In the Region

Pfizer, Teva settle patent suit

Pfizer Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., both of which have big operations in the Philadelphia area, have settled a patent lawsuit over Pfizer's erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. The drug generated just over $1 billion in U.S. sales for Pfizer. Teva became the world leader in generic drug sales by challenging patents held by other pharmaceutical companies. Pfizer's Viagra patent was scheduled to expire in 2020. Under the settlement, Teva will be able to start selling its version in December 2017 and pay royalties to Pfizer. Eli Lilly & Co.'s patent on Cialis, a competitor to Viagra, also expires in 2017. The Supreme Court ruled in June that such arrangements can be scrutinized by courts for antitrust law violations in situations where direct payments are made by the branded company. A Pfizer spokesman declined to comment. - David Sell

Labor Dept. cites local roofer

The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Norristown-based U.S. Roofing Corp. for a "serious violation" in exposing workers to heat hazards while they performed hot tar roofing operations at Chichester Middle School in Boothwyn. OSHA proposed a $7,000 fine, the maximum penalty permitted for a serious violation, after its July investigation. The investigation was opened in response to a referral from the Boothwyn Fire Department when three workers suffered from heat stress at the work site and were sent to the hospital. U.S. Roofing officials could not be reached for comment. - Inquirer staff

Chesco chamber has new chief

Attorney Guy Ciarrocchi was named the new president and chief executive officer of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry. Ciarrocchi will begin Jan. 27. Former president Nancy Keefer resigned to return to Florida. Ciarrocchi's most recent position was chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley. His previous jobs included serving as director for public affairs for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Region III director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and chief of staff for Rep. Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.). - Inquirer staff

FDA warns on ADHD drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that a stimulant used in treatments for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder can trigger painful, long-lasting erections in rare cases. The federal agency said Tuesday it is updating drug labels to include information about priapism, a condition that can permanently damage a penis. The stimulant, methylphenidate, is found in treatments including Ritalin, Concerta, and Daytrana. Concerta is made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson, which is based in New Brunswick, N.J. The FDA said people should talk to their doctors before halting the drugs. Parents should talk to boys taking the drug so they are aware of warning signs. Medical help should be sought for patients on the stimulant who develop erections lasting longer than four hours. - Associated Press

Judge: Paint firms owe $1.1B

A state judge in San Jose, Calif., on Monday ordered paint companies to pay 10 California cities and counties $1.1 billion to remove lead from millions of older homes. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg found that ConAgra Grocery Products Co., NL Industries Inc., and Sherwin-Williams Co. marketed paint they knew was harmful to children. Atlantic Richfield Co. and Wilmington-based DuPont Co. were found not liable. The industry has faced similar lawsuits across the country but has won most. Kleinberg's verdict came after a five-week trial without a jury. The companies have 15 days to object to the tentative ruling, which the judge can alter. - AP


Facebook tests video ads

Facebook said it is testing video advertisements that show up in its users' news feeds, creating another potential source of advertising revenue for the social network. Under the current plan, the advertisements automatically start playing without sound when they appear. Users can click on a video to view it with sound, or scroll past it if they're not interested. Facebook said it has been testing the silent auto-playing videos for video content shared between Facebook users since September, and has since seen a 10 percent increase in the number of videos watched, liked, shared, and commented on. - AP

AA settles 9/11 case

Financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, which lost 658 of its 1,000 employees in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, has revealed a $135 million settlement with American Airlines and insurance carriers, bringing to an end a major piece of litigation resulting from the attacks. The deal was announced in federal court in Manhattan by Cantor Fitzgerald attorney John Stoviak. Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein must approve the deal. - AP

JPMorgan: No chatting

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, and Deutsche Bank AG are reportedly cracking down on multitrader chat rooms amid investigations into currency manipulation. JPMorgan will ban its traders from using multiparty chat rooms with peers at other firms, and is reviewing one-on-one communications, a source said. - Bloomberg News