PHARMACY

Actavis’ generic Aricept gets FDA nod

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic treatment for Alzheimer’s disease made by Actavis, the drug maker said Tuesday.

The FDA approved the company’s donepezil hydrochloride tablets in the 5-mg and 10-mg strengths, a generic version of Eisai and Pfizer’s Aricept. Donepezil hydrochloride tablets in the two strengths had sales of about $2.3 billion during the 12-month period ended in March, according to IMS Health.

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PHARMACY

Kroger promotes fuel savings

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Kroger said that its family of stores is offering new ways for its customers to save on gas.

The retailer said that customers can earn fuel discounts when they purchase select gift cards, and also when they fill certain eligible prescriptions.

Kroger noted that the discounts vary by state and that its prescription fuel savings promotion is not being offered to Arkansas pharmacy customers.

Click here for more details.

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PHARMACY

Costco CFO: Pharmacy prices to drop off due to generics

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale EVP, CFO and director Richard Galanti told investors during the company’s third quarter 2011 earnings call last week that average prices in pharmacy probably would decline due to the introduction of generic versions of branded drugs.

“[The] only area where you are going to see some average price declines is probably in pharmacy where, and we’ve all read about it, there is some very well-known branded items that are going to become generic this coming year,” Galanti said.

Analysts have long predicted that the loss of patent protection for several branded drugs over the next few years, often known as the patent cliff, will lead to widespread commoditization of the pharmaceutical market.

The Issaquah, Wash.-based retailer reported third-quarter sales of $20.2 billion, compared with $17.4 billion in third quarter 2010, as well as profits of $324 million, compared with $306 million the year before.

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