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Posts Tagged ‘Schering Plough’

Pfizer buying Wyeth. Merck buying Schering-Plough. It’s pharma mega-merger season again.

I hate it.

“Market conditions” | “Complementary pipelines” | “Operational synergies” blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard all the explanations and rationalizations dozens of times before.

Analysts are looking at numbers. I’m looking at faces.

Every one of these mergers has a huge price tag that is rarely weighed in the balance. It’s called disruption.

  • Really good people end up losing their jobs, simply because they are re-labeled from “contributor” to “redundant”.
  • Creative and promising initiatives are stopped dead in their tracks, and often taken out back for burial.
  • Healthy corporate cultures are destroyed.
  • Productivity nosedives for month after month, as no-one knows what (if) their job will be in the future, and the inevitable jockeying and posturing takes over.
  • Agencies and service providers that served one (or both) companies are thrown into a tizzy and lose large volumes of work.
  • Any residual notion of corporate loyalty in our professional arena erodes further, with subsequent resentment and disenchantment.

I remember, with fondness, rubbing shoulders with the folks at Parke-Davis, at RPR, at HMR, at Pharmacia, at Aventis, at Wyeth, at Takeda. I remember bright and motivated people, imaginative programs, interesting corporate cultures, strong professional relationships. And I remember the disruption with every merger or buyout.

Yes, yes, I know that some mergers may actually pan out with an upside down the road (certainly not always, however!). And, some folks get a big payday out of these events. But sweep aside all those numbers, and if you’re involved in the industry, you see people. And pain. I hate these mergers.

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Some surprises in the new diabetes guidelines issue by the American Diabetes Association and European Association for the Study of Diabetes…more

Speaking of diabetes – we’re paying a lot more over the last few years!

And, a triple dose of diabetes news, including bad news for Avandia.

Medtronic exec says devices are finished?????? Now that’s an interesting PR move!

FDA accepts priority review of expanded Erbitux label.

My favorite headline of the week. Type-1 Diabetes Not So Much Bad Genes as Good Genes Behaving Badly, Stanford Research Shows.

Novo: we have cash and we know how to use it – Novo Nordisk A/S is earmarking as much as $2 billion for takeovers in the next 12 months as the financial crisis forces cash-strapped biotechnology companies onto the market, Chief Financial Officer Jesper Brandgaard said.“We are more or less able to finance in cash acquisitions within the $1 billion to $2 billion range,” Brandgaard said in a phone interview from Copenhagen. “We think there will be opportunities in biotech which we haven’t seen before.”…more

Meet the new team at Pfizer.

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics gets a biological tester approved.

Big Crestor study results could be “game changer” – A forthcoming AstraZeneca study could dramatically increase the market for cholesterol-lowering drugs, otherwise known as statins, which are already pharma’s biggest success story, Forbes writes…more

New “Superbug” antibiotics on the way? – Two experimental antibiotics appear to work safely against an increasingly common and dangerous form of infection called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, researchers said on Sunday…more

Schering’s new anesthesia-recovery drug looking good – An experimental drug worked many times faster than a standard treatment in helping surgery patients recover from anesthesia, according to a just-published study funded by its developer, Schering-Plough Corp…more

Lashes. Lovely lashes. And an eye-color change, too. Welcome to Lumigan.

$1.4 Billion – “not meaningful” to Eli Lilly. Huh?

Some promising Phase III clinical trial results – Novartis biologic shows great efficacy on a rare autoinflammatory disease. And, Merck‘s Isentress looks good on treatment-naive HIV patients.

Apidra approved for pediatric diabetes – Sanofi-aventis announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Apidra® (insulin glulisine [rDNA origin] injection) to improve glycemic control in children (4 years and older) with diabetes mellitus…more

U.S. drug sales growing much more slowly than forecast – The number crunchers at IMS Health just cut their estimate for growth of U.S. drug sales to 1% to 2% this year– way down from the 4% to 5% they’d previously forecasted, the WSJ reportsmore

BusinessWeek chats with a few pharma CEOs – As part of a package of stories about big pharma, BusinessWeek grabbed the ceo at four drugmakers – Pfizer’s Jeff Kindler; Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Jim Cornelius; Lilly’s John Lechleiter and Roche’s Severin Schwan – to discuss the varied and vexing problems the industry faces. Here are a few of their comments…more

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The Sales Force Shuffle, from Pharmaceutical Executive – The last week the pharma atmosphere was abuzz with news about sales force cuts, outsourcing, and overhauls. First, Schering-Plough announced that it had eliminated the 1,000 sales positions it said it would trim in April. This is being done as part of a new sales model called—internally—a productivity transformation program (PTP). The new model, to go into effect next month, will streamline the sales force to take a more customer-centric approach, including targeted and relevant physician calls and a relationship management–oriented business model…more

Alpharma to King: No. – In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Alpharma calls the $37-a-share offer was inadequate and continues to explore all strategic alternatives, including a possible sale to King or another party for a higher price…more

Lilly CEO to Boston: you’re scaring us away – The ink is barely dry on a new law governing how drugmakers can market to docs, but Lilly’s John Lechleiter isn’t wasting time trying to make lawmakers regret their decision. In remarks to the Associated Industries of Massachusetts Executive Forum, he claims the law will hamper innovation and force companies to reconsider expanding in Massachusetts, The Boston Business Journal reports…more

B-I goes to the shrink – The drugmaker has ended a contract with InVentiv, one of the players in the Rent-A-Rep business, which was promoting its troubled Micardis, an angiotensin receptor blocker, otherwise known as a blood pressure med…more

The needle or the drug? – Acupuncture works as well as Wyeth’s antidepressant to fight hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms caused by breast cancer treatment, and its benefits last longer without causing unwanted side effects, according to new research…more

Pfizer’s Pfuture – The big drugmaker is dramatically stepping up sales efforts in emerging markets, overhauling US business operations and slashing more costs ahead of the 2011 patent loss for cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor, the Associated Press informs us…more Plus, going after emerging markets for growth

Paxil damages sperm? – A group of 35 healthy men who were given Paxil over a five-week period had higher levels of sperm with damaged DNA, according to a report..more

Medicis to re-state numbers; stock plunges.

Tarceva linked to liver damage – Genentech Inc and OSI Pharmaceuticals have alerted doctors about cases of liver damage among patients who took the cancer drug Tarceva in a post-approval study, U.S. regulators said on Tuesday…more

Takeda goes for diabetes combo – Takeda Pharmaceutical Co said on Wednesday it had applied for approval to market in the United States the SYR-322 and the Actos diabetes drugs in a single tablet for the treatment of type 2 diabetes…more

An interesting analysis on adverse event reporting, and social media.

Is the war on cancer really winnable? A realistic and pessimistic analysis from Newsweek.

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Huge cuts at Schering-Plough: 1,000 sales jobs going away – As part of a reorganization already under way, the drugmaker is eliminating 1,000 sales jobs – or 20 percent of its sales force – by October. Many of the 4,000 or so surviving reps, meanwhile, will be shifted to pitch different types of docs or work in other territories. A Schering-Plough spokesman confirmed the cuts…more

New Roche arthritis biologic delayed – In a setback for the drugmaker, the agency has issued a ‘complete response’ letter for Actemra, a biologic Roche hopes to market for treating rheumatoid arthritis. An FDA advisory committee endorsed its use last July by a 10-1 vote, but the agency wants “additional documentation” about manufacturing and other unspecified info, some of which relates to final labeling, according to Roche…more

Merck’s Gardasil: OK for vaginal cancer – U.S. health regulators have approved Merck and Co’s Gardasil vaccine to protect women against rare vaginal and vulvar cancers, the Food and Drug Administration said on Friday…more

GSK’s Tykerb: OK for head and neck cancer (maybe) – New clinical data supports the use of GlaxoSmithKline’s drug Tykerb as a treatment for head and neck cancer, endorsing the company’s move to push ahead with a final Phase III study in this indication…more

UCB’s Keppra XR: OK for sale – Belgian pharma group UCB said on Monday that U.S. health authorities had approved epilepsy drug Keppra XR and that it would go on sale just before its mother drug loses patent protection…more

Impactiviti’s Recommendra: Now prescribed for all training recommendations (OK, just checking to see if you were reading…)

J&J putting some heat on Enbrel for psoriasis – Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday its experimental psoriasis drug proved more effective than top-selling treatment Enbrel in a late-stage trial, was just as safe and required far fewer injections…more

Memory Pharmaceuticalsforget about jobs for half of employees.

An interesting new avenue of diabetes research unveiled – new class of hormones produced by body fat identified.

On the pharma marketing front….

Reuters and The Doctor’s Channel collaborate for streaming video healthcare “snacking.”

On-line detailing taking off.

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Pharma Commentary

Here are some links to more in-depth articles, giving commentary about various pharma-related issues:

The dwindling of pharma sales forces (particular focus on Pfizer’s recent tribulations) – from Medical Marketing and Media.

Too many reps” – from Pharmlive.

Booster shot – the once-again-growing vaccine business. From Forbes.

Being Fred Hassan – how he turned around Schering-Plough (and other companies in the past) – from Pharm Exec.

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