Nurses to strike at DC hospital (Morning Read)

Among today’s current medical news: DC Hospital bracing for nurses strike, Eli Lilly outsources bioanalytics drug-discovery operations, FDA approves drug for severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Novartis may gain from Merck KGaA’s FDA loss.

Current medical news and unique business news for anyone who cares about the healthcare industry.

Nurses to strike at DC hospital – Washington Hospital Center is bracing for a strike by  nurses on Friday. Managers are flying in nurses from all over the country.

Eli Lilly shifts lab work – The Indianapolis drug company is outsourcing its bioanalytics drug-discovery operations to an Indianapolis firm, a move that affects 26 employees, reports the Indianapolis Star. All 26 employees are eligible to move to the outsourced firm.

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Merck’s loss may be Novartis’ gain – The Food & Drug Administration did not approve Merck KGaA’s multiple sclerosis pill cladribine, asking instead for further analysis or more studies to understand the drug’s risks. That leaves the field open for rival Novartis’ Gilenya, which won approval from the FDA last year, reports FiercePharma.

FDA approves drug for severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – New York-based Forest Laboratories’ oral tablet roflumilast has got the nod from FDA. The approval comes on the heels of a negative vote by ann advisory panel’s last year, reports MedPage Today.

Minnesota and North Dakota hospitals merge – Bemidji’s North Country Health Services in Minnesota and the Sioux Falls and Fargo-based Sanford Health is combining, reports Minnesota Public Radio News.

FDA wants unapproved drugs off the market – The regulatory agency took action against companies that manufacture, distribute or market unapproved prescription oral cough, cold, and allergy products. This is the 17th action on a drug class as part of FDA’s Unapproved Drugs Initiative, which began in June 2006.