Company news

June 20, 2011

Say what? “Excessive hospitality” while promoting its drug Byetta got Eli Lilly and Co. dinged by the U.K.-based Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, a self-regulatory group. And what exactly counts as “excessive”? Seven pints of beer, two gins, two whiskies, seven whisky liqueurs and three large glasses of red wine—oh, and a taxi fare afterward, according to a summary of the case posted by the practice authority. The booze was purchased at an Indian restaurant for three Lilly sales reps and two diabetes nursing specialists. The occasion was the endocrinologist speaking about off-label uses of Byetta. The practice authority asked Lilly to look into the complaints of an ex-employee, but Lilly said there was no case to answer. The authority determined otherwise, which is why it gave Lilly its public flogging.

Indiana University Health has pulled a prominent practice of cancer physicians into its fold. Central Indiana Cancer Centers sold its five facilities to IU Health and transferred its 150 employees to the Indianapolis-based hospital system. The 16 physicians in the practice will remain independent, but they have signed a service agreement with IU Health. Financial terms of the deal, which closed June 1, were not disclosed. But it is a big win for IU Health, as Central Indiana Cancer Centers has a well-established presence in Carmel, Fishers, Greenfield, Greenwood and the east side of Indianapolis. Cancer services are key financially for hospitals because of the growing prevalence of the disease, and also because cancer patients often need surgery. IU Health now has more than 60 medical oncologists, not counting any of its radiation oncologists or cancer surgeons. Central Indiana Cancer Centers, established near Community Hospital-East in 1976, also had discussions with the three other major hospital systems in Indianapolis: Community, St. Vincent Health and Franciscan St. Francis Health. A partnership with a hospital became essential for Central Indiana Cancer Centers as hospitals have spent the past three years gobbling up physicians of all stripes—both primary care doctors and specialists. IU Health Physicians now employs more than 500 doctors and Community Health Network has more than 550.

City officials on Thursday unveiled a long-term plan to redevelop an industrial stretch northwest of downtown with the goal of attracting hundreds of residents and dozens of high-tech companies to the area. The ambitious urban renewal effort, dubbed the 16 Downtown Technology District, builds from a strategy discussed over more than a decade to turn the corridor between IUPUI and 16th Street into a life-sciences research hub. The idea is to create a trendy urban district where residents can live within blocks of work. The project could require $15 million to $20 million in public investment and hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment. It is expected to take 10-20 years to complete. Officials said a final agreement is near for the redevelopment of the historic Bush Stadium site, which is wedged between 16th Street and the White River near Harding Street. The city is contributing about $5 million to the $23 million project, including tax dollars generated in the area and more that will be transferred from the consolidated downtown tax-increment financing district. Developer John Watson said he also is seeking a federal loan to help finance part of the project. Indianapolis also will invest another $3 million in public money to renovate Indiana Avenue from roughly 10th Street to 16th Street with new landscaping, walking paths, bike lanes and other streetscape elements designed to brand the area. That funding will come from initial proceeds from the sale of the city’s water and sewer utilities to Citizens Energy Group.