PHARMACY

Former CDC head assumes new role at Merck’s vaccine division

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. The former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will soon start work as the new president of Merck & Co.’s vaccine division.

Merck announced Monday that it had appointed Julie Gerberding as president of Merck Vaccines, effective Jan. 25. Gerberding was director of the CDC from 2002 to 2009, having led the agency through more than 40 emergency response initiatives for health crises.

“Vaccines are a cornerstone of Merck’s commitment to health and wellness,” Merck chairman and CEO Richard Clark said. “We are delighted to welcome an expert of Dr. Gerberding’s caliber to Merck.”

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Lilly expands CFO’s role

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS Eli Lilly & Co. has expanded the role of its CFO, the drug maker announced Friday.

The Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical manufacture said that CFO and SVP Derica Rice had been promoted to CFO and EVP global services. He will assume the new position on Jan. 1 and be responsible for global services and the company’s ongoing global services design project.

“Derica has demonstrated strong leadership and outstanding results during his 19-year career at Lilly,” Lilly president John Lechleiter said in a statement. “Derica, in his new role, will help ensure that these important functions, aligned with our global services design effort, continue to provide needed support to our business units and our key functions in the most efficient and effective way possible.”

Rice began working for Lilly in 1990 as an international treasury associate and has served in various executive positions, including CFO, of the company’s subsidiaries in Canada and Europe.

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FDA approves COPD treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. The Food and Drug Administration has approved an inhaler for reducing the risks of exacerbations associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.

Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals announced the FDA’s approval of Spiriva HandiHaler (tiotropium bromide). The inhaler is already approved as a maintenance treatment for COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

“Exacerbations of COPD are serious events that can negatively impact the lives of patients,” University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine professor emeritus Donald Tashkin said. “People with COPD now have a once-daily treatment option that not only helps them manage the debilitating symptoms of COPD, but also can help them reduce the chance of an exacerbation.”

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