PHARMACY

AstraZeneca seeks outsider as CFO

BY Allison Cerra

LONDON AstraZeneca is looking for a new chief financial officer to help them trump the competition in the drug market, The Financial Times reported on Monday.

The pharmaceuticals group said they are looking for candidates that are beyond the pharmaceutical field in order to enhance their management style and their overall proficiency.

The recommendation befalls after the sudden exit of AstraZeneca’s chief financial officer, Jon Symonds, who quit in June to join Goldman Sachs. Company executives have led to a four-month search to find a replacement. They said that after conducting several interviews with frontrunner candidates, a decision will be made in the near future.

According to reports, Symonds’s resignation was a setback to the company. His presence was a necessity; the company managed to hold on to earnings in spite of industry hindrances, and relished in the fact their CFO had strong communication skills, instilling confidence in the company’s investors.

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A new clinical data recently showed that patients with uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes treated with metformin were four times more likely to achieve recommended blood sugar control levels by adding Galvus to their treatment compared to those who took a place

BY Drew Buono

BASEL, Switzerland New clinical data recently showed that patients with uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes treated with metformin were four times more likely to achieve recommended blood sugar control levels by adding Galvus to their treatment compared to those who took a placebo, according to Novartis.

Galvus was approved last year by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug is a member of a new class of diabetes medicines called DPP-4 inhibitors, which also includes the drug Januvia, made by Merck.

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FDA bill currently in consideration to regulate prescription drug advertising

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON A new user fee program for Direct-To-Consumer broadcast ads will soon be put into law as part of a Food and Drug Administration bill working its way through Congress.

As a result, sponsors will soon have to tell the FDA how many of these ads it expects to submit for pre-view during the fiscal year 2008. Otherwise, you can be charged 50 percent for late penalty fees or lose your payment if you underestimate the number of ads you’ll run.

The FDA will be given power to determine what is acceptable and what is not, so it will be the job of the sponsors to conform to the FDA’s requirements to avoid those extra fees. The ads could be priced anywhere from $62,500 to $83,000, depending on how much money the FDA will need to keep the program going.

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