Novartis Settlement Provides Hope for Gender Equality

Erik Greb PharmTech editorLast week, the pharmaceutical industry struck a blow against sexism. In May, a US District Court found Novartis (Basel) guilty of gender discrimination. Novartis and the law firm that represented a class of 5600 female employees reached a settlement agreement that became public last Wednesday. The terms of the agreement seem to indicate that the company is making a legitimate effort to treat its employees fairly. Read more »

A Pyrrhic Victory for Sales Reps?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorManagement at Novartis (Basel) may be looking for a pill to combat employee-induced headaches. Not even two months after the company lost a class-action lawsuit that alleged discrimination against female workers, a federal appeals court ruled that the company’s sales representatives are entitled to overtime pay. Read more »

Novartis Fined For Gender Discrimination

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeIn this day and age, many of us believe that men and women have equal rights at work, but this is not always the case, as demonstrated by the result of a gender discrimination class action against Novartis. In a unanimous verdict delivered earlier this week, a New York (USA) jury found the drug giant guilty of discriminating against women in pay, promotional opportunities and pregnancy-related matters. Read more »

Separate and Unequal at Novartis?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorNovartis (Basel), one of the drug industry’s heavyweights, became the subject of unwelcome publicity last week when it began to defend itself against a class-action lawsuit. More than 5600 female sales representatives and entry-level managers claim that Novartis’s US arm denied them equal pay and discriminated against them during employment evaluations and promotions. Read more »

Sensationalism strikes again

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeOnly a day after the results of two Phase III clinical trials involving Novartis’s oral therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) were published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the media has leapt on the positive trial data and hailed the therapy as “hope for MS patients” that can “dramatically reduce relapse”. That’s great news, but hold on… the therapy hasn’t even been approved yet! Read more »

Pharma Celebrates its Own

Michelle Hoffman PharmTech editorFall is upon us and so is the awards season. And I’m not talking about the Emmy’s (although kudos to Mad Men). Earlier this month the Lasker Foundation gave out its Basic Medical Research Award, its Lasker-deBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, and the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service (see the Lasker Foundation website for more information). Next week the Nobel Committee will announce its award winners.

But last night belonged to the Pharmaceutical Industry. Read more »

The Changing Face of PhRMA

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) announced this week that it is creating a new committee of its board of directors dedicated to small biopharmaceutical companies. The committee will be composed of full and research associate members. In a separate item, late last month, Roche confirmed that it was leaving PhRMA to join the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the US-based trade group representing the biotechnology industry, in the wake of Roche’s recent acquisition of Genentech. Taken on one level, these moves simply reflect an organizational change by a well-established association to better serve and broaden its membership and the strategic shift of one member company. On another level, however, these moves reveal broader dynamics shaping the focus of the pharmaceutical industry. Read more »

Pharma Marketers May Have to Get More Creative

Angie Drakulich PharmTech editorWe’ve all seen trademarked skeletons, wall charts, calendars, paperweights, and supplies in doctors’ offices. And it’s blatantly clear that these items came from pharmaceutical companies—their names are written all over them. But soon, those long waits in the examining room before the doctor comes in may be quite boring because there won’t be much to look at. Read more »

Biologics: A Gamble or Safe Bet?

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editorPfizer announced this week that following a successful completion of its $68-billion acquisition of Wyeth, it will divide its research activities into two separate organizations, one for small molecules and one for biologics and vaccines. The reorganization is but a microcosm of Big Pharma’s larger strategic interest to strengthen its position in biologics with the hopes of improving its return on research and development (R&D). But is the calculus of intensifying R&D into biologics correct? Read more »

Accepted (and Increased) Pharma Bid Roundup

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorLast week’s post highlighted pharma deals that haven’t been working out due to rejected bids and stalled negotiations. On a more positive note, the past several months have also seen some successful acquisitions. This past week produced updates to some of Big Pharma’s pending pacts. Read more »

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