Business digest 10/13/05
Thursday, October 13, 2005
British judge upholds Pfizer drug patent
NEW YORK -- Pfizer Inc. won a significant victory on Wednesday when a British judge upheld a key patent covering its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor in the United Kingdom, but the medication still faces a similar yet more important case in the United States. Shares of the world's biggest drugmaker rose 2.2 percent. Judge Nicholas Pumfrey upheld the patent covering atorvastatin, Lipitor's active ingredient, but ruled that another patent was invalid.
Delphi workers may see wage cuts in 2006
TROY, Mich. -- Delphi Corp.'s hourly workers could see wage and benefit cuts as early as this spring, officials from the auto supplier, which sought bankruptcy protection last weekend, said Wednesday. Delphi chairman and chief executive Robert S. Miller said the Troy-based company plans to propose cuts to its unions Oct. 21. If an agreement isn't reached by mid-December, Delphi will ask a bankruptcy judge to void its contracts. Miller said he will work closely with the United Auto Workers union, which represents most of the company's 30,000 U.S. hourly workers, to craft a new contract. Miller said he understands workers are angry, but the company is paying hourly workers two to three times more than its competitors. Delphi's autoworkers are paid $27 an hour, and their total wage and benefit packages are worth around $65 an hour.
Attorney grills Merck researcher over Vioxx
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- An attorney for the Idaho postal worker who blames Vioxx for his September 2001 heart attack grilled a Merck & Co. researcher Wednesday about why the company did not raise alerts over deaths among certain Vioxx users five months earlier. In Vioxx's second product liability trial, attorney David Buchanan questioned researcher Dr. Alise Reicin about mortality rates of people in clinical trials meant to see if Vioxx could also be used to treat Alzheimer's disease. Reicin said it wasn't clear that those deaths were due to Vioxx. Rather, those people died of other causes, such as car crashes.
-- From wire reports