Stiefel to shutter 40-worker FL office; Medicare will pay for Spectrum cancer med;

> Six months after it was bought out by GlaxoSmithKline, Stiefel Laboratories is closing its headquarters in Coral Gables, FL and laying off up to 40 people. Report

> Spectrum Pharmaceuticals said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will allow reimbursement for the company's cancer drug Zevalin effective Jan. 1. Report

> The Canadian government defended its use of a single H1N1 vaccine supplier but said it would consider using several sources of vaccine for future pandemics. Report

> Europe's pharmaceutical companies will allow an independent authority to vet information provided to patients under a controversial proposal to allow drugmakers to communicate directly to consumers. Report

> Profits for generic drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals got a big boost during third quarter 2009, jumping to $76.1 million from third quarter 2008's $54 million. Report

> Takeda Pharmaceuticals announced the incorporation of Takeda Pharmaceuticals Mexico, in an expansion strengthening the company's North American presence, bolstering existing operations in the United States and Canada. Release

Biotech News

> GSK, Pfizer launch new HIV drug venture. Report

> Lilly strategy chief heralds licensing deals, bigger Chorus role. Report

> Ironwood upbeat on promising linaclotide Ph III data. Report

> Regulators at the FDA have presented GenVec with orphan drug status for TNFerade, an experimental therapy that spurs development of an immune system protein which helps fight advanced pancreatic cancer.  Report

> Germany's Merck KGaA is barreling ahead with ambitious clinical trial plans for its cancer vaccine Stimuvax, convinced that it has a potential blockbuster drug on its hands.  Report

Manufacturing News

> Australian drug maker QRxPharma has enlisted New Jersey-based contract manufacturer Patheon to manufacture clinical supplies of a controlled-release pain relief formulation, MoxDuo CR. Report

> While it's clear that manufacturing practice missteps can have financial consequences, it turns out that manufacturing capacity issues can have political consequences. Report

> CGMP violations can continue to sting long after the warning letter arrives. Caraco Pharmaceutical, for example, which continues its push toward regulatory compliance in an effort to resume manufacturing in Detroit, saw sales drop 36 percent to $78.4 million, in the last quarter, thanks in part to its FDA-mandated manufacturing halt and drug seizures. Article

> Procter & Gamble has been cited for the illegal marketing of combinations of dietary ingredients and drugs. P&G story

And finally ... AstraZeneca tapped Edelman to handle public relations for its global oncology portfolio. Report