World News Wrapup: 31 May 2018


Insomnia drug not responsible for Roseanne’s racist tweet; more pharmacies go under due to UK funding cuts; pharmacist murdered by husband

US: Pharma company Sanofi has hit back at claims by disgraced TV comedian Roseanne Barr that its insomnia drug Ambien was a cause of the racist tweet that has derailed her career. 

The head of North American communications for Sanofi, Angela Bechan, told industry website Fierce Pharma that she “woke up on Wednesday to the news that actress Roseanne Barr had blamed a recent racist tweet on the use of the company’s insomnia drug, Ambien”. But Sanofi wasn’t having it.

Ms Bechan said Sanofi had responded by 9:57 a.m, with its own tweet from saying it “had responded to Barr’s charge that late-night “ambien tweeting” was responsible for her remarks”.

“People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication,” the company tweeted.

People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.

By the time Sanofi’s tweet went out on Wednesday morning, Barr had actually deleted the Ambien comment and another one that mentioned the drug, but her words were already out and the Twitterverse knew it. Overwhelmingly positive remarks and kudos poured in regarding Sanofi’s response.

In less than two hours, it had more than 60,000 likes and 25,000 retweets, Fierce Pharma reported.

 “Ultimately at Sanofi we felt that using our medicines as a crutch for bad behavior is unacceptable. We have diversity and inclusion as a core belief here. We value diversity very much and we don’t feel there is any plausible defense for racism. We decided that we needed to stand by our beliefs and respond,” Bechan said.

London, UK: A total of 156 pharmacies have now closed in the wake of the funding cuts in England, new government data reveals.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) had originally said that 134 pharmacies had closed in England between April 2016 and April 2018.

But the Department clarified to pharmacy publication Chemist+Druggist that looking solely at the period from November 2016 – the month before the 12% funding cut came into force – to April 2018, 156 “bricks-and-mortar pharmacies” had in fact closed.

The DH’s original figure had taken account of 22 pharmacies which had opened over this period, bringing the number of net closures down to 134.

The number of closures could potentially be even higher, as the DH stressed to C+D that “pharmacies that have local pharmaceutical contracts are not included within this analysis”.

C+D has so far confirmed the locations of 31 Lloydspharmacy branches that have closed as a result of the funding cuts.

Middlesborough, UK: The husband of a 34-year-old Indian-origin pharmacist found murdered in her home in northern England recently has been charged with her murder.

Mitesh Patel, 36, appeared at Teesside Magistrates Court where he was charged with the murder of Jessica Patel and was remanded in custody to appear before Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday 23 May, reports The Times of India.

“We have lost Jessica, a kind-hearted, gentle and selfless person who was loved dearly by her family and friends. She was completely dedicated to all of her family and her loss has brought an unbearable pain,” said a statement released by local Cleveland Police on behalf of Jessica’s family.

The couple, who met at university in Manchester, jointly ran a Middlesborough pharmacy.

Ms Patel was found at her home on The Avenue in Linthorpe suburb of Middlesborough with “serious injuries” and pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem was conducted but the cause of her death had not been released for “investigative” reasons. 

“They were a really nice, friendly couple and they’ve become popular in the area since they took over the pharmacy,” one of the couple’s neighbours said.

Previous The role of pharmacists in pain management
Next Seeking assistance

NOTICE: It can sometimes take awhile for comment submissions to go through, please be patient.