Press review


Merck KGaA's Garijo one of Germany's most influential female managers

Country : Germany, U.S., UK

Keywords :
BERLIN, 21 Dec (APM) - Belén Garijo, head of Merck KGaA's pharma division, is one of Germany's top 100 of most influential women in 'economy of the year 2018', published by weekly Manager Magazin on Friday (p80-89).
Garijo, earning around €5.7 million annually, is the highest paid female executive in the German DAX index. She aims for Merck to reach €2 billion in sales just of new products by 2022, Manager Magazin said.

Action against Bayer's Yasminelle dismissed in court

Bayer Group has achieved success in a legal dispute over its contraceptive pill Yasminelle ethinyl estradiol+drospirenone) started seven years ago in Germany, reports FAZ on Friday (p22) (APMHE 61169).
A regional court dismissed a woman's suit against the company saying that the pulmonary embolism she suffered from were not undoubtedly due to taking the contraceptive and that other causes were also possible.
The woman was therefore not entitled to compensation for pain and suffering and had to bear a large part of the costs of the process.

Health Ministry loosens audit on prescriptions

Health Minister Jens Spahn told FAZ and reported on Friday (p19) that audit on physicians' prescriptions, including drug prescriptions, made by health insurers, will be loosened.
Audits on the cost-effectiveness of prescriptions will be made on fewer doctors and health insurers will be able to assert claims for reimbursement for two years and not four years.
A provision will be added in the bill on "faster appointments and better care" (TSVG) in discussion in Parliament.

German pharmas fail to launch any drugs in Germany in 2018

Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim and Merck KGaA did not launch any new drugs in Germany in 2018, said FAZ on Saturday (p30).
The pharmaceutical industry launched 36 drugs with new active ingredients in Germany in 2018, an above-average number in comparison with previous years, it said.
Drugs were launched from U.S. companies as well as from UK, French and Swiss companies, FAZ pointed out. Only two German companies are on the list but only for niche products: Fresenius with hyperkalaemia drug Veltassa (patiromer) and Aicuris with cytomegalovirus drug Prevymis (letermovir) marketed by Merck Sharp & Dohme (Merck & Co)

Data protection breach in pharmacy software

A widely-used pharmacists' software is piling up personal patient data in the IT system of pharmacy cash registers, which is a breach of current data protection regulation, SZ reports on Friday (p20).
The software is a product of German software company ADG and should follow a built-in algorithm to suppress personal data that is needed for billing purposes after a certain time. However, this has not happened for several pharmacies, SZ said.

Finasteride side effects before a German court

The first trial in Germany on the side effects of hair-loss drugs based on finasteride will start in front of a Berlin civil court in January, SZ reported on Saturday (p33).
About a dozen men who experienced side-effects are suing Merck & Co and Dermapharm as they claim not to have been informed properly. Merck & Co markets Propecia and Dermapharma a generic version.
The side-effects - depression, pain, insomnia, erectile disorder - can persist for 10 years even after stopping the treatment, which is called post-finasteride syndrome by doctors.
German litigation funder 'Roland Prozessfinanz' has financially supported the plaintiffs, SZ said.

Novartis CEO calls for 'new approach' on reimbursement

Novartis's chief executive Vas Narasimhan called for "a new approach" on reimbursement by payers in the U.S. and Europe, in an interview with Handelsblatt on Wednesday (p4-5) (APMHE 61144).
"We must stop looking only at absolute prices. It's about evaluating the success of treatment," he said.
Pharmaceutical companies are ready to "make offers for new forms of reimbursement" based on evaluating the success of treatment,"
Narasimhan also said that Novartis was ready to make new acquisitions and spend up to $15 billion to strengthen its major therapeutic areas and its technological platforms.

UK buys fridges in preparations for Brexit

The UK has been buying fridges as part of its preparations for the cold storage stockpiling of medicines ahead of Brexit, FAZ on Wednesday (p5 and 19) and SZ (p7) and Die Welt (p5) on Thursday.
"I've become the largest buyer of fridges in the world. I didn't expect that," Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Monday evening with a twinkle in his eye, reported the newspaper.
Hospitals are to keep medicines available for at least six weeks, in case an uncontrolled Brexit causes delivery problems.

Pfizer and GSK to partner OTC businesses

Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline are to partner in the over-the-counter (OTC) business by creating a joint venture but it is a move that prepares them leaving this business area, FAZ (p20) and Handelsblatt (p16-17 and 47) on Thursday (APMHE 61132).
The stock market reacted positively to the news: GSK's share price rose by more than 6% on Wednesday, while Pfizer's share was slightly up.

Indivior's shares recover

Shares of UK drugmaker Indivior jumped 21% on Tuesday after the company announced it is planning to launch its own generic version of opioid addiction drug Suboxone Film (buprenorphine+naloxone), Handelsblatt said on Wednesday (p38) (APMHE 61129).
However, the price jump is only a small counter-movement as the share has lost more than 70% since the beginning of 2018. Patents on several Indivior drugs will expire in 2019.

Comparative patient group in package inserts

A recent study in the Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE) suggests that the probability of side-effects in package inserts should be compared to epidemiological figures, Die Welt reported on Wednesday (p20).
As doctors and patients often did not understand that the side-effect indicated in the insert is not necessarily produced by the drug, this comparator should be included, according to the authors, Die Welt said.



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