Press review

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Bayer's liquid Aspirin in short supply

Country : Germany, U.S., Europe

Keywords :
BERLIN, 23 Mar (APM) - Bayer is experiencing continued supply problems of its liquid Aspirin used predominantly to treat acute coronary syndrome such as heart attack, Der Spiegel reported on Saturday (p68) and Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Monday (p20).
Reduced quantities are currently being delivered due to oversights at several production lines in France, where the drug is manufactured on a contract basis, it said. Bayer is the only supplier of the liquid form of the drug in Germany, the papers said.
"We take this very seriously," the paper quoted Bayer as saying. It is a long-term problem and the company is discussing how to expand production, the papers said.
There is no connection with the supply limitations in its Leverkusen plant due to corrective measures in manufacturing requested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Bayer said.

Bayer-Monsanto deal approved in Europe, U.S. still pending

The European Commission (EC) has approved the merger of Bayer and U.S. agricultural giant Monsanto but there is still a long way to go in the U.S. to get approval, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) (p15), Handelsblatt (p16 and 26), SZ (p17) and Die Welt (p9) reported on Thursday (APMHE 57398).
The EC approved the $62.5 billion takeover with certain conditions but it is possible that demands from the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) will go beyond what the EU has required, the papers said.
The DoJ is apparently taking a harder look at the takeover due to "several personnel changes within the Department since the beginning of the Trump era" and "a much more aggressive position on vertical antitrust issues", according to analysts quoted.

German pharma watchdog criticised for leniency

Germany's self-monitoring, pharma ethics and transparency watchdog, FSA is too lenient, Handelsblatt said on Tuesday (p21) (APMHE 57372).
Handelsblatt highlighted that it took more than two years for the FSA to send a 'warning letter' to several pharma companies who broke the FSA code of conduct when they sponsored a one-day training seminar in a five star hotel for €50,000.
Handelsblatt also said that since 2010, the FSA has only handled an average of six cases of possible corporate misconduct per year.

G-BA's head of pharmaceuticals goes to ministry of health

The head of pharmaceutical assessment at the higher health technology assessment (HTA) body G-BA, Thomas Mueller, will become head of the German ministry of health's 'Medicines, Medical Devices and Biotechnology' department, announced FAZ on Saturday (p25) (APMHE 57351).
Mueller has led the pharmaceuticals department for the G-BA since 2007.

Demographic challenges at industry park Höchst

Chemical and pharma companies located in the Höchst industry park outside Frankfurt have resolved to address demographic challenges in their workforce, reports FAZ on Friday (p45).
Oliver Coenenberg, Sanofi Germany's head of human resources and organisation told FAZ there are plans to form a "round table," to consider the necessary actions.
Earlier in March, trade unions warned that the companies will lose thousands of employees over the next 10 years. The number of retirements will exceed the recruitments, in particular due to a decreasing number of apprentices.
Ninety companies, employing around 22,000 people are located in the district.

Fresenius Kabi to expand logistic centre

German injectable generic drug specialist Fresenius Kabi was granted approval from local authorities to expand its logistics centre in Friedberg, near Frankfurt, reports FAZ on Friday (p55)
The company will investment €6 million for an expansion of 4,500 square metres. Fresenius Kabi employs approximately 750 people in Friedberg.

German hospital integrates genetic testing into daily drug care

German genetic testing company Bio.logis has partnered with the Robert Bosch hospital in Stuttgart to integrate pharmacogenetics testing into daily drug care, reported FAZ on Wednesday (p33).
The hospital's information system will be linked to Bio.logis' genetic information management software, including a genotyping platform. The database is intended to provide recommendations for personalised drug therapy.
Patients may be advised to take a different dose of a drug if, for example, they lack a specific protein affecting drug uptake, the paper said.
Bio.logis claims its platform can provide "comprehensible findings and concrete recommendations within a few seconds".

Online infrastructure hindering digitalisation

Inadequate internet access in Germany is slowing digitalisation in the healthcare system, Die Welt reported on Monday (p20).
Politicians have been avoiding the problem for years but there is fresh hope with new minister of health, Jens Spahn (CDU), the paper said.
Greater digitalisation can improve communication between doctors, patients and health insurance companies and reduce bureaucracy. But progress on these fronts remains unfulfilled due to the lack of an integrated internet infrastructure.
Spahn has appointed a Berlin CDU politican, Gottfried Ludewig to head a newly created department for digitisation in the health care sector at the ministry of health, the Tagesspiegel announced on Saturday.

New Bavarian science minister

Marion Kiechle, a gynaecologist, university professor and well-known television personality, has been appointed the new science minister by new Bavarian minister-president Markus Söder, SZ reported on Thursday (p4).
The appointment sends the message that "women who have done more than some men in comparable positions and who are controlled and assertive, have a place in the Bavarian cabinet," it said.
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