Pharmaceutical & Biotech News and Insights



Another executive change for GlaxoSmithKline
The latest in a series of newly named Executives at GSK is Deborah Waterhouse. Deborah will replace Dominque Limet, who will step down as its Head of HIV unit ViiV Healthcare in March 2017. GSK's longtime CEO, Andrew Witty will also step down in March. He will be replaced by Emma Walmsley. She will be Big Pharma's first women CEO. Click here to read about other executive changes at GSK. ... 
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Pharmaceutical sales reps in Chicago will now need a license
In an effort to combat opioid abuse, Chicago's City Council has approved and ordinance that will require all pharmaceutical sales reps to obtain a license to promote their company's drugs. The cost of the license is $750 which will need to be renewed annually. Additionally, those sales reps will need to complete five hours of training every year, including brush-ups on ethics, rules, and safety. The sales representatives will need to keep a detailed log of the doctors and healthcare professionals they visited, what drugs were discussed and samples that were given out. The city hopes to identify trends and prevent misleading promotions. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Soaring US Drug Costs in 2015
New Medicare and Medicaid spending numbers have shown significant price hikes with US drug costs that reached $457 billion in 2015. Medicare reported that 11 drugs have more than doubled in price compared with 2014, and Medicaid saw 20 covered drugs more than double in per-unit cost. Some increases shared are Valeant's anxiety medication Ativan grew 1,264% over the previous year, according to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) dashboard that analyzes drug spending. Turing's Daraprim followed with an 874% average per-unit price hike. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to begin Zika vaccine testing on humans
The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has joined Inovio Pharmaceuticals and the NIH as it has moved into human testing for its Zika vaccine. Inovio started testing in June and the NIH followed in August. Walter Reed plans to enroll 75 adults in the Phase I study. Some of the participants will be vaccinated against other flaviviruses such as yellow fever and dengue because immunity to these viruses can cause an outsized immune response to Zika. This is important because many of the US military are vaccinated against flaviviruses before deployment to infected regions. Takeda, Modern and GlaxoSmithKline are also among those in the Zika vaccine R&D race. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Mylan to close Meda’s US Headquarters
Mylan's purchase of Meda Pharmaceuticals became official in August 2016. Yesterday they announced due to "ongoing integration efforts" they will close Meda's US headquarters located in Somerset, NJ as of December 31st. This shutdown will leave 94 employees without jobs. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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GSK to stop US sales of VPV vaccine
Citing low market demand, GlaxoSmithKline has decided to stop US sales of their HPV vaccine Cervarix. Original goals were to have 80% of girls and boys vaccinated by 2020. Current rates are falling well short of that goal with only 40% of girls and just 21% of boys currently vaccinated. The move gives Merck complete control of the U.S. HPV vaccine market as public health officials push for higher HPV vaccination rates. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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FDA oks Philips’ smartphone plug-in for cardiac imaging
The FDA has given the ok for Philips to add a cardiac transducer to its Lumify package. This portable diagnostic device already allows for doctors to scan gallbladders and lungs. Now doctors will be able to execute quick high quality images for routine cardiac exams. The new S4-1 cardiac transducer weighs less than a smartphone and joins the existing two transducers for use in emergency care, critical care and ambulances, according to the statement. Lumify's low cost and portability allows doctors in emergency situations to quickly triage patients without needing to locate and procure an ultrasound cart, Philips said in the statement. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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What do you do when you have received a counter-offer?
After you have submitted your resignation to your current company, as a valued member of their team there is always a chance that they will provide you with a counter offer. Here are the top reasons not to accept: After resigning, you have made your employer aware that you were looking for a new opportunity. This may question your loyalty going forward. It is important to consider the above mentioned point for when any promotions / pay rises are pending in your current company. The fact that you had previously tendered your resignation could go against you. Again, back to loyalty, if any strategic decisions are being made such as redundancies, company loyalty may again play a major factor regarding who will stay and who will go. You must consider why such an offer was not made during your employment and why they are only offering you such incentives at the last minute. The same circumstances that now cause you to consider making a change almost always reoccur within the next 6-12 months. Statistics show that if you accept a counter-offer, the probability of voluntarily leaving in 6 months or being let go within 1 year are extremely high. Once ... 
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Specialty pharmacies seeing growth
A little-noticed piece of the pharmaceutical supply chain is seeing tremendous growth in the private sector. A dozen of specialty pharmacies have made it onto the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in the US, with Pantherx Specialty Pharmacy making it in the top ten with revenues toping $42 million. Pantherx Specialty Pharmacy, which was founded in 2012, focuses on rare and orphan drugs, delivering drugs to very small patient groups. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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BARDA funding Zika vaccine
We are only scratching the surface of the long term effects of the Zika virus. Currentyly many companies are diligently working to create a vaccine to prevent the disease all together. To date, The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) have committed $433 million in funds to fight the Zica virus. Most recently awarding Sanofi Pasteur $43 million to help fund Phase II development of its Zika vaccine, named Zika purified inactivated virus (ZPIV). If the Phase II testing is successful, BARDA could give another $130 million for further studies. Click here to read more about the Zika vaccine research. ... 
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