4 Healthcare Stock Stories For a Thursday Investment Checkup

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK): Closing price $51.85

GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman Mary Anne Rhyne announced Thursday that Herve Gisserot has replaced Mark Reilly as general manager for GlaxoSmithKline China. The change came during a growing scandal that has engulfed the United Kingdom drug-maker, which conceded earlier this week that some of its executives might have violated the law, and promised to improve its business practices. The admission came subsequent to Chinese police accusations that the company facilitated a bribery ring to artificially raise drug prices. Glaxo stands accused of employing a network of over 700 travel agencies, together with other firms to steer bribes towards hospitals, physicians, and government officials since 2007.

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GSK

Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SRPT): Closing price $36.90

On Thursday, the developer of innovative RNA-based therapeutics said it will submit a New Drug Application to the FDA in the first half of 2014 for the approval of eteplirsen to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Eteplirsen is Sarepta’s lead exon-skipping compound in development for the treatment of patients suffering with DMD who have a genotype amenable to skipping of exon 51.

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SRPT

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK): Closing price $48.17

Merck reported Thursday that its investigational anti-thrombotic medicine, vorapaxar, has been accepted for standard review by the FDA. Merck is requesting FDA clearance of vorapaxar for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events in patients having a history of heart attack, but no history of stroke or transient ischemic attack.

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MRK

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VRTX): Closing price $87.62

Vertex said Thursday that it has been advised by the FDA that a partial clinical hold has been placed on its ongoing Phase 2 United States study of the nucleotide analogue hepatitis C virus polymerase inhibitor VX-135. The partial clinical hold blocks evaluation of a 200 mg dose of VX-135 in the study after observation of reversible elevated liver enzymes in patients receiving 400 mg of VX-135 in combination with ribavirin in a Phase 2 study in Europe. Evaluation of a 100 mg dose of VX-135 in combination with ribavirin as part of the 12-week Phase 2 study in the United States is ongoing as planned.

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VRTX

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