Company news: AstraZeneca; Sanofi; Medicus
The Sanofi oncology division got a 14-1-1 no from an FDA advisory panel Wednesday for its anti-clotting drug semoluparin. The drugmaker positioned the drug as a needed remedy for venous thromboembolism among cancer patients, but the FDA panel said Sanofi SA failed to identify a patient group that would benefit from the drug, reported Reuters. The panel also questioned the drug's value, and according to Reuters, pointed out that a very small number of people in the trial experienced a clotting issue. Reuters said semoluparin was also linked to a higher bleeding risk, compared to placebo.
A survey by medical staffing group Medicus Firm shows that pay for nurse practitioners and physician assistants outpaced that of physicians in 2011. “Physicians reported the lowest year-over-year income growth we have seen in the history of our physician survey," Medicus President Jim Stone said in a statement. The survey polled over 2,500 physicians in 18 specialties and found a net decrease in compensation of 1.7% between 2010 and 2011, the second time in two years that average incomes declined. But flat or falling isn't necessarily a negative – 32% of the polled docs were “satisfied” with their take-home pay, down from 35% the year before. Some specialties, including cardiology, gastroenterology and general surgery, saw increases, but Medicus said the income growth was moderate.