novartis

The Profitable Side of Going Green

Mother Earth is getting a little bit of relief as more companies yield to pressure from environmentalists and activist shareholders to reduce their carbon footprints. But Gaia isn't the only one who's benefiting: Just ask some of the companies that have saved serious greenbacks by going green.

Swine Flu Response Wasn't Influenced by Vaccine Makers

During the H1N1 swine flu pandemic, much criticism was leveled at World Health Organization officials, accusing their response of being too heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry. But according to a panel of independent experts, that wasn't the case.

Big Pharma Looks Beyond Drugs to Smartphone Apps

Pharmaceutical companies looking for fresh sources of profit are increasingly investing in a range of health care innovations that aren't drugs at all, from smartphone apps and educational websites to social media platforms and wireless devices, reports Ernst & Young.

Two Drugs Found to Fight Steve Jobs' Rare Cancer Type

Pfizer's cancer drug Sutent and Novartis's drug Afinitor have both been found to be effective against the rare form of pancreatic cancer that Apple CEO Steve Jobs was diagnosed with in 2004, according to two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Pfizer Joins Other Pharmas in Giving a Cautious Outlook

Pfizer reported fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday that nearly quadrupled from a year ago as revenue rose 6%. But it also lowered its sales guidance for 2012, due to some of its bestselling drugs going off patent. What's ahead for the world's biggest drugmaker:

Another Cancer-Drug Failure Highlights Difficulties Facing Pharmas

Sanofi-Aventis announced its cancer drug candidate iniparib failed in a late-stage clinical trial. Other pharmaceutical companies have also experienced recent setbacks as they scramble to bolster their pipelines ahead of the patent cliff, when they will be forced to compete with cheaper generics.

Government Recoups $4 Billion from Health Care Fraud Cases

The government recouped a staggering $4 billion in fiscal 2010 that was stolen from federal health care programs, the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services announced Monday -- the highest annual amount ever. More than half of the fraud money recovered came from drug companies.

A Depressing Outlook for Big Pharma's Next Few Years

After several years of robust expansion, the leading branded pharma companies will see growth slow to just 1.3% from now to 2015, independent market analyst company Datamonitor said in a new report. The primary culprit: expiring patents and an onslaught of generic competition.

What a Wild Year It Was
for Health Care

Led by the health insurance reform law, a flurry of drug and food recalls, key medical breakthroughs and plenty of layoffs and lawsuits, 2010 proved to be an exciting -- if not always positive -- year. Here's our list of the year's biggest health stories.

Pharmaceuticals Reveal Latest on Blood Disease Drugs

At the 52nd annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, which wraps up Tuesday, Novartis, Celgene and Seattle Genetics revealed the latest news from their studies on blood diseases and cancers. But despite some positive results, all three had down days in the stock market.

Osteoporosis Drug Approved for Cancer Patients

The FDA has approved Amgen's osteoporosis drug denosumab for use by cancer patients with solid tumors whose disease has metastasized to their bones. The indication to prevent complications such as fractures and bone pain among those patients could boost the drug's sales by billions.

Pharma News Briefs: Human Genome, Merck, Novartis

Here's a roundup of some of Wednesday's major pharmaceutical news: An FDA panel gave Human Genome Sciences a boost with a thumbs-up for its lupus drug, Benlysta; Merck's experimental heart drug appears to work well without side effects; and Novartis announced its plans for long-term growth.

Novartis Halts Two Drug Development Programs

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis announced Tuesday that it had discontinued the development of two drugs -- the hepatitis C treatment Zalbin, and antifungal agent Mycograb. The company will take impairment charges of approximately $590 million in third quarter of 2010.

Novartis Sells U.S. Rights to Enablex for $400 Million

Novartis (NVS) agreed to sell the U.S. rights to bladder medicine Enablex for $400 million. Ireland-based Warner Chilcott will take over the marketing, sales and manufacturing of the drug in the United States, Novartis said in a statement. The deal is expected to close by the end of October.

Novartis's Multiple Sclerosis Pill Gets FDA Approval

After a long wait, the FDA has OK's Novartis's Gilenya as a first-line oral treatment for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis -- the most common form (85% of patients) of the disease. MS affects over 400,000 Americans and more than 2.1 million people worldwide.

New Novartis Lung Disease Drug Beats GSK's Advair in Study

Shares of Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis were up about 1.5% in morning trading Monday following its announcement over the weekend that its Onbrez Breezhaler was found to be more effective at treating lung disease than a standard medicine from GlaxoSmithKline.

Legal Briefing: A Roundup of Labor-Related News

Labor Day isn't just about rounding out the summer season with a nice three-day weekend, of course. It's a "national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country", notes the Labor Department, and has been a national holiday for over 100 years. In that vein, here's a roundup of recent labor-oriented legal news:

Legal Briefing: Novartis Settles Sex Discrimination Case

Pharmaceutical giant Novartis lost a huge gender discrimination case in May, and faced $250 million in punitive damages, plus possibly hundreds of millions more in compensatory damages. Rather than deal with years of appeals, both sides settled Wednesday for $152 million.

Novartis Earnings Grow 18%, Raises Sales Guidance

Novartis (NVS) shares climbed 1.4% in early trading Thursday after the drugmaker reported that its second-quarter profit rose 18%. Strong demand for newly launched products offset drug price cuts in Europe and helped improve margins. Novarits also raised its sales outlook for the year as it benefited from growing cancer drug sales as well as generics.

Legal Briefing: U.S. Targets More Rich Tax Cheats

Now that they are nearly done squeezing Swiss bank UBS for information about its wealthy tax-dodging clients, the IRS and the Justice Department are moving on to new tax fraud targets: Clients of London-based bank HSBC Holdings, mostly those with ties to India and Singapore.

Merck Gets FDA Nod for Asthma Drug

Merck (MRK) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its respiratory drug Dulera for Asthma patients 12 years of age and older. Dulera is a new two-in-one, fixed-dose combination, which was developed by Schering-Plough and then inherited by Merck when it acquired its smaller rival last year.