Herbalife (HLF) disciplined almost 600 distributors last year for making false medical claims about the company's nutrition products. The company even stripped 12 people of their distributorships.
Herbalife disclosed the figures to ABC News following an undercover investigation in which the channel found distributors saying that the products could help treat illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and even a brain tumor.
The investigation comes as Herbalife faces probes by several authorities into whether it is a pyramid scheme.
Novartis' (NVS) Q1 net profit leapt 24% to $2.97B and beat consensus of $2.7B, boosted by new drugs such as cancer treatment Afinitor and multiple sclerosis pill Gilenya. Sales in emerging markets, particularly China, also helped lift Novartis' earnings.
Net sales rose 1% to $14.02B, falling short of estimates of $14.25B.
Sales of medicines launched in 2009 or later rose 17% to $4.3B. Gilenya revenue +31% at constant exchange rates to $552M.
Operating profit +22% to $3.5B.
Adjusted profit was flat at $3.21B, or 1.31 a share, with the EPS figure in line.
Novartis reiterated its forecast that 2014 sales will increase by a low to mid-single-digit percentage in constant currencies, and that core operating profit will grow more than sales.
Novartis' results come after the company announced over $15B worth of deals in a shake-up of its portfolio earlier this week. (PR)
The European Medicines Agency accepts Salix Pharmaceuticals' (SLXP -0.3%) and partner Progenics Pharmaceuticals' (PGNX -1.9%) submission for the use of Relistor (methylnaltrexone bromide) in patients with chronic non-cancer pain. The product is currently approved as a treatment for opioid-induced constipation in advanced illness patients.
Salix Relistor revenues for 2011 - 2013 were $27M, $33.2M and $39.4M, respectively.
Progenics' royalty income for the same years was $3.046M, $4.963M and $5.895M, respectively.
San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano submits a bill to tighten the regulations governing the use of medical marijuana by adults. It would make it illegal for physicians to prescribe medical pot for patients they have not examined and bar prescriptions by doctors who have a financial stake in a pot dispensary.
The assembly Public Safety Committee passed the bill yesterday.
Somewhat controversial is the provision for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to enforce the law. The California Narcotic Officers Association cites the irony in allowing an agency with regulatory responsibility over the use of recreational substances to regulate medical products. The senate version specifies the state health department as the regulator.
The bill, if passed, could lay the groundwork for a tax-and-control scheme for recreational pot use similar to Colorado and Washington.
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals' (SPPI) conditioning treatment in autologous transplants in multiple myeloma, Captisol-enabled (propylene glycol-free) Melphalan (CE Melphalan) meets its primary endpoint of determining the overall safety and toxicity profile in multiple myeloma patients receiving 200mg/m2 of CE Melphalan as myeloablative therapy prior to autologous stem cell transplantation.
Propylene glycol is associated with undesirable renal and cardiac side effects that limit the ability to deliver higher doses of therapeutic compounds.
A previous clinical trial established bioequivalence to the currently-available IV formulation of melphalan.
The company plans to file an NDA in Q3.
The FDA granted Orphan Drug Designation to the product for this indication.
Undeterred by a federal court smack down of his state-wide ban on Zogenix's (ZGNX) Zohydro, Governor Deval Patrick's Administration institutes restrictions on prescribing the product. Doctors will have to complete a risk assessment and pain treatment agreement before employing any opioid like Zohydro. The agreement covers drug screening, pill counts, safe storage and disposal and other safeguards against abuse.
The MA Board of Registration of Medicine approved the new requirements yesterday. Department of Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett issued an emergency order requiring physicians to use the state's Prescription Monitoring Program before prescribing Zohydro. The provides a mechanism for authorities to track where patients are receiving their medications.