ReportersNotebook — Chain Pharmacy, 2/7/11

SUPPLIER NEWS — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic drug made by Watson Pharmaceuticals for cancer-related breakthrough pain, Watson said. The drug is a generic version of Cephalon’s Fentora, which had sales of around $179 million during the 12-month period ended in November 2010, according to IMS Health.

The FDA has approved a generic version of Duramed’s contraceptive Seasonale (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) made by Sandoz, the generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis. Branded and generic versions of Seasonale had sales of around $91 million during the 12 months ended in November 2010, according to IMS Health.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals and Viropro plan to develop a biosimilar of Genentech’s Rituxan (rituximab), used to treat cancer and autoimmune disorders. The companies plan to develop the biosimilar in anticipation of expirations on Rituxan’s patent protection over the next few years. Rituxan had sales of $5.6 billion in 2009, according to Spectrum.

Merck plans to develop biosimilars under a partnership with drug industry services organization Parexel International that will give Merck access to its clinical and regulatory services. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Mylan subsidiary Dey Pharma has launched MyEpiPenn, a smart phone application for patients at risk of severe allergic reactions, which is tied to its EpiPen product.

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