PHARMACY

Report: Takeda to acquire Nycomed in $12 billion deal

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical may acquire Switzerland’s Nycomed for $12 billion, according to published reports.

Reuters reported Thursday that Takeda was in talks to buy Nycomed in order to expand its presence in the European market. Most of Takeda’s business is in Asia and the United States.

Nycomed makes treatments for such diseases as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic pain, osteoporosis and others.

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J&J recalls lots of Prezista amid odor reports

BY Alaric DeArment

HIGH WYCOMBE, United Kingdom — A subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson is recalling several batches of an HIV drug after reports of a strange odor that may have come from the shipping pallets.

Janssen-Cilag International said it would recall five lots of Prezista (darunavir) due to consumer reports of a musty or moldy smell coming from them. The odor is believed to result from traces of the chemical TBA, which is used in the construction of the pallets. The recalled lots were found in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and Austria.

TBA, also called 2,4,6 tribromoanisole, is a chemical byproduct of preservatives used in shipping pallets. While the chemical is not toxic, many consider the smell offensive, and some patients have reported temporary gastrointestinal symptoms.

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McKesson Specialty Care Solutions’ solution center recognized

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. –– McKesson Specialty Care Solutions on Wednesday announced that its Reimbursement and Access Services Solution Center located here has been ranked a top 10 call center by BenchmarkPortal and the Center for Customer-Driven Quality, founded at Purdue University.

Out of thousands of call centers across North America and across all industry segments, BenchmarkPortal singled out the top 100 centers from three categories. McKesson Specialty Care Solutions’ Reimbursement and Access Services Solution Center was recognized as a top 100 call center and as a top 10 center in the mid-size category.

“This distinction is an honor for the call center and for the hundreds of employees who work so hard and tirelessly to serve patients in their time of need,” stated Allen LaBrune, VP call center operations at McKesson Specialty Care Solutions. “This honor is another testament to McKesson’s dedication to quality –– high-quality employees and top-notch customer service.”

McKesson Specialty Care Solutions’ Reimbursement and Access Services Solution Center fields a staff of more than 650 employees facilitating more than 11 million interactions annually, and is one of the largest single-site call centers in healthcare services, offering support for single and multidrug programs for therapies in oncology, rheumatology and other therapeutic areas.

“Our employees are proud of the work they do and are passionate about the help they provide to patients, physicians and other healthcare providers,” LaBrune said. “This passion is evident in the solution center’s high-scoring customer satisfaction rating of 97%. At McKesson, we believe that our work matters and that the Reimbursement and Access Services Solution Center is more than a call center. The work our employees do every day helps patients access life-changing medications. This distinction is well-deserved for our employees.”

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