Company That Spoiled J&J Vaccines Investigated For Trump Admin Ties
Meanwhile, reports say a $1.3 billion federal award from the Trump administration to a syringe manufacturer has resulted in no syringe production. Separately, Pfizer is urged to publish a report outlining its political donations and J&J's sales growth is boosted by covid vaccines.
Congress Probes Emergent's Ties To A Key Trump Official
A pair of top House Democrats is investigating whether Emergent BioSolutions (EBS), which was responsible for contaminating millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Covid-19 vaccine, traded on its relationship with a key Trump administration official to win federal contracts. In a letter to the company, which is one of the biggest contract manufacturers in the pharmaceutical industry, the lawmakers noted they are reacting to reports that Emergent received a $628 million contract last June to create the main U.S. facility for making Covid-19 vaccines for both J&J and AstraZeneca (AZN), despite a history of inadequately trained staff and quality control problems. (Silverman, 4/20)
Trump Administration Awarded A Firm $1.3 Billion To Make Covid Vaccine Syringes. Where Are The Syringes?
A year after a Connecticut company was awarded almost $1.3 billion in federal loans and contracts to supply an essential syringe for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, no syringes have been made. The syringe hasn't received even the first of a series of approvals it needs from the federal government before it can be manufactured, and a factory promising 650 jobs remains unbuilt. ApiJect Systems Corp. positioned itself as the company that would make the difference between a stumbling rollout and delivery of lifesaving vaccines. But as the U.S. vaccine rollout hits full stride, with about half of adults in the U.S. having already received at least one injection, the need for ApiJect's device has waned, leaving the contracts and loans in question. (Lehren and Strickler, 4/21)
Pfizer Shareholders Urged To Reject Political Donations Contradicting 'Values'
Arguing that Pfizer’s political spending conflicts with the company’s publicly stated values, a philanthropic organization is urging shareholders to support a proposal that would require the drug maker to publish an annual report analyzing its donations. The proposal, which is among those to be voted on at the Pfizer (PFE) annual meeting on Thursday, addresses political contributions that pose not only financial risks, but could also jeopardize its standing with the public at large, according to The Tara Health Foundation, which supports numerous organizations devoted to women’s health, the environment, and socially conscious investing. (Silverman, 4/20)
The Wall Street Journal:
Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 Vaccine Adds $100 Million To Quarterly Sales
Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine contributed $100 million to the company’s sales growth in the latest quarter, though the outlook for future sales is uncertain due to pauses in vaccinations while health authorities in several countries probe safety concerns. The European drug regulator said Tuesday a safety committee recommended that a warning about a rare, serious blood-clot condition be added to the product information for J&J’s vaccine. The European Medicines Agency didn’t halt use of the vaccine and said its benefits continue to outweigh risks. It said the clot risk was very low but that people should be aware of symptoms so they can quickly get treated. (Loftus and Grossman, 4/20)
The Wall Street Journal:
Johnson & Johnson Shows Health Economy Is Nearing Full Strength
After a year of pandemic-related disruptions, the healthcare industry has nearly returned to business as usual. Wall Street doesn’t yet seem to have noticed. Take Johnson & Johnson for instance. Investors and the general public have focused lately on Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, the rollout of which has been paused by regulators in the U.S. as adverse events related to blood clotting are reviewed. While European regulators declined to halt the vaccine on Tuesday, and shots could resume soon in the U.S., the vaccine itself isn’t material to the company’s finances. (Grant, 4/20)