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Today’s Top Three in Pharma 012709

Enormous Bextra charge taken by Pfizer If you’re going to take a $2.3 billion earnings hit over government investigations, you might as well announce it the same day everybody’s more interested in your $68 billion deal.

Amid the hullaballoo over Pfizer’s bid for Wyeth today, Pfizer announced its fourth-quarter earnings, which fell to $266 million from $2.72 billion a year earlier, due primarily to that enormous charge. It stems from an agreement in principle that Pfizer made with the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts to resolve probes over alleged off-label marketing of now-withdrawn painkiller Bextra, plus “other open investigations,” the company said.

Jim Edwards over at BNET explains how this settlement was both disclosed and “hidden.”

KV Pharmaceutical – major problems. KV Pharmaceutical (NYSE: KVa/KVb) has voluntarily suspended the manufacturing and shipping of all of its products, other than certain products that it distributes but does not manufacture. The suspension began on January 22, 2009.

Generic surge the major cause of drop in pharma sales forces? Sounds plausible, but where’s the data? Is this just a conclusion pulled out of thin air?

PLUS…blah blah blah Pfizer-Wyeth blah blah blah Wyeth-Pfizer… A lot of the coverage is endless repetition of not much. Here’s the take by some analysts, from the WSJ Health blog (a great source for pharma news, btw). And here’s a scary number – up to 25,000 job cuts?

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