May 9, 2014

Bayer agreed to acquire the consumer care business of U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck for a purchase price of $14.2 billion. The OTC acquisition will give Bayer the global No. 2 position in nonprescription products following recently announced consolidations in this growing healthcare industry segment, and will significantly enhance Bayer’s business across multiple therapeutic categories and geographies. Merck's consumer care business includes such leading brands as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl’s. Pro forma sales of the combined businesses in 2013 amounted to $7.4 billion with Merck’s business contributing approximately $2.2 billion.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Bayer is expected to achieve global leadership positions in dermatology and gastrointestinals and advance to the No. 2 position in the cold, allergy, sinus and flu category. Bayer will remain No. 2 in nutritionals and No. 3 in analgesics. Overall, the proposed GlaxoSmithKline-Novartis combination represents the largest consumer health business with about 5.7% share, according to reports. The Bayer/Merck combination comes in second with around 4.5% share. McNeil Consumer rounds out the top three globally with a share just above 4%.

May 7, 2014

The pace of annual global spending on oncology medicines — which is approaching the $100 billion threshold — has moderated over the past five years, even as a surge in innovative and targeted therapies has brought new therapeutic options to the growing number of patients being treated for cancer and as survival rates for most tumor types continue to increase, according to a new report released Tuesday by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

May 6, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration's Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee on Friday voted 11-4 opposed to switching Merck's allergy remedy Singulair from Rx-to-OTC, according to an Associated Press report.

April 28, 2014

Total spending on U.S. medicines increased 1% on a real per capita basis in 2013, while the use of healthcare services rose for the first time in three years, according to a report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

April 25, 2014

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association has announced its support of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s eighth annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, taking place April 26 at local take-back sites across America.

April 15, 2014

Total spending on U.S. medicines increased 1% on a real per capita basis in 2013, while the use of healthcare services overall rose for the first time in three years, according to a new report issued today by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

April 14, 2014

The Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Delaware BioScience Association last week commended the Delaware State Senate for passing legislation designed to create a pathway for the substitution of interchangeable biologic medicines.

April 11, 2014

Now available online, the Drug Enforcement Administration National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day collection site locator allows consumers to search for a nearby location to dispose of unneeded medications on Saturday, April 26, 2014, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy announced Wednesday.

April 11, 2014

NCPDP, the not-for-profit pharmacy standards development organization, on Wednesday announced the availability of a patient safety white paper that provides specific industry guidance for standardizing the dosing designations and labeling of oral liquid medications.

April 10, 2014

Prescription drug trend grew 3.8% in 2013, driven by significant price inflation for traditional brand drugs, specialty drugs and generics, as well as an increase in utilization as members filled more prescriptions in the slowly improving economy, according to the findings of CVS Caremark’s annual "Insights" report released on Thursday.

April 3, 2014

In an effort to prevent prescription drug abuse, and in collaboration with Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership, all 622 Publix pharmacy stores in Florida are promoting the Lock Your Meds campaign in April 2014, the supermarket chain announced Tuesday.

March 27, 2014

In lead-up to a House Panel hearing on Thursday, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted a statement expressing its support for the leadership and efforts of Congress and the Food and Drug Administration in taking common-sense approaches in safeguarding the process of delivering prescription medications to patients.

March 26, 2014

GlaxoSmithKline began alerting consumers that some bottles of its Alli over-the-counter weight-loss medication have been tampered with.

March 25, 2014

The Drug Store News Group, the leading provider of news, information and clinical education for the retail pharmacy industry, has launched the new microsite, Drugstorenews.com/pain-management, to help bring attention to another tragic side of the prescription drug abuse story — the millions of Americans who live in chronic pain that may be unable to access the medications they need thanks to proposed changes in regulatory policy.

March 19, 2014

Ferring Pharmaceuticals announced that it received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for new labeling of its fertility products Menopur and Bravelle.

March 18, 2014

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association this year will be focusing on restoring OTC eligibility under flexible spending accounts and helping to finalize OTC monographs, Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO, told attendees of the 2014 CHPA Annual Executive Conference Tuesday morning.

March 14, 2014

In a statement, HDMA president and CEO John Gray said the national association representing primary healthcare distributors applauds U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's weekly address concerning the nation's prescription drug abuse epidemic.

March 14, 2014

In observance of National Poison Prevention Week, which is March 16 to 22, the National Safety Council has released a list of facts many people do not — but need to — know about prescription painkiller use.

March 13, 2014

The Cardinal Health Foundation and the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy have announced the introduction of the Medication Safety toolkit, the fifth in a series of interactive toolkits designed to help reduce the abuse of prescription drugs.

March 13, 2014

More Americans are more often seeking their ounce of prevention. According to Bain & Co.’s recent Healthy Living Survey, 75% of consumers are in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. Take that predominant mindset, coupled with the outcomes-driven preventive focus associated with the Affordable Care Act, and you have a formula for OTC success at retail pharmacy.

March 12, 2014

Prescription and over-the-counter products are often the first remedy consumers turn to when seeking relief from such conditions as allergies and heartburn, according to IRI. In its latest report, "Best Practices for Rx-to-OTC Product Launches," the company offers some tactics to help drive success for companies looking to execute the category switch.

March 12, 2014

Walmart has joined almost two-dozen organizations from across the healthcare supply chain in a letter calling on the Food and Drug Administration to consider the public health impact of its Proposed Rule on pharmaceutical labeling.

March 10, 2014

Although the United States is still waiting for final practical guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration about the launch of biosimilars and the standards required to meet the threshold of interchangeability, the rest of the world seems to be barreling forward with the development and launch of these important medicines.

March 10, 2014

Two Rx-to-OTC switches in the past year may serve as a harbinger of what the Food and Drug Administration will consider “switch” worthy.