PHARMACY

Sandoz completes $10 million expansion of N.C. facility

BY Drew Buono

WILSON, N.C. Sandoz recently completed the major phase of its Wilson, North Carolina expansion when over 50 employees moved into a new 30,000 square foot building.

Over 65 new jobs are expected to be created in Wilson as a result of the $10 million expansion. The positions will be filled by pharmaceutical scientists and analytical chemists and will bring the total of employees at the site to almost 480.

“The new laboratories present an excellent workplace and opportunity for top scientists to help us continue to growth in the U.S.,” said Bernhard Hampl, president and chief executive officer of Sandoz. “The new products developed at the site will be the basis for the future growth of the Wilson site.”

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Amgen cuts fewer jobs in R.I. than predicted

BY Allison Cerra

WEST GREENWICH, R.I. Despite last month?s reports that drug maker Amgen would lay off 450 employees from its Rhode Island staff, the number is proving to be lower, according to the Associated Press.

Instead, according to reports, Amgen cut 300 employees, after realizing that it needed more workers to help manufacture Enbrel, an arthritis drug.

Amgen has roughly 1,600 workers in Rhode Island. It plans to close one of its manufacturing plants by the end of the year.

The company plans to lay off 1,500 employees across the country as part of a major cost-cutting plan.

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Edwards suggests new drug ads wait for two years

BY Allison Cerra

LACONIA, N.H. Presidential hopeful John Edwards said Sunday he had outlined a plan to regulate prescription drug companies and their advertising. Edwards suggested that drug makers wait two years to begin advertising their new products to consumers since the cost of advertising has escalated to nearly $4 billion over the past decade.

The two-year delay would prevent television ads from driving consumers to drugs that haven’t been proven safe, said Edwards, who also would require drug companies to get Food and Drug Administration approval before launching major ad campaigns.

“I think two years makes sense. I think it gives enough time for a drug not just to have been tested in clinical trials but to be out among the public, to see what kind of adverse reactions there have been,’’ he told reporters afterward.

Edwards’ plan also includes augmented penalties for companies that violate truth-in-advertising laws, and would require companies to disclose more information about a drug’s side effects and effectiveness compared to placebos and less expensive alternative drugs.

The Democratic hopeful said this idea would ensure that “salesmanship is not trumping the facts, so people learn what the real risks are associated with these drugs,” Edwards said.

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