The Friday Report: September 27th, 2019

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

Another Reason to Eat at McDonald’s in Canada

McDonald’s has announced a 12-week test of the Beyond Meat burger in 28 of its restaurant locations in Southwestern Ontario, including the largest city in Canada, Toronto.  Calling it a P.L.T. (plant, lettuce and tomato) burger, McDonald’s test of Beyond Meat helped boost its stock (BYND) 11.5% on Thursday.

Industry insiders speculate that there may be a partnership between McDonald’s and Nestle to bring a vegan burger to market in North America following up on the success of the vegan burger it made for McDonald’s in Germany, of its top 5 international markets.

Newly developed plant proteins are designed to replicate the taste and appearance of meat, helping them to appeal both to vegans and vegetarians as well as to meat eaters.

One Company’s 10,000 Requests for Tariff Relief

To date, American companies have filed over 16,000 requests for exemptions from the $200 billion in tariffs imposed on Chinese goods by the Trump administration within the past year or so.  Interestingly enough, more than 10,000 of the requests have been submitted by only one company-Arrowhead Engineered Products Inc.

The company imports thousands of items from China, including aftermarket repair parts for vehicles, lawn mowers, all terrain vehicles.  All these goods are now being taxed at the 25% tariff level which is soon to jump to 30% as of October 15th.  Because of these tariffs, Arrowhead is unable to be successful in undercutting the cost of manufacturer parts.

DOJ Settles with Avanir Pharmaceuticals

Four years after three whistleblowers notified the federal government that a drug company was potentially paying kickbacks to doctors and illegally marketing one of its drug products, the Department of Justice announced a settlement with the company.  Two doctors and two sales representatives employed by the drug manufacturer were indicted for their alleged participation in a “kickback conspiracy”.

The allegations involved the inappropriate and potentially fraudulent use of Nuedexta for patients in nursing facilities.  This was uncovered in a 2017 CNN investigation and led to the $116 million settlement that included both criminal penalties to state and federal government as well as civil damages.  Nuedexta was introduced to the market in 2011 and has only been approved by the federal government for one rare disorder, pseudobulbar affect (PBA).

The whistleblower complaints alleged that the company illegally instructed its sales team to market the drug as an alternative to antipsychotic drugs, such as to control the disruptive outbursts of patients in nursing homes.  This behavior is commonly seen in elderly dementia patients.

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