged media reports about bankers who got scarce H1N1 flu vaccines through their employers
When makers of heart defibrillators wanted Medicare to vastly expand the types of patients eligible to receive the devices, which can cost upward of $25,000, agency officials were skeptical. It was not clear how many of those patients would actually need a defibrillator, a device that can deliver a life-saving shock to restore a faltering heart to normal rhythm.
I am not a Trekkie. In fact, sci-fi and fantasy are two of of my least favorite genres. But the Vulcan salutation was one of the first things I thought of when I went to the facelifted Merck Web site this morning to link to and print the press release about the new Merck.
Pfizer, or one of its ad agencies, is apparently putting out a casting call for a new Lipitor pitchman.
Over the past few days there's been a remarkable confluence of newsflow, most of it positive, out of biopharma. First the bad news.
I end the week as I started it: blogging about Vivus and the three-contestant race to make a new prescription diet pill.
On a day when the market is in full-tilt rally mode on the GDP number, shares of Dow component Merck and the company it's buying, Schering-Plough, are sliding. So, what gives?
GlaxoSmithKline is one of the handful of drug companies on the front lines of the fight against the flu. In fact, it is the only company that has products on both sides. GSK makes a vaccine and an antiviral. In the third quarter, GSK today reported that it sold nearly $300 million worth of the inhalable flu-fighter Relenza. That’s a more than 10-fold increase from a year ago. And CEO Andrew Witty reportedly forecast around $1.6 billion worth of flu shot sales in the fourth quarter.
Patients on Vivus' late-stage developmental diet drug, Qnexa, lost an average 37 pounds in 13 months.
The folks at Eli Lilly probably cringe every time I go here, but the company this morning reported that third quarter U.S. sales of the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis sprung 13 percent to nearly $159 million.
One of the things we learned in Pfizer's earnings press release and on the conference call today is that since the start of 2008 the company has eliminated 11,200 positions. And now that the world's biggest pharmaceutical firm has gotten even bigger by swallowing Wyeth, it's going to let go even more people to help wring out about $4 billion in annual expenses by 2012.
In case you weren't aware, tomorrow is "World Osteoporosis Day" or WOD, for short, as the International Osteoporosis Foundation hilariously refers to it, but biotech Amgen won't be celebrating the occasion.
Notes from the front lines of the battle against H1N1. So, I've spent part of yesterday and most of today at the University of Kansas Hospital covering the first H1N1 flu shots being administered.
This Friday the CDC is expected to start giving weekly updates on where and how much H1N1 vaccine has been shipped. I'm curious what the demand will truly turn out to be. Some people are growing concerned about the increasing number of pediatric deaths from H1N1 and may rush to get their kids and themselves vaccinated. Others are afraid of or paranoid about the vaccine.