Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not a good week for AZ....

AstraZeneca loses patent case against Dr Reddy's, and then has to cough up court costs.

My favorite passage:

I certainly hope that this ruling chills the sort of unreasonable, frivolous, anti-competitive, anti-consumer litigation in which plaintiffs here engaged. This lawsuit was nothing more than an effort to keep a legitimate competitor out of the market on flimsy-to-nonexistent grounds. Plaintiffs did not engage in zealous advocacy here; they engaged in litigation misconduct. They abused the litigation process and needlessly consumed the scarce time of the court.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Profile of a company founded on fraud?

Try to get through this complaint against Cephalon, involving their mainstay product Provigil. One of the better class action complaints I've read.

What's the next step?

Every year I had to complete training as part of the AstraZeneca Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) for improper marketing of Zoladex, which cost AZ about $250 million in fines years ago. Now they will enter into another CIA for Seroquel due to additional improper marketing (can you say "sleepoquel?" Google it). Everybody in the company knew that prisoners and nursing home residents were being fed this stuff in sub-therapeutic doses (for psychotic disorders) to keep them sedated. It was obvious from the sales data. So how does management, particularly sales management, get away with simply negotiating a second CIA? Why isn't there any jail time here? $520 million is slightly more than one month's sales of the drug. As a business decision, this was a no-brainer. If the market for off-brand sales is big enough, DO IT! Your stockholders will applaud you. They may even demand it of you.