PHARMACY

Abbott celebrates 350th consecutive quarterly dividend

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — Abbott has delivered quarterly dividends for more than 300 consecutive quarters as of Friday, the drug maker said.

Abbott, based in the Chicago area, declared a quarterly common dividend of 48 cents per share, marking the 350th consecutive quarterly dividend to be paid since 1924.

The company said only 1% of companies listed on the S&P 500 Index, of which Abbott is one, had delivered a comparable number of consecutive annual increases and payments.

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H1N1 flu variant may be resistant to certain treatments

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A new strain of swine flu has emerged that appears somewhat resistant to flu drugs, according to published reports.

Reuters reported that scientists in Australia and Singapore had found a variant of the H1N1 flu that showed some resistance to Roche’s Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) and GlaxoSmithKline’s Relenza (zanamivir), though drug maker BioCryst currently is developing a drug called peramivir, to which the strain was not resistant.

Reuters reported that while the mutation had been found in some seasonal and H5N1 bird flu cases, it had not been found in the H1N1 strain.

While the World Health Organization said the pandemic ended in August 2010, the strain, which appeared in the United States and Mexico in 2009, has not disappeared.

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Forest announces availability of Daliresp

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A drug for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease made by Forest Labs will be available by the middle of this month, Forest said Thursday.

Daliresp (roflumilast) recently received approval from the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment to reduce the risk of exacerbations in patients with severe COPD associated with chronic bronchitis and a history of exacerbations.

Forest said Daliresp, a daily oral tablet, is the first and only approved drug in its class, known as selective phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors.

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