PHARMACY

Quality control allegations against Mylan put Post-Gazette in hot water

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH A newspaper story alleging employee misconduct at the West Virginia manufacturing plant of a generic drug maker has earned a Pittsburgh newspaper a lawsuit.

Mylan announced Wednesday that it had filed suit against the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reporters Len Boselovic and Patricia Sabatini and others in the Circuit Court of Monongalia County, W. Va., over the Post-Gazette’s publication of a series of articles alleging serious quality-control problems at Mylan’s plant in Morgantown, W.Va.

The articles – based on confidential internal documents, anonymous sources and third-party commentary – reported that employees at the plant had ignored and deleted computerized warnings of product quality problems with the plant’s manufacturing equipment. A subsequent investigation by the Food and Drug Administration found “minor” deviations in standard operating procedures, but found that the problem had been corrected, and there was no evidence of widespread misconduct.

Mylan said the lawsuit seeks “compensatory, exemplary and other appropriate relief” from the defendants and the return of the documents, which Mylan said the Post-Gazette obtained improperly and without Mylan’s knowledge or consent. The company said the documents were distributed to third parties who reviewed them without a complete set of facts, leading to “mischaracterizations” and “misleading allegations.”

“We are very disappointed that this situation occurred and reached this level, however, we have no other alternative but to address this type of misconduct,” Mylan chairman and CEO Robert Coury said in a statement.

Representatives of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette could not be reached for comment.

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Researchers discover ways to prevent infection of cells

BY Alaric DeArment

MADISON, Wis. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to block biological communications between cells that lead to viral infections and tumors.

In a study supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers from UW-Madison and other universities created a set of synthetic molecules that interacted with the HIV protein gp41 to prevent the infection of cells. Several viruses, including HIV, Ebola and influenza, use interactions between viral and cellular proteins to infect cells.

“There’s a lot of information transfer that occurs when proteins come together, and one would often like to block that information flow,” UW-Madison chemistry professor Samuel Gellman said in a statement.

While it remains unclear whether this method can be used to create anti-HIV drugs, Gellman said it did could potentially lead to new ways of thinking about designing antiviral drug molecules.

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Behavioral Health Central to relaunch Web portal

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. In an effort to bring together clinicians, patients, payers, executives and administrators on one central Web portal, Behavioral Health Central is relaunching the www.BehavioralHealthCentral.com site.

The new Web portal provides industry and clinical news, resources and tools, and social networking capabilities designed to bring together all of the major stakeholders in behavioral healthcare. 

“This new genesis of our site brings everyone to the table so they all have access to similar resources and information,” stated Jim Miller, president of BHC. “It’s a recognition that, in the end, we’re all striving for the same thing — better treatment pathways, leading to improved outcomes for patients.”

Another key feature of the new site is the addition of nationwide directories that allow professionals and consumers to quickly locate treatment facilities, therapists, vendors, drug information, association lists and more.

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