Friday, June 5, 2015

Friday $uits

Maybe you would like to try on one?

"Boston Scientific ordered to pay $100 million over mesh" by Jef Feeley Bloomberg News  May 29, 2015

WILMINGTON, Del. — Boston Scientific Corp. must pay $100 million to a Delaware woman who blamed the company’s vaginal-mesh inserts for leaving her in constant pain and unable to have sex, in the first verdict after the company agreed to begin settling cases over the devices.

A state-court jury found Thursday that Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle and Advantage Fit inserts, built to buttress sagging organs and treat incontinence in women, were defectively designed and that company executives hid the flaws from Deborah Barba.

Nope, this one doesn't fit.

The 51-year-old former bank teller contends the inserts eroded once they were implanted, leaving her with a scarred vagina and a host of medical problems.

The jury also found that Boston Scientific engaged in fraud by failing to alert doctors to the devices’ faulty design. It awarded $25 million in compensatory damages and hit the company with a $75 million punitive-damages award.

The verdict is the largest so far against Boston Scientific over its vaginal-mesh inserts, eclipsing a $73 million award last year to a Texas woman over the company’s Obtryx sling. It ranks eighth among US jury verdicts in 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

It is the first since Marlborough, Mass.-based Boston Scientific agreed last month to pay $119 million to resolve about 3,000 lawsuits over the devices in the first settlements of claims that the inserts damaged women’s organs and made sexual intercourse painful.

They $crewed ya'!

Kelly Leadem, a Boston Scientific spokeswoman, said the company disputes the conclusion that the inserts were flawed and caused Barba’s injuries.

“We disagree with the jury’s finding and intend to appeal based on the strength of our evidence,” she said in an e-mail.

The verdict is surprising because it came in Delaware, the most corporate-friendly state in the nation, Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s business and law schools who teaches classes on how drugs and medical devices are developed and regulated, said by e-mail.

“Corporation-friendly Delaware juries rarely award punitive damages,” Gordon said. “A good portion of Delaware’s economy is driven by its business of domiciling most of the country’s largest corporations.”

Then the jury must have recognized the evilne$$ of it all.

Delaware, the corporate home to more than half of US publicly traded companies and 63 percent of Fortune 500 firms, had more than 1 million legal entities incorporated in the 900,000-resident state by 2012, officials said.

“The jury spoke loudly and clearly that Boston Scientific’s defective devices injured Mrs. Barba and many other women and they should step up and take responsibility for causing that harm,” said Fred Thompson, one of her lawyers.

The Food and Drug Administration ordered Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson, and more than 30 other vaginal-implant makers in 2012 to study rates of organ damage and complications linked to the devices after the companies faced a wave of lawsuits over them.

Women such as Barba allege that inserts produced by Boston Scientific and other companies are made of substandard materials and shrink once they are implanted, causing organ damage and persistent pain. Johnson & Johnson moved in June 2012 to pull four lines of such inserts off the market.

Many of the more than 70,000 mesh-insert cases have been consolidated before US District Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston, W. Va. Others have been filed in state courts in Delaware, New Jersey, Missouri, Texas, and California.

Goodwin has been pushing manufacturers to consider settling the cases before they face billions in jury awards.

Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard Inc., and other makers of vaginal inserts had talks two years ago about creating a global settlement of cases over the devices, according to people familiar with the discussions. Johnson & Johnson, which refused to participate in 2013 settlement talks, has now begun to settle some cases.

While Boston Scientific and Bard couldn’t agree on an overarching settlement program, both companies have begun to settle some individual suits and some lawyers’ inventories of cases.

Boston Scientific agreed to pay the $119 million to resolve nearly 3,000 cases collected by a group of plaintiffs’ lawyers led by Houston litigator David Matthews in April. The settlement provided an average payout of about $40,000 per case.

Boston Scientific stock rose 28 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $18.27 on Thursday.

That's what I was looking for!


Without the sex I can't get to sleep:

"Teva settles Cephalon case with FTC for $1.2 billion over sleep drug" by Rebecca R. Ruiz and Katie Thomas New York Times   May 29, 2015

NEW YORK — The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday a record settlement of $1.2 billion with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries over charges that a subsidiary, Cephalon, illegally blocked generic competition to its sleep-disorder drug Provigil.

Cephalon, which agreed in 2011 to be bought by Teva, had been in litigation with the commission since 2008. The case was scheduled to go to federal court in Philadelphia on Monday. The five FTC commissioners were unanimous in a vote to resolve the lawsuit.

The case is the latest and most significant signal yet, experts say, that the US government, and the FTC in particular, is focused on increasing competition in the pharmaceutical industry to cut health care costs.

At issue in the settlement, the highest the agency has ever reached, is the industry practice known as reverse payment settlements. In this case, Cephalon paid generic manufacturers more than $300 million to agree not to begin selling their copycat versions until 2012, according to the FTC. Were it not for the deals with generic companies, the drug would have faced competition in 2006.

In the year before a generic version of Provigil, which is approved to treat excessive sleepiness, was available on the market, domestic sales of the drug exceeded $1 billion, according to the commission.

I'm starting to fade.

The $1.2 billion settlement will go toward paying purchasers of Provigil — including wholesalers, pharmacies, and insurers — who the FTC said overpaid because of Cephalon’s conduct. In April, Teva struck a $512 million deal over the same issue with drug purchasers and others who buy products directly from the manufacturers; that amount is included in the $1.2 billion settlement announced Thursday, according to the FTC.

“The FTC has been very committed to putting a stop to these kinds of deals,” Edith Ramirez, commission chairwoman, said in a news conference Thursday. “There’s no question that pharmaceutical companies have gotten very creative in the way they try to get around the antitrust laws. We’re going to continue our fight.”

Asked by what date Teva would be required to pay the settlement, Ramirez said the agreement still needed to be approved by the court; a timetable had not been finalized.

Michael Carrier, a professor at the Rutgers School of Law who specializes in antitrust and patent law, said that Teva may have decided to settle after a judge ruled in April that the FTC could seek disgorgement of Cephalon’s profits from Provigil between 2007 and 2012 if it prevailed in a trial scheduled to begin on Monday.

“They could have been looking at billions,” Carrier said.

The large settlement amount was probably designed to catch the attention of companies who continue to engage in such practices, he said. “A billion is a big figure,” he said. “That will wake people up, going forward.”

The settlement is the first FTC case resolved since the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 the commission could sue pharmaceutical firms for potential antitrust violations in such cases.

Yeah, right. Their lobby is just as powerful as the banks.

The FTC and consumer groups have criticized reverse-payment deals as anticompetitive because, they say, the deals artificially delay the entry of cheaper generics, which hurts consumers. Sales of brand-name drugs typically fall sharply after generic alternatives enter the market.

What, the profit motive in all this bugging you?

“The government wants more generics in the market, more quickly, in order to cut health care costs,” said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s business and law schools who focuses on the pharmaceutical industry. “Anyone doing anything to slow the flow of generics should expect trouble.”


I noticed they never mentioned that Teva is an Israeli company, and regarding the price of drugs:

"Shareholders oppose Vertex’s big pay deals; Vote at meeting not likely to stop retention bonuses" by Robert Weisman Globe Staff  June 04, 2015

Shareholders at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. have spoken, and their message is clear: The Boston biotech company went too far when it lavished huge pay packages on its top executives.

In a rare rebuff of management, Vertex’s investors objected to the company’s executive compensation, including a tops-in-the-state $36.6 million awarded to chief executive Jeffrey M. Leiden for 2014.

Vertex plans a total of more than $53 million in one-time “retention” bonuses for a dozen executives — nearly $15 million for Leiden alone — if its new medicine for cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening lung disease, tips the company into profitability.

The outlays would be a lot of money for a business that has been in the red every year except one since going public in 1991. Because the shareholder vote (55 percent of shares cast were against the payouts) was not binding, the company is expected to go ahead with them.


Still, there could be a cost.

“Clearly, the message is maybe they should dial it back a bit,” said James Love, director of the Washington public-interest group Knowledge Ecology International, which focuses on high drug prices. “If you’re charging high prices and generating controversy over the pay of your executives, it draws attention in ways that could eventually hurt the shareholders.”

Greed doesn't understand that.

The company faces a crucial test within weeks, when the Food and Drug Administration issues its decision — expected to be positive — on US approval of the new cystic fibrosis drug.

Two advisory firms, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. and Glass, Lewis & Co., last month recommended that investors vote against the compensation packages, terming them “excessive” and “exorbitant.”

Both firms cited the retention bonuses, which would be payable in three years if the company earns one annual profit during those years.

“It’s very unusual, especially because the stock has been up and they’re a top performer,” Mark Williams, a finance and economics professor at Boston University’s School of Management, said of the shareholders’ vote. “But shareholders are saying enough is enough. Success is one thing, but excess is another.”


Here are a few more words regarding them just $ucking up money, and speaking of sucking, I don't mean for this to be over the top, but the baseball team sucks, too.


Fan badly hurt by broken bat at Fenway

Things go from bad to worse and that is tragic. I saw a kid take a foul ball off the noggin back in 1999. Came back and had big welt (probably concussed) but seemed happy enough (with his bag of Red Sox goodies to make him feel better).

State officials aim for continued biopharma growth

I'm sure $alaries at the top will continue to grow.