La professoressa israeliana Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian ha rivelato ieri che le autorità di occupazione israeliane rilasciano permessi a grandi aziende farmaceutiche per effettuare test su prigionieri palestinesi e arabi, ha riferito Felesteen.ps.
Teva’s layoffs and cost cuts are here—and they’re far larger than reports predicted.
The company said Thursday it would slash its headcount by 14,000, eliminating more than 25% of its worldwide workforce. That’s 4,000 more than the most dire scenario raised ahead of the announcement. It’s aiming to cut $3 billion from its annual costs, $1 billion more than analysts had discussed.
And the ax will fall swiftly, with the majority of job cuts coming in 2018; most of the affected employees will receive notice over the next 90 days, Teva said. Meanwhile, manufacturing plants, R&D facilities and offices around the world will shut down or be sold.
The cost-cutting plan comes courtesy of new CEO Kåre Schultz, whom Teva recently tapped to help get things back on track. The company is burdened by debt at a time when it’s facing competition to its lead drug Copaxone, struggling under industrywide generics price erosion, and suffering from a slowdown in Teva’s generics launch schedule.
“Basically the only thing that we’re really protecting is the product flow,” he said on a Thursday morning call with investors.
The embattled drugmaker expects to save $3 billion by the end of 2019. That’s a large chunk of cash, considering that it estimates its total cost base for this year will check in at $16.1 billion. Teva also expects to rack up a restructuring charge of $700 million, mainly related to severance costs, it said.
And job cuts aren’t the only measure Schultz is taking to reduce costs. The company will also suspend its dividend and keep looking for opportunities to self off pieces of its business. Teva won’t cast off actual pharma products, Schultz said on the call, but it’ll look at jettisoning “all the sort of side things that are not directly linked into product sales,” such as distribution.
It’s scrapping its 2017 bonuses, too, “due to the fact that the company’s financial results are significantly below our original guidance for the year,” it said. Teva has lowered that guidance three times this year, twice by more than $1 billion.
The new restructuring blueprint will deal a big blow to generics, a business that’s struggling mightily. Teva plans to tweak prices and discontinue products, which will in turn speed up closures and selloffs of “a significant number” of manufacturing plants in the U.S., Europe, Israel and emerging markets. Hard times in the copycat drug business recently forced similar action from Novartis’ Sandoz, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Teva plans to shutter a laundry list of R&D facilities, headquarters locations and other offices around the world and review R&D programs across the company in both its generics and specialty portfolios. It plans to scrap some development projects immediately, it said.
Some higher-level workers will also get the boot; as part of the new, pared-down organizational structure Teva announced a couple of weeks back, the company will be “reducing layers of management,” it said.
“These are decisions I don’t take lightly but they are necessary to secure Teva’s future. We will implement these changes with fairness and the utmost respect for our colleagues worldwide,” he said in a Thursday statement, adding that “today’s announcement is about positioning Teva for a sustainable future.”
Schultz has plenty of experience with cost-cutting, which made him an attractive fit for the Teva job. In his previous post as Lundbeck’s chief executive, he rolled out a restructuring that claimed 1,000 jobs—and within a year of his arrival, he had profits exceeding expectations and revenue climbing. And while the Teva effort is much, much larger, he’s taking a similar approach.
“It’s very much following the same pattern, where you basically look at everything and try to optimize everything in one go,” he said on the call. The process also involves making sure the cost-cutting plans are “highly executable” and “borne out of specific targets for specific units.”
And Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan, M.D., for one, figures that track record will sit well with investors.
“We believe investors will also be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he will be able to successfully execute on this significant restructuring, although there is no clearly defined long-term strategy at this time to allow us to understand what the company will look like following this aggressive period of restructuring,” he wrote to clients.
Of course, pushing mass layoffs through is no easy task in Israel, where workers’ representatives were already mobilizing before Teva made the announcement. Avi Nissenkorn, chief of the Histadrut labor federation, declared a nationwide half-day strike for Sunday.
“The entire economy—from the airport to the banks to the seaports to the municipalities to the government service to the health clinics—will stand until noon on Sunday in solidarity with Teva’s employees,” Nissenkorn told reporters.
Teva’s been down this road before, but Schultz is undeterred. “Consultations with the relevant employee representatives will begin in the near term,” Teva said Thursday.
The cuts are deep, but Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal called executing cost cuts “critical” in a Wednesday note ahead of Teva’s unveiling its detailed plans. “We will judge the company in part on its ability to persevere through the local opposition,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, though, at least one analyst says the moves may be too broad. Wells Fargo’s David Maris, who called the plan “unfortunate” in his own note to clients, noted that “it may also have significant negative effects to Teva’s competitiveness.”
“We question how beneficial it may be to cut a quarter of Teva’s workforce, and whether this disruption will further weaken the business and financial controls,” he said, adding that “Overpaying for Actavis generics, a Mexican generics company, underinvesting in a pipeline and other missteps are some of the factors that have resulted in the current crisis, in our opinion.”
thanks to: FiercePharma
Pfizer signaled good news ahead last month, however, with an announcement that the FDA had upgraded the plant’s compliance status. And it’s good news Sandoz needed, particularly now that the FDA has refused to OK the drugmaker’s version of GlaxoSmithKline respiratory giant Advair.
In the meantime, though, Mylan has moved in with the market’s first 40-mg Copaxone approval, which the company snagged in October after its own fair share of delays. Since then, it’s gone on to snap up a sizable piece of the market, with Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan last month crediting Mylan with 10% of total Copaxone prescriptions.
On the other side of the coin, more competition is a negative for Teva, although dramatically lowered expectations for the troubled company mean the situation with Copaxone doesn’t look as dire as it once did. Market watchers are already expecting the sales drop.
“We already model steep erosion of U.S. Copaxone sales,” Divan wrote Tuesday, predicting a 60% decline—to $1.2 billion from $3 billion—this year. “Based on recent conversations, most investors appear to be assuming similar erosion rates,” he added.
Teva, whose new CEO Kåre Schultz queued up 14,000 layoffs immediately upon taking the reins, is working its way back from serious debt and hobbling generics pricing pressure. But Divan, for one, likes what he sees so far. He recently upgraded the company’s shares, pointing to “early signs of execution” on the restructuring plan.
And he predicts the dim generic situation will come around, too.
“We expect the focus on healthcare spending and, in particular, increased drug spending, to lead to greater utilization of generic drugs both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S., and this is something that should ultimately be a positive for Teva and other large generic manufacturers,” he wrote.
thanks to: FiercePharma
L’ONU intraprende un primo passo concreto affinché Israele sia ritenuta responsabile per le violazioni dei diritti umani dei palestinesi
27 settembre 2017 — Informazioni pubblicate oggi dai media hanno rivelato che l’Alto Commissario dell’ONU per i Diritti Umani due settimane fa ha iniziato a inviare lettere a 150 aziende in Israele e nel mondo, avvertendole che potrebbero essere aggiunte a una banca dati delle aziende complici che fanno affari nelle colonie illegali israeliane basate nella Cisgiordania palestinese occupata, compresa Gerusalemme Est.
Le lettere hanno ricordato a queste aziende che le loro attività nelle e con le colonie illegali israeliane sono in violazione di “diritto internazionale e contrarie alle risoluzioni dell’ONU”. Inoltre hanno chiesto che queste aziende rispondano con chiarimenti riguardo a tali attività.
Secondo funzionari israeliani di alto livello, alcune delle aziende hanno già risposto all’Alto Commissario dell’ONU per i Diritti Umani dicendo che non rinnoveranno i loro contratti o non ne firmeranno di nuovi in Israele. “Questo potrebbe trasformarsi in una valanga”, ha detto con preoccupazione un funzionario israeliano.
Delle 150 aziende, circa 30 sono ditte americane e un certo numero sono di nazioni che includono la Germania, la Corea del sud e la Norvegia. La metà restante sono aziende israeliane, compreso il gigante farmaceutico Teva, l’azienda telefonica nazionale Bezeq, l’azienda di autobus Egged, l’azienda idrica nazionale Mekorot, le due maggiori banche del paese Hapoalim e Leumi, la grande azienda militare e tecnologica Elbit Systems, Coca-Cola, Africa-Israel, IDB e Netafim.
Le aziende americane che hanno ricevuto le lettere includono Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor e Airbnb.
A quanto riferito, l’amministrazione Trump sta cercando di impedire la pubblicazione della lista.
Omar Barghouti, co-fondatore del movimento BDS, ha commentato:
Dopo decenni di deprivazione dei palestinesi e di occupazione militare e apartheid da parte di Israele, le Nazioni Unite hanno intrapreso un primo passo concreto e pratico per assicurare che Israele sia ritenuta responsabile per le sue continue violazioni dei diritti umani dei palestinesi. I palestinesi accolgono calorosamente questo passo.
Speriamo che il Consiglio per i Diritti Umani dell’ONU sia inflessibile e pubblichi la sua lista completa delle aziende che operano illegalmente nelle, o con, le colonie israeliane sulla terra palestinese rubata, e che elaborerà questa lista come richiesto dal Consiglio per i Diritti Umani dell’ONU nel marzo 2016.
Può essere troppo ambizioso aspettarsi che questa misura coraggiosa dell’ONU concernente la responsabilità possa “fare scendere dal piedistallo” Israele, come il leader anti-apartheid sudafricano, arcivescovo Desmond Tutu ha richiesto una volta. Ma se attuata correttamente, questa banca dati dell’ONU sulle aziende che sono complici in alcune delle violazioni di diritti umani da parte di Israele può presagire l’inizio della fine dell’impunità criminale di Israele.
Il Comitato Nazionale BDS palestinese (BNC) è la più grande coalizione della società civile palestinese. Guida e sostiene il movimento globale di Boicottaggio, Divestimento e Sanzioni. Visitate il nostro sito Internet e seguiteci su Facebook e Twitter @BDSmovement.
thanks to: Comitato Nazionale BDS palestinese (BNC)
Traduzione di BDS Italia
September 27, 2017 — Today’s media reports revealed that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights began sending letters two weeks ago to 150 companies in Israel and around the globe, warning them that they could be added to a database of complicit companies doing business in illegal Israeli settlements based in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The letters reminded these companies that their operations in and with illegal Israeli settlements are in violation of “international law and in opposition of UN resolutions.” They also requested that these companies respond with clarifications about such operations.
According to senior Israeli officials, some of the companies have already responded to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights by saying they won’t renew their contracts or sign new ones in Israel. “This could turn into a snowball,” worried an Israeli official.
Of the 150 companies, some 30 are American firms, and a number are from nations including Germany, South Korea and Norway. The remaining half are Israeli companies, including pharmaceutical giant Teva, the national phone company Bezeq, bus company Egged, the national water company Mekorot, the county’s two biggest banks Hapoalim and Leumi, the large military and technology company Elbit Systems, Coca-Cola, Africa-Israel, IDB and Netafim.
American companies that received letters include Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb.
The Trump administration is reportedly trying to prevent the list’s publication.
Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement, commented:
After decades of Palestinian dispossession and Israeli military occupation and apartheid, the United Nations has taken its first concrete, practical step to secure accountability for ongoing Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. Palestinians warmly welcome this step.
We hope the UN Human Rights Council will stand firm and publish its full list of companies illegally operating in or with Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land, and will develop this list as called for by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016.
It may be too ambitious to expect this courageous UN accountability measure to effectively take Israel “off the pedestal,” as South African anti-apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu once called for. But if implemented properly, this UN database of companies that are complicit in some of Israel’s human rights violations may augur the beginning of the end of Israel’s criminal impunity.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BDSmovement.
thanks to: BDSmovement
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The United Nations Human Rights Council reportedly plans to go ahead with the publication of a list of companies operating in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and the Golan Heights, in spite of immense diplomatic pressure from the United States and Israel.
The FDA has nailed another Teva manufacturing facility with a warning letter, this time for an API facility in China.
The Israel-based drugmaker in a short SEC filing said the letter had been issued April 10, following an inspection of the facility in September that found issues with the plant’s manufacturing control and sampling processes.
Teva said it is already taking steps to deal with the FDA concerns “as well as the underlying causes of those concerns.” It said it will provide the FDA a full response by May 1.
Later in the day, a Teva spokeswoman responded by email, repeating the language of the public filing but adding that, “As a matter of practice, Teva manufactures according to the highest quality and compliance standards.” She said no supply interruptions are anticipated as a result of the warning letter.
We do not anticipate any disruption in the supply of products to patients.
This is Teva’s second warning letter in the last six months. In October, the FDA cited a Teva sterile injectables plant in Hungary, noting significant sterility concerns. The agency had earlier banned the plant from shipping any more products to the United States.
The newest citation adds to the burdens of the floundering company, which recently jettisoned its CEO and is reportedly looking at cutting as many as 6,000 jobs after Passover ends next week. It has been trying to significantly squeeze its costs following its $40.5 billion buyout of Allergan’s generic drug business last year.
When it rains it pours, and Teva is experiencing a flood of bad news of near biblical proportions. The same day that the company showed CEO Erez Vigodman the door, the drugmaker was said to be under investigation by Israeli police for bribing foreign officials in an investigation that mirrors charges it recently settled with U.S. authorities.
The company acknowledged to Haaretz that Israeli police are conducting a bribery investigation similar to the U.S. probe. Sources told Haaretz it centered on Teva paying hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to foreign officials and then creating falsified documents to hide the payments.
That U.S. case concerned issues that had occurred between 2007 and 2013 in Russia, Mexico and Ukraine. The company agreed in December to pay nearly $520 million to the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve the violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The criminal fine to the DOJ totaled more than $283 million, while Teva ponied up $236 million to the SEC.
The latest disclosure is among a mounting list of problems that has embroiled the company and cost Vigodman his job just 18 months after announcing its $40.5 billion deal for Allergan’s generics unit that many thought would be the big turnaround for the company. The problems started with the fact that it took Teva so long to close the Allergan deal that some investors had lost faith in its upside.
Just months after finally getting it closed last August, generics CEO Siggi Olafsson—a cheerleader for the deal—unexpectedly said he was leaving, spooking investors since he was considered essential to making it work. On top of that a tough pricing environment for the generics industry has left questions in investors minds about how Teva will untangle the mess.
As if in answer, the company told them in January the company was going to have to trim its sales guidance for 2017 by more than $1 billion.
Now with the company’s stock price down more than 50% from its August 2015 highs, Vigodman is out and Chairman Yitzhak Peterburg will handle the day-to-day CEO duties while a permanent replacement is sought. Director and Celgene vet Sol Barer will serve as chairman.
On Tuesday, though, one analyst saw something to like in the whole mess. Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan told investors in a note that the change at the top may allow for a fresh start.
“We believe the changes underscore the difficulties Teva has faced over the past 18 months and may be well received as investors look for fresh faces to lead a potential turnaround at the company,” Divan wrote.
Divan has some specific issues that he expects management to answer next week when Teva reports earnings. He wants to see if even the revised earnings projections will be walked back further in light of a court ruling late last month that tossed out four patents on long-acting multiple sclerosis star Copaxone, putting billions of dollars at risk. The analyst wants to know what this is going to do to Teva’s ability to pay down debt and what it will mean for the company’s dividend.
As he sees it, “It will be imperative for TEVA to bring in a CEO who understands the intricacies of the generics business but who can also work to bolster a specialty pharma business,” Divan wrote to clients.
thanks to: FiercePharma
So long, Erez Vigodman. After a brutal 2016 and start to 2017 for Teva, the company’s CEO is stepping down.
The move, announced late Monday, comes as the result of a “mutual agreement” between Vigodman and Teva’s board, the drugmaker said. Teva Chairman Yitzhak Peterburg will take up the reins as interim CEO while Teva works with a search firm to tap a permanent replacement. Director and Celgene vet Sol Barer will serve as chairman.
Vigodman’s departure follows several months of turmoil at the Israeli pharma. Last year, it faced lengthy delays to its $40.5 billion pickup of Allergan’s generics unit, which investors weren’t all that keen on by the time it actually closed. Then, Teva’s buy of Mexico’s Rimsa went so awry that Rimsa’s founders sued the company. In December, generics CEO Siggi Olafsson—a big supporter of the Allergan deal—unexpectedly hit the road. A tough pricing environment for the generics industry was the icing on the cake.
And so far, 2017 hasn’t been much kinder. In January, Teva walked back its 2017 sales guidance by more than $1 billion, citing launches that hadn’t gone as planned. Inherited pay-for-delay penalties have taken their toll, and late last month, a court tossed out four patents on long-acting multiple sclerosis star Copaxone to put billions of dollars at risk.
While investors haven’t enjoyed the roller coaster—in October, shares hit a two-year low, and they’ve only gone south from there—“we believe that more investors will be uneasy with the uncertainty of an unexpected and abrupt CEO departure,” Wells Fargo analyst David Maris wrote in a Monday note to clients.
Evercore ISI analyst Umer Raffat has already heard feedback to that effect. “On average, investor reaction has been neutral to slightly negative,” he wrote in his own note Tuesday morning.
One influential shareholder who may not be too torn up over the change: Activist Benny Landa, who has lobbied for years for more pharma experience on Teva’s board.
“What was obvious to me in the past is now clear: the most suitable CEO is someone with a strong background in global pharma—ideally, a person who has managed a pharma company or was in a very senior position in a pharma company,” he told Israeli newspaper Globes.
But seasoned vets aren’t all Landa wants to see at the Petah Tikva-based company. The way he sees it, splitting Teva into two companies—one focused on generics, one on specialty meds—would ensure that “each company gets its fair share of the debt and cash in order to give each company its chance to take off.”
“Teva has recently focused on generics to the extent that it lost direction, and didn’t realize that it should invest in the innovative field for the sake of its future,” he said. “These are actually two sectors with almost no connection between them.”
thanks to: FiercePharma