This Week in Business: Zofran, Amazon, and More


Zofran Causes Birth Defects

Zofran, an FDA-approved drug, leads to birth defects. The drug, which is prescribed to women who suffer from severe morning sickness, was meant to stop severe vomiting, nausea, and sickness from chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.

The drug has a Category B label for pregnancy risk, meaning that it does not pose a risk to pregnant women.

Lawsuits against the company claim that pregnant women have been misled about the risks of the drug. GSK was fully aware that their drug can cause chronic medical conditions and birth defects, according to lawsuits filed by affected mothers.

The drug causes side effects like:

  • Hearing loss
  • Brain deformity
  • Deformities
  • Vision loss
  • Organ deformation

Clinical tests prior to the approval of Zofran reported episodes of the drug being harmful to unborn babies.

Amazon Invests in Deliveroo

Deliveroo, a food courier service, finished a $575 million financing round, with Amazon leading the investments. The online retailer is known for diversifying its portfolio of investments and products.

Deliveroo is a UK food delivery service, and Amazon’s investment will allow the company to better compete against Just Eat and Uber Eats.

The investment will allow the company to expand in technology to increase their geographic reach. The company will also use the funding to open additional delivery-only kitchens. New tools will be offered to the 60,000 riders that help the company deliver goods.

Just Eat’s stock price fell nearly 10% following the news.

People rumored that Amazon would acquire Deliveroo in the past, but the company started its own rival service. However, they eventually closed for operation in December 2018.

Nestle Sells Skin Health Unit

Nestle sold their skin health unit. The underperforming business has been for sale since September, and EQT Partners is reportedly putting the finishing touches on the sale.

EQT is working with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to purchase the unit, according to sources.

Nestle founded the skin care unit in 2014 when they purchased a stake in L’Oreal. Nestle put the unit up for sale after an investor started to demand an overhaul of the company’s portfolio. The unit is an underperforming asset for Nestle, which has sold Cetaphil under the brand’s name.

Both parties kept the details of the deal out of the public eye until they finalized it. The unit sold for $10.1 billion and will help strengthen Nestle’s bottom line. The company is currently working on increasing their healthy food products in Brazil, which the sale can help fund.