Press review

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Boehringer to part with CFO

Country : Germany

Keywords :
BERLIN, Dec 15 (APM) - Boehringer Ingelheim is parting with its chief financial officer Simone Menne due to a conflict with chief executive officer Hubertus von Baumbach, Manager Magazin reported on Thursday (p17).
Menne will leave Boehringer shortly before Christmas after less than 18 months in the position.
Baumbach is said to have announced the separation without warning, the monthly said.
Menne supported the idea of a partial initial public offering but Baumbach was opposed to it, it said.

Massive layoffs at Teva

Generic drugmaker Teva has announced a massive 14,000 job cuts, representing 25% of its 59,000-strong work force, report Handelsblatt (p25), Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) (p20), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) (p23) and Die Welt (p9) on Friday (APMHE 56052).
The newspapers say CEO Kåre Schultz did not announce figures by country. Teva employs 2,900 people in Germany.
The German subsidiary is very efficiently positioned in the group, a German spokesman told Handelsblatt. "Teva Germany was successful in the market in 2017 and will meet its annual targets."

Price moratorium faces constitutional court

German medium-sized pharma company InfectoPharm has filed a constitutional complaint with the federal constitutional court against the price moratorium for drugs effective in Germany since 2009, reported FAZ on Saturday (p23) (APMHE 55931).
The company argues that the moratorium infringes on entrepreneurial freedom protected by the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany.

Medigene enters cancer research cooperation

German biotech Medigene has entered into a research collaboration with U.S.-based Rxi Pharmaceuticals, reported FAZ on Tuesday (p21).
The aim is to develop T-cells with improved efficacy to treat cancer. No financial details were disclosed.
Medigene's share price rose by more than 3% to 12.39 euros on Monday.

BioNTech developing in Mainz

Cancer vaccine developer BioNTech intends to further expand its facilities in Mainz, near Frankfurt, reported FAZ on Thursday (p40).
The biotech, which was founded in 2008, now employs 650 people and expects this to increase to 700 very soon, head of operations Sean Marett told FAZ.
In addition to the 50 million euro extension recently added to the company's headquarters, BioNTech has rented new buildings in the neighbourhood.
BioNTech, which is close to the University of Mainz, benefits from a network of highly qualified specialists, Marett said. The location is by no means a disadvantage in the search for new industry experts, he said.

Pharmacists protest fee reductions

German pharmacists are horrified by a proposal to cut their fees by 1.3 billion euros, reported FAZ on Monday (p17) and Tuesday (p17).
The proposals was made in a yet unpublished report commissioned by the economics ministry. The proposed cut includes a reduction in the general pharmacist fee on each prescription drug sold, in wholesalers' remuneration and in fees for individual preparations for patients.
Chair of pharmacists association ABDA Friedemann Schmidt said that a fee reduction for pharmacies was "out of the question".

Health insurers at risk of bankruptcy

About a dozen statutory health insurers covering around 15 million people are at risk of bankruptcy in the coming years if healthcare financing is not reformed, warned chair of major German insurer Barmer Christoph Straub, FAZ reported on Thursday (p15).
Many insurers face an unstainable level of expense compared to their financial reserves, Straub said. The high employment rate in Germany and generally positive economic situation disguises the problem these insurers face, but it would become plain if economic conditions were to worsen.
Straub criticised the way money is allocated between health insurers and urged reform.

Controversial U.S. guidelines for high blood pressure

The new U.S. guidelines defining hypertension as more than 130/80mmHg, after a previous limit of 140/90mmHg, are controversial, FAZ reported on Sunday (p21).
The number of hypertension patients has thus increased from 72 million to 103 million, and an estimated 4.2 million are now seen as needing medication.
The need for change has been questioned by some physicians. According to general medicine professor Thomas Kuehlein, doctors should continue to focus on high-risk patients rather than on medicating low-risk patients.
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