PHARMACY

Viehbacher to leave GSK, take CEO post at Sanofi

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA GlaxoSmithKline’s president for North American pharmaceuticals will leave the company, GSK has announced.

The company said that Chris Viehbacher would leave the company Dec. 1 and has put in his resignation from the board. He had been on the short list to replace Jean-Pierre Garnier as chief executive officer of the British drug maker.

“He is one of the most talented and respected executives in this industry, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” new chief executive officer Andrew Witty said in a statement.

Viehbacher will become chief executive officer of Sanofi-Aventis, replacing Gerard Le Fur, who had occupied the position for less than two years.

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PHARMACY

Generics to drive worldwide pharmaceutical growth

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN JOSE, Calif. Growth in various sectors of the pharmaceutical industry is expected to come from Brazil, Russia, India and China the so-called B.R.I.C. countries according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts.

In the Asia-Pacific region in particular, government restrictions on healthcare spending and low discretionary spending power among the population is increasing sales of low-cost generic drugs, while China has emerged as a region with potentially vast opportunities for global marketplace majors.

Across various countries, the generic drugs market is seeing rapid growth thanks to the need for drugs that can save lives while remaining cost-effective. This is attracting multinational companies into production and marketing of generic versions of branded drugs. Many consumers in developing countries are gaining access to drugs previously out of bounds for them, though many of the drugs violate patents, according to the report, titled “Pharmaceuticals: A Growing Outlook.”

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FDA panel votes in favor of Pfizer’s Fablyn

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The benefits of Pfizer’s osteoporosis drug Fablyn outweigh its risks, a Food and Drug Administration panel said, recommending the drug for postmenopausal women in a 9-3 vote Monday.

The advisers on the panel said they could not determine whether deaths among patients using the drug were a statistically significant increase over deaths among those receiving a placebo.

But, they said, the decision was neither a clear rejection of the drug nor a clear endorsement.

Pfizer had maintained that numbers showing an increase in deaths among patients using the drug, known generically as lasofoxifene tartrate, were not statistically significant.

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