PHARMACY

Vytorin under investigation for claims made to healthcare companies

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The Justice Department is investigating Merck’s and Schering-Plough’s marketing of the cholesterol drug Vytorin, and the two companies face lawsuits concerning the marketing of the drug, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show.

In a letter sent to Merck Sept. 10, the departments Civil Division said it had opened an investigation to determine whether the companies made false claims to government healthcare programs about Vytorin (ezetimibe and simvastatin).

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AHIMA applauds Barack Obama for campaign success

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO The American Health Information Management Association has congratulated Barack Obama on his election as president of the United States, calling for reform of the healthcare system.

“Given the president-elect’s strong statements in support of health information as a key to expanding healthcare coverage while improving quality and controlling costs‹most recently during his infomercial last week—AHIMA is understandably optimistic,” AHIMA chief executive officer Linda Kloss said in a statement. “We urge the Obama administration to pursue the imperative of a 21st century health information platform that offers providers, payers and patients the accurate, integrated and secure electronic information they need to make decisions of utmost importance.”

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GlaxoSmithKline consolidates U.S. headquarters, announces layoffs of 1,000

BY Jenna Duncan

PHILADELPHIA GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Abreva, Aquafresh toothpastes, Nicorette, Sensodyne and Tums will cut its workforce by about 1,800 jobs and make Research Triangle Park in North Carolina its permanent North American headquarters, replacing the current U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, reports said today.

GlaxoSmithKline has had duel headquarters in the United States since the merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham was finalized in 2000, The Wall Street Journal today reported.

Today, GSK said that it will cut 1,800 positions, laying off about 1,000 people and eliminating hundreds of vacant positions, reports said.

GSK’s global headquarters are in London. The company is currently in the midst of belt-tightening in many departments due to growing pressure from the quickly expanding generic drug market and a decline in drug sales.

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