Monday, June 15, 2009

While You Were Self-Medicating

Not much going on industry-wise this weekend so we thought we'd flag up the old-school hilarity that the wacky pharmacists over at Pill Talk dug up last week. Toothache? Cocaine's just the thing. Got a bad cough? It's heroin you need. Mostly crazy by today's standarsd, but we tend to agree that morphine sounds like a fine treatment for teething, though.

Speaking of self-medication (this weekend, ours was Hooky Bitter), we attended a meeting of the European self-medication association (AESGP) in Vienna a couple weeks ago. You can read some of that coverage in The Tan Sheet (non-subscribers can sign up for a free trial--if you're interested in OTC meds also check out Tan Sheet's blog at

Nothing on that PillTalk list for what ails a Phillies fan after dropping two-out-of-three at home to the BoSox (even though Sunday's win was outstanding, there's not much for that except for maybe a terrific Mets loss). Oh and the Lakers won the NBA Finals.

More seriously we're sure that like us, many of you followed the Iranian vote and its aftermath. An unexpected but outstanding source for updates has been Derek Lowe's twitter feed.

And on to your weekend's industry news ...

  • Reuters reports that Pfizer is looking to boost its presence in emerging markets, which is par for the Big Pharma course these days. And which jibes pretty well with a report from Live Mint this morning suggesting that Pfizer was nearing a deal to buy several units of cash-desperate Wockhardt, an Indian pharmaceutical company. What's Pfizer's emerging markets strategy? We're glad you asked--because as it happens, we've got something brewing on that front. You'll just have to wait until the next issue of IN VIVO to read all about it.
  • Gout, a painful arthritic condition, is making a come-back, writes Andy Pollack in the New York Times. Reached for comment by IVB, Gout said, "Don't call it a comeback, I been here for years, rockin' my peers and puttin' suckas in fear!" OK, easy Gout, easy. Wait. You're gonna 'knock me out?' Andy said it, knock him out. But if you want to know what we've been writing about Gout, check out the fancy new web site for The Pink Sheet DAILY and other EBI publications.
  • An interesting rundown today at the Wall Street Journal of why Novartis' Alcon pseudo-acquisition has put it in a bind. Under the put/call terms of Novartis' original deal with Nestle, Novartis has an option, beginning January 1, 2010 and running nearly two years, to buy Nestle's remaining 52% of Alcon for $181/share, but Alcon is currently trading at $113. Nestle can also put its shares to Novartis, at a 20% premium to market, over the same option period. A pricey proposition no matter how you slice it, and WSJ has the details on what's likely to happen and what this means for Novartis with regards to future acquisitions.
  • Confused about health care reform? In Sunday's Week In Review the NYT recommends 'following the money', all $2.5 Trillion of it.
  • If you're coming to our EuroBiotech Forum in a couple weeks and sign up for the Dealmakers Value Package, that includes breakfast with some of your favorite IVB contributors (lucky you!). But Roger Longman wanted to make one thing clear regarding the 'no-holds barred' nature of the over-breakfast discussion. Roger writes: "I'd like to agree upfront that we will in fact not allow the came clutch, in any of its variations (e.g., camel clutch sleeper hold, chicken wing camel clutch, or the inverted face-lock camel clutch)."

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