August 7, 2008 |
Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. reported a 66% gain in second-quarter profit on lower expenses as it struggled to expand sales in the increasingly competitive U.S. market for generic drugs. Net income rose to $60.3 million, or 53 cents a share, from $36.4 million, or 33 cents a share, a year earlier, the Corona-based company said. Revenue rose 3% to $622.6 million, trailing the $627.7-million average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Watson has been focusing on U.S. sales as rivals Mylan Inc. and Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. fund growth with acquisitions in other countries.
July 16, 2008 |
Wyeth agreed Tuesday to settle a Nevada case in which two women claimed that its hormone-replacement drugs Prempro and Premarin caused their breast cancer. Trial was to begin this week. The company agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to Vesta Woodhouse, 71, and Annie Woods, 61, both of Las Vegas, to resolve allegations that it failed to adequately warn them about the drugs' breast cancer risks. The settlement leaves a unit of rival drug maker Pfizer Inc.
June 18, 2008 |
Last week's column on California legislation that would allow drugstores to share people's prescription-drug records with mass-mailers clearly struck a chord with readers. And I'm glad to say it resonated with lawmakers as well. The bill -- SB 1096, written by state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) -- was approved by the Senate on May 29. But it hit a brick wall Tuesday when it failed to garner a single vote of support in the Assembly Health Committee.
May 22, 2008 |
Merck & Co. halted a study of an experimental drug it had touted as key to energizing its sagging cholesterol franchise, barely three weeks after U.S. regulators refused to allow sales of the drug. An advisory committee recommended ending the study of cholesterol drug MK-0524A, two months after the same scientists urged enrollment of more patients be put on hold. MK-0524A combines the B vitamin niacin and a drug called laropiprant to limit the facial flushing caused by niacin.
May 6, 2008 |
Drug maker Merck is cutting 1,200 sales jobs in the U.S. following a week of regulatory setbacks for two of its drug candidates. The job cuts follow Food and Drug Administration rejections for the company's proposed allergy drug combining the active ingredients of Merck's Singulair and Schering-Plough Corp.'s Claritin. The FDA also rejected the company's developing cholesterol drug Cordaptive, while publicly demanding the company clean up problems at its main vaccine plant.
April 16, 2008 |
Health product maker Johnson & Johnson reported a 40% jump Tuesday in first-quarter profit, mainly because of the weak dollar boosting foreign revenue and a charge that depressed year-earlier results. The New Brunswick, N.J.-based maker of contraceptives, medical devices, baby-care items and prescription drugs reported profit of $3.6 billion, or $1.26 a share, up from $2.57 billion, or 88 cents, a year earlier.
March 25, 2008 |
News of as many as 19 deaths in the United States linked to contaminated blood thinner heparin from China has generated new concerns about how to keep bad drugs from finding their way into the marketplace. But if California's 5-year-old effort to fight counterfeit drugs is a guide, the task may be tougher than it looks.
February 21, 2008 |
Generic drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. reported a fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates, compared with a year-earlier loss tied to research costs. Net income was $38.4 million, or 34 cents a share, the Corona-based company said. A year ago, Watson reported a loss of $489 million, or $4.80. Earnings excluding one-time items beat by 4 cents the 31-cent-a-share estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue increased about 1% to $627.3 million, as a new distribution business made up for a drop in both generic and brand-name drug sales.
February 16, 2008 |
The government proposed guidelines Friday for how pharmaceutical companies can use medical journal articles to market drugs for unapproved uses. The Food and Drug Administration guidelines, criticized by some lawmakers as too lenient, have been eagerly anticipated by drug and device companies such as Pfizer Inc. and Medtronic Inc. that often use medical literature for marketing.
February 6, 2008 |
You'd probably be interested in a drug that'll keep you peppy even when you're running on fumes. How about a drug that can cause depression, anxiety, hallucinations, psychosis, mania and suicidal thoughts? How about chest pain, sores or serious rashes? You had to sift through the fine print of full-page newspaper ads that ran coast to coast last week to learn that these drugs are one and the same. The ads were for Provigil, which its maker, Cephalon Inc.