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Morning Read: Pharma plant, exec get second chances while Joint Commission calls do-over on hospital ratings

Also, forgive us for our light posting today and Friday. The MedCity News team is off for the Thanksgiving holiday.


Just in time for Thanksgiving, we’ve got second chances and forgiveness.

Danish company Xellia Pharmaceuticals has purchased the onetime Ben Venue drug factory in Bedford, Ohio, a place one publication said had a reputation as the “most notorious U.S. plant under FDA supervision, and the facility responsible for dozens of recalls and a slew of drug shortages.” — FiercePharma

Canagen Pharmaceuticals said its CEO, Mahmoud S. Aziz has been “completely exonerated” by a British court of criminal charges of handling stolen goods. — Canada NewsWire

Meanwhile, the Joint Commission is taking a break from hospital ratings at least for 2016, while it rethinks this imperfect science. — Medscape (registration required)

Also, forgive us for our light posting today and Friday. The MedCity News team is off for the Thanksgiving holiday.


Reverberations from the Pfizer deal continue to trickle out. It turns out Pfizer’s lobbying strategy including some wrap-yourself-in-the-American-flag tactic. That’s backfiring now, of course, and now all pharma lobbyists feel it: “This Pfizer thing is humongous, and I think it could change the course of history for the entire industry … Pfizer shot us all in the collective foot.” – New York Times

Price inflation of dermatology drugs has far outpaced general healthcare cost increases in the last six years, according to a new study. — Reuters

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has licensed a small-molecule migraine treatment from Heptares for an estimated $410 million. — Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Novo Nordisk and Ablynx will collaborate on nanobody research, in a deal that could be worth as much as $400 million. — FierceBiotech

The FDA has warned a California device maker that the company is illegally marketing a nonsurgical cosmetic device for off-label uses. — MassDevice

We’re still years away from generating red blood cells from embryonic stem cells, despite a 2010 prediction that the technology would be ready for testing by now. — Stat News


Maryland has become the first state to have every hospital within its borders reduce early elective deliveries to less than 5 percent of all births. — Baltimore Business Journal

CMS has given Houston’s St. Joseph Medical Center a little extra time to fix a rash of safety problems before the hospital loses access to Medicare and Medicaid funding. — Houston Business Journal

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s CMO thinks less often is more when it comes to treating breast cancer. — Boston Business Journal


It’s hard to get much clearer than this: “Your doctor doesn’t want to hear about your fitness-tracker data.” — MIT Technology Review

El Camino Hospital in Silicon Valley has completed its switch to an Epic Systems EHR after nearly half a century of home-grown computer technology. — Healthcare IT News

Well, of course the CEO of CirrusMD thinks there’s plenty of room in the telemedicine marketplace for a startup company like his. Duh. — The Health Care Blog

Washington state is investigating startup online benefits broker Zenefits for possibly allowing unlicensed salespeople to sell health insurance. — Business Insider


Florida Gov. Rick Scott has proposed giving a state agency $5 million to create a mandatory, public all-payer claims database in the name of price transparency. — Orlando Business Journal


There’s Thanksgiving and there’s Thanksgiving eating contests. Last year, a guy in California won by eating 20 pounds, 13 ounces of pumpkin pie in 8 minutes. – Voice Of America

Photo: Flickr user Alyssa L. Miller