AmerisourceBergen announces 3.5 percent revenue increase for Q1 2008
VALLEY FORGE, Pa. AmerisourceBergen recently released its fiscal year 2008 first quarter report, which ended on Dec. 31. The company’s operating revenue increased 3.5 percent to $16.2 billion.
The company also announced plans to sell its workers’ compensation business, PMSI, due to poor performance and to focus more on its pharmaceutical distribution and related services businesses.
“In the December quarter, we delivered solid performance in our core businesses in a quarter that was a tough comparison with last year, and we look forward to stronger performance for the remainder of the 2008 fiscal year,” said R. David Yost, AmerisourceBergen’s president and chief executive officer. “With a seasonally strong March quarter ahead, our increased sales momentum over the remainder of the fiscal year and the ongoing benefit from our share repurchase program, we continue to expect fiscal year 2008 diluted earnings per share to be 13 percent to 20 percent ahead of last year, excluding PharMerica Long-Term Care and special items in fiscal 2007. Our balance sheet continues to be strong and our financial flexibility remains significant.”
Harvard program seeks to discourage doctors from prescribing pediatric antibiotics
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. A program was conducted at the Harvard Medical School in an effort to change doctors’ prescribing habits for antibiotics and to educate parents of small children about the proper use of antibiotics, according to Reuters.
The program was initiated because of the emergence of microbes that are resistant to antibiotics because doctors prescribed the medications when they weren’t really needed.
Harvard Medical School’s Jonathan Finkelstein and colleagues conducted the program in 16 Massachusetts communities between 1988 and 2003. Finkelstein’s team measured changes in antibiotic prescribing rates among three groups of children: 3 to 24 months, 24 to 48 months, and 48 to 72 months.
By the end of the study, the intervention had not changed the rate of antibiotic use in the youngest group, but for children between 24 and 48 months, the rates decreased by 4.2 percent and for the oldest children, the rates decreased by 6.7 percent.
Patent office rejects Gilead patents for Viread
WASHINGTON The Patent and Trademark Office has tentatively rejected four patents for Gilead Sciences’ HIV drug Viread, according to published reports.
The Public Patent Foundation filed a petition in March seeking to revoke the patents for the drug because they felt the drug should never have been patented in the first place, as the technology used to make the drug had been previously disclosed publicly.
The PTO is now re-examining the patents. Industry experts have said that it is common for the federal agency to tentatively rule patents invalid after having been asked by a third party to re-examine them. What would be unlikely would be the patents being permanently revoked, which has only occurred about 10 percent of the time.
Gilead sells Viread under that name and in combination with other drugs as Truvada and Atripla. Taken together, the three HIV treatments generated $3.1 billion in sales last year, according to the company.