Senate reports states GSK intimidated researcher
WASHINGTON A new report released by Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, suggests that GlaxoSmithKline intimidated and silenced university professor John Buse after he complained that the company’s diabetes drug Avandia was linked to cardiovascular events.
According to the report, after Buse voiced concerns with Avandia, GSK employees labeled him a renegade, complained to his superiors and threatened a lawsuit, the report says. At one point, Buse said a company employee told his department chair that Buse could be held liable for a $4 billion drop in the company’s stock.
GSK then prepared a letter for Buse to sign that said he was no longer worried about an increased risk of cardiovascular events with Avandia use. The company showed the letter to a consulting firm that was evaluating GSK’s products for investors. Buse also signed a legal document agreeing not to discuss the issue in public. High-ranking executives, including chief executive officer Jean-Pierre Garnier, were involved in discussions to silence Buse, according to the committee report.
GSK has said that the accusations are “absolutely false.”
Celgene to acquire Pharmion for $72/share
SUMMIT, N.J. Celgene and Pharmion have announced a merger agreement, under which Celgene has agreed to acquire Pharmion. Celgene will acquire all of Pharmion’s outstanding shares of common stock for $72 per share payable in cash and share of Celgene common stock.
Under the agreement, Celgene will acquire the rights to three popular Pharmion oncology drugs: Revlimid, Thalomid, and Vidaza. Thalmoid and Revlimid are used to treat patients with multiple myeloma. Vidaza is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes.
“The acquisition of Pharmion is an exceptional strategic fit that will expand our role as a leader in hematology and oncology,” said Sol Barer, chairman and chief executive officer of Celgene Corporation. “Our combined global infrastructure will leverage the therapeutic and commercial potential of Pharmion’s products, particularly Vidaza, which has the potential to become a major global therapy. By bringing together the talents and resources of both companies, we move closer to our vision of becoming a leading hematology and oncology company in the world, expanding our industry leading programs for safety, access and patient support.”
RxHub introduces Rx 4 Success e-prescribing program
ST. PAUL, Minn. RxHub, a company that keeps track of patient-specific medication history and pharmacy benefit information, has announced a new product for e-prescribing, the Rx 4 Success.
The new program was developed to target four main areas of e-prescribing: utilization of Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services approved ePrescribing transactions including eligibility, formulary and benefits, and medication history. The program will also integrate true electronic delivery of prescriptions to retail and mail order pharmacies. It will also keep consistent rules-based applications of clinical decision support content and formulate transactional data to support the development of outcomes based on pay-for-performance programs.
“We are extremely proud to be associated with our growing roster of partners which includes many of the healthcare industry’s foremost technology innovators,” stated Doug Johnson, vice president of business development for technology partners at RxHub. “Their collective vision not only helped shape Rx 4 Success but provides the foundation for ongoing market driven performance analysis and improvement.”
Rx 4 Success will become a participation requirement for technology partners connected to the RxHub network as of July 31, 2008.