PHARMACY

Court dismisses Tysabri suit against Elan

BY Adam Kraemer

NEW YORK U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell in Manhattan has thrown out a class action lawsuit brought by investors against Elan Corp. regarding its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri.

The company—and its excecutives—stood accused of artificially inflating the company’s stock through misrepresentations and omissions regarding the safety, commercial viability and projected market share of the drug. In an opinion posted on Friday, Holwell said the plaintiffs in the case had failed to adequately show that Elan and its executives had motive and opportunity to commit fraud.

Tysabri, a product of Biogen Idec and Elan, had previously been temporarily suspended from the market in 2005 after some patients developed a potentially deadly brain infection. It was then allowed back in 2006, though with certain restrictions, as the Food and Drug Administration felt that multiple sclerosis patients were willing to accept the risks in return for the potential benefits.

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Despite clinic closings, Meijer keeps commitment to health care

BY DSN STAFF

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Meijer has had a growing retail clinic program that helped establish its positions as a retailer interested in the needs of consumers hard pressed by medical costs, while also offering a free prescription drug program that provides antibiotics to customers free of charge, further marking its commitment.

The Meijer commitment remains, as does the prescription drug program, but most of the clinics are gone, although through no fault of the retailer.

Meijer has gone from having 39 clinics operating in its stores to having one unit that is situated in Normal, Ill. The company leased space to four different providers who operated independently, but in recent weeks, three of the four have withdrawn from the market, and, as a result, clinic operators who had opened units in Meijer stores in upper Michigan, the Detroit area and Indiana have shuttered their operations.

Family Quick Care operates the Normal clinic, and a Meijer source noted that it seems to be doing well. Physicians Organization of Western Michigan, Early Solutions and Medical Mart operated the defunct clinics.

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New chief executive officer at Lilly stresses drug development

BY Diana Alickaj

INDIANAPOLIS John Lechleiter, a Harvard-trained chemist, has been named Eli Lilly’s chief executive officer beginning on April 1, according to published reports. He will be succeeding Sidney Taurel who has announced his retirement from the Fortune 500 company.

Lechleiter will be the ninth leader in the company’s 131 years, and make a salary of $1.4 million, with a possible bonus of $2 million depending on the company’s performance, according to published reports.

A new leader seems to be a positive change for the company as its best-selling drug Zyprexa, an anti-psychotic, will lose its patent protection in three years, and its other top-selling drugs Cymbalta, Gemzar and Humalong, will expire two years after, further increasing the company’s pressure to introduce new products to the market.

According to the new chief executive officer, the introduction of new drugs will be his main priority, and is optimistic in this development. “As many challenges as we have in this industry today, it’s also a time of tremendous opportunity when you look at how much more we know about the human biology that underlies the mechanisms of disease,” said Lechleiter.

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