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Drug Makers

July 9, 2011 | Noam N. Levey, Reporting from Washington
WASHINGTON — As the president and congressional leaders look for savings as part of a major debt deal, the pharmaceutical industry has stepped up its behind-the-scenes lobbying to kill proposals that it contribute to any compromise. President Obama this spring said drug makers should offer discounts to low-income seniors who receive government subsidized health coverage through both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. And with pressure growing to cut federal support for state Medicaid programs and to force seniors on Medicare to pay more for their care, many liberal lawmakers are demanding that pharmaceutical companies chip in more, as well.
April 7, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Irish pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt will pay $5.6 billion in cash and stock for Anaheim-based Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc., a fast-growing bio-pharmaceutical firm that specializes in treating multiple sclerosis, the companies announced Monday. Under the terms of the deal, Questcor shareholders will be paid $30 a share in cash and 0.897 of a share of Mallinckrodt stock for each share of Questcor common stock they own.  If the deal is approved, Mallinckrodt shareholders will own nearly 51% of the combined company; former Questcor shareholders will own the remaining stake.  The merger "will substantially increase the scale, diversification, cash flow and profitability of our business," said Mark Trudeau, Mallinckrodt's chief executive.
November 14, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
The Food and Drug Administration is seeking greater authority to regulate drug makers such as the Massachusetts company that produced steroid injections tied to a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis, officials said Wednesday at a congressional hearing in which one of the firm's owners invoked his constitutional rights and refused to testify. Barry Cadden, a co-founder of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., briefly appeared before the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee hearing.
March 26, 2014 | By David Pierson
The Food and Drug Administration said 25 of 26 drug companies that were asked to phase out antibiotics to promote growth in farm animals have agreed to comply with the agency's voluntary plan. The development announced Wednesday clears a major hurdle in the FDA's push to combat growing human resistance to antibiotics because of their overuse. Farms use about 80% of the nation's antibiotics supply, sometimes in healthy animals to speed up growth or prevent illness in unsanitary conditions.
May 11, 2010 | By Bruce Japsen
Reporting from Chicago After decades of research and multiple failed attempts to find a treatment, the pharmaceutical industry is entering a crucial phase in the search for a drug that can slow, or stop, the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Drug makers see huge moneymaking potential because of the aging population. Alzheimer's afflicts more than 5 million Americans and is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
March 6, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) opened an investigation of research and marketing related to medical devices and drugs made by Boston Scientific Corp., Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly & Co., AstraZeneca and Cephalon Inc. The companies received letters from Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asking for documents including correspondence with the Food and Drug Administration.
November 8, 2008
Re "Memos shed light on drug lawsuit dispute," Oct. 30, and "High court looks split on suits against drug makers," Nov. 4 Your article provides support for why injured consumers must be allowed to bring lawsuits against drug companies that market unsafe drugs. The documents described in the article show top career FDA officials internally expressing strong concern about the agency's rules immunizing drug companies from liability. This is an unprecedented policy advocated by the current White House, and the U.S. Supreme Court is now considering its legitimacy.
June 21, 2009 | Christi Parsons
U.S. drug makers agreed Saturday to shell out $80 billion over the next 10 years to lower the cost of medication for seniors and help pay for President Obama's proposed healthcare overhaul, as part of an agreement hashed out with lawmakers and administration officials. The deal means the pharmaceutical companies will extend discounts on prescription drugs to millions of seniors who often must pay staggering drug costs not covered by their Medicare plan, according to a White House announcement.
March 17, 2008 | Melissa Healy, Times Staff Writer
For the makers of brand-name prescription drugs, generic competition is about as welcome as a virus. In the first year that a generic competitor goes on the market, a brand-name drug loses on average more than half of its market share, and its price drops with each new generic company that produces a copycat, May 2005 study said. So companies that are about to face that competition have big incentives to delay the entry of new generics to the market -- and to erect obstacles to switching to the cheaper upstarts.
April 29, 2003 | From Reuters
U.S. officials issued final guidelines warning drug makers that some marketing practices, including gifts or payments to doctors, may run afoul of anti-kickback laws. Two "suspect" practices identified by the voluntary guidelines are payments from a company to physicians or pharmacists to switch patients to the manufacturer's drug and payments to doctors to listen to a pitch from a drug company representative.
February 16, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Companies that make generic drugs, the medications most Americans buy, are fighting to kill a proposed federal regulation that would require them for the first time to warn patients of all the known health risks of each drug they sell. The proposed rule change by the Food and Drug Administration "would be nothing short of catastrophic," said Ralph G. Neas, president of the Generic Pharmaceutical Assn., an industry trade group. It could raise healthcare costs and "create dangerous confusion" for doctors and patients, he said.
October 1, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
Merck & Co., the second-largest drug maker by sales, said Tuesday it will lay off 8,500 employees in a strategy overhaul to revamp its research and development efforts.  That's on top of a previous announcement that the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based company would lay off 7,500 workers. The combined cuts amount to 20% of the company's global workforce. In a statement, the drug company said the strategy is expected to save $2.5 billion by the end of 2015; 40% of those savings would be realized by the end of next year.
July 8, 2013 | By Jon Healey
In a recent post , I noted the Catch-22 that the Supreme Court insists Congress created with its fast-track approvals for generic drugs. Those who are injured by a brand-name drug can win compensation from the manufacturer if they can show the drug was unreasonably dangerous or that its warning label didn't disclose the risks properly. But those injured by a generic medicine can't hold the manufacturer liable as long as the drug maker used the same active ingredients and displayed the same warnings as the brand-name drug.
June 18, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A brand-name drug maker can be sued for violating antitrust laws if it agrees to pay a potential competitor to delay selling a generic version, the Supreme Court ruled. The 5-3 decision is expected to result in lower prescription drug prices for consumers, advocates said. The Federal Trade Commission, which has pursued suits against the drug makers, estimated that the so-called pay-for-delay deals cost consumers and health plans $3.5 billion a year. The ruling sends a warning to drug makers that try to deter generic rivals from entering the market by settling potential patent claims, paying the competitors to stay out of the market for years more.
June 17, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that brand-name drug makers can be sued for violating the antitrust laws if they make a deal that pays a potential competitor to put off selling a generic version. The 5-3 decision is likely to benefit consumers with lower prices. The Federal Trade Commission, which has pursued suits against the drug makers, estimated these so-called “pay for delay” deals cost consumers and health plans $3.5 billion a year. The ruling is likely to send a warning to drug makers who wish to deter generic rivals from entering the market.
May 29, 2013 | By Lisa Girion
Despite the state Senate's failure to pass a bill Tuesday that would have improved a prescription-drug monitoring program, a spokesman for Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris said the state's top law enforcement official was hopeful that the measure would succeed this week. The bill would create a steady financing for CURES, as the state's prescription drug monitoring program is known, by raising licensing fees on pharmacists and on doctors and other prescribers. The program is seen as key to preventing prescription-drug addiction and overdoses by identifying doctor-shopping patients an the physicians who cater to them.
May 16, 2002 | Bloomberg News
Lawyers who took on the tobacco industry are teaming up to file lawsuits alleging that drug makers inflated prices, according to an analyst's report. Pharmaceutical companies including Eli Lilly & Co., Abbott Laboratories and Schering-Plough Corp. are under attack from state governments and consumer groups that claim government heath-insurance programs pay too much for drugs.
May 28, 2013 | By Lisa Girion and Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times
Amid opposition from the pharmaceutical industry, state senators Tuesday failed to pass a bill that would have significantly enhanced a prescription monitoring program aimed at curbing drug abuse and overdose deaths. Under the proposed legislation, the program - known as CURES - would have received a steady stream of funding from an increase in licensing fees on pharmacists, physicians and other prescribers. The bill also called for a tax on drug makers to allow the attorney general to hire teams of investigators to crack down on drug-seeking patients and doctors who recklessly prescribe to them.
May 12, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Two of the nation's largest biotech companies - Amgen Inc. of Thousand Oaks and Genentech Inc. of South San Francisco - are fighting in Sacramento to keep a tight grip on some of their most lucrative drugs. At stake is a potential market worth tens of billions of dollars for pricey biological medicines they make from human blood, serums, bacterial cultures, viruses and other microorganisms. They are used to treat cancers, immune disorders and many other complex diseases.
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