Nice to see you again. As always, we have collected various interesting items to help you with your day. And we hope it is a pleasant one. As for us, we will spend time catching up on the thousand or so e-mails that piled up overnight and various documents that need to be digested, a task made easier now that our dog has been fed and pooped. So grab a cup of something hot or a bottle of water, and enjoy...
A Saskatchewan court has certified a class-action Vioxx lawsuit, the Canadian Press reports. Court of Queen's Bench Justice John Klebuc wrote in a recent judgment that the requirements of the Class Actions Act were met by the plaintiffs and they can proceed against Merck Frosst Canada and Merck, There are about 2,500 claimants. Merck intends to appeal the decision because it believes that each plaintiff's case should be tried separately.
Glaxo is making 100 of its permanent Cork, Ireland, staff redundant, RTE reports. In a statement issued today, the drugmaker blames falling volumes for the products manufactured at its plant at Currabinny, and so will have to lay off 100 workers. Glaxo employs over 1,600 people across four sites in Cork, Waterford and Dublin.
A provision in the Massachusetts life-sciences bill has a wrinkle, The Boston Globe writes. The bill would restrict some benefits to drugmakers with a corporate or US headquarters in Massachusetts - apparently shutting out some of the state's largest life-sciences employers, including Wyeth and Novartis. Wyeth, for instance, has 2,700 employees in Massachusetts, but is based in New Jersey. Novartis, which has 2,000 employees in Massachusetts, has its global headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, and its US headquarters in New Jersey.
Pfizer has agreed to pay about $195 million to acquire Encysive Pharmaceuticals and its Thelin lung-disorder medicine that has repeatedly failed to win FDA approval. Pfizer, which badly needs new medicines to offset sales declines for its drugs facing generic competition, will make a cash offer for all Encysive shares at $2.35 apiece, which is more than double Encysive's closing share price of $1.08, the day before the deal was disclosed, Reuters noted.
The upcoming changes to Japan’s pricing mechanism for prescription medicines will not include any radical developments and will reflect the government’s focus on containing health care spending, according to PharmaTimes, citing a report from Decision Resources. The latest pricing proposals allow for an increase in premiums to be awarded and, for innovative drugs, the premium range will be increased.