Daily check up: Production woes for Genzyme parent

A look at the morning’s top health industry news.

Production woes for Genzyme parent: Robert Weisman reports that success of the $20.1 billion buyout of Cambridge drugmaker Genzyme by French company Sanofi hinges on the the ability of Sanofi to pull the company out of production problems. But those problems continue, with the company continuing to report supply problems for two drugs to treat rare genetic disorders.

Addition to Connector board: George Gonser, CEO of Spring Consulting Group, has been appointed to the board of the Massachusetts Health Connector, the agency that manages the state’s health insurance marketplace for individuals and small businesses. Gonser is the former head of the Massachusetts Dental Association Insurance Services and a vice president of sales at Chickering Group, according to Health Care for All’s blog.


On ghostwriting: William Heisel, who has been exploring the issue of pharmaceutical-sponsored ghostwriting for his blog at Reporting on Health, shares comments on the topic from Dr. Mark Kramer, former head of the clinical psychopharmacology group at Merck Research Laboratories and adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. “The potential impropriety of ghostwriting — the devil being in the details! — must be vetted carefully, non-politically, from an open-source academic point of view,’’ Kramer writes. “It is probably not as black or white an issue as the headlines imply.’’

The power of paper: Donald G. McNeil Jr. of the New York Times highlights the work of a Harvard chemistry lab and private company Diagnostics for All to develop tabs of paper capable of analyzing blood or other substances, starting with detecting liver problems in patients with AIDS and tuberculosis. The lab developed the test with at $10 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


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