PHARMACY

A.P. Pharma to cut workforce by 35 percent

BY Alaric DeArment

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. A.P. Pharma will lay off 35 percent of its workforce while pausing many of its early-stage drug development programs after it posted a loss in third quarter 2008 financial reports, the company said Wednesday.

The layoffs and delays in drug development will allow it to focus on the drug APF530 into third quarter 2009.

“In light of the current economic uncertainties and volatile capital markets, we are taking these timely and meaningful actions to ensure the company’s ongoing viability,” chief executive officer Ronald Prentki said in a statement.

APF530 is the company’s leading drug candidate, currently in phase 3 trials as a treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The company is looking for a partner to commercialize the drug.

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AHIMA applauds Barack Obama for campaign success

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO The American Health Information Management Association has congratulated Barack Obama on his election as president of the United States, calling for reform of the healthcare system.

“Given the president-elect’s strong statements in support of health information as a key to expanding healthcare coverage while improving quality and controlling costs‹most recently during his infomercial last week—AHIMA is understandably optimistic,” AHIMA chief executive officer Linda Kloss said in a statement. “We urge the Obama administration to pursue the imperative of a 21st century health information platform that offers providers, payers and patients the accurate, integrated and secure electronic information they need to make decisions of utmost importance.”

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GlaxoSmithKline consolidates U.S. headquarters, announces layoffs of 1,000

BY Jenna Duncan

PHILADELPHIA GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Abreva, Aquafresh toothpastes, Nicorette, Sensodyne and Tums will cut its workforce by about 1,800 jobs and make Research Triangle Park in North Carolina its permanent North American headquarters, replacing the current U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, reports said today.

GlaxoSmithKline has had duel headquarters in the United States since the merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham was finalized in 2000, The Wall Street Journal today reported.

Today, GSK said that it will cut 1,800 positions, laying off about 1,000 people and eliminating hundreds of vacant positions, reports said.

GSK’s global headquarters are in London. The company is currently in the midst of belt-tightening in many departments due to growing pressure from the quickly expanding generic drug market and a decline in drug sales.

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