Company news

July 5, 2011

Eli Lilly and Co., once the undisputed leader in the U.S. diabetes market, wants to regain its dominance by launching as many as four new diabetes drugs in the next five years, Lilly executives said during an investor meeting June 30. Lilly has lost large chunks of market share in the past decade to Denmark-based Novo Nordisk A/S and France-based Sanofi-Aventis SA. But this year, Lilly, through a partnership with Germany-based launched Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, launched Tradjenta, a once-daily tablet that will compete with Merck & Co. Inc.’s successful Januvia but could involve fewer complications for patients with liver or kidney problems. As early as next year, Lilly could get the green light on Bydureon, a long-delayed once-weekly version of its Byetta treatment, developed with Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. Lilly could seek regulatory approval in 2013 for dulaglutide, a once-a-month drug similar to Bydureon. An oral drug called empagliflozin, also gained through the agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim, could launch in 2014. "Diabetes is one of the great opportunities for Lilly moving forward," Jan Lundberg, president of Lilly Research Laboratories, said in an interview with Reuters.

As part of its agreement to add Westview Hospital to its system, Community Health Network will assume $10 million in debt, spend $7.5 million on upgrades, and help open an outpatient center in Speedway, the two hospitals announced June 28. They will also look for more locations in western Indianapolis to add outpatient centers. Community and Westview first announced in November they were in talks to form a “strategic alliance.” On June 24, Westview’s board approved the merger. Westview needed to get bigger, CEO Jon Anderson said, because the 2010 health care reform law and other national trends are pushing hospitals to have some of their revenue hinge on whether they keep a specific population of patients healthy. Westview had annual revenue of $106 million in 2009, the most recent figure available. Community is more than 10 times as large, with annual revenue of $1.3 billion. From Community’s perspective, Westview helps it expand into the western portion of Indianapolis for the first time. In addition to Anderson, Community has hospitals in the southern, eastern and northeastern suburbs of Indianapolis. Community wants to make sure it has facilities accessible on all sides of the city in order to be attractive to employers who want to contract with a hospital system—either directly or through an insurer—that will take responsibility for keeping the employees healthy.

Indiana University Health is losing its chief financial officer, who has overseen the hospital system’s bulging balance sheet since 1999. Marvin Pember, 58, is taking a new job near Philadelphia as president of the acute care division of Universal Health Services Inc., a publicly traded company with 22 acute hospitals and numerous behavioral health centers spread from coast to coast. Pember’s last day at IU Health will be July 29. IU Health, an 18-hospital system based in Indianapolis, will begin a national search for his replacement immediately. Pember joined IU Health, then known as Clarian Health, when it had just three hospitals—Methodist, Indiana University Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children—all in downtown Indianapolis. Today, its hospitals stretch from LaPorte and Goshen in northern Indiana to Paoli and Bedford in the south. IU Health also has three more facilities set to join its fold by year’s end.