PHARMACY

Actavis to pare down sales staff of branded-drugs division

BY Alaric DeArment

DUBLIN — Actavis will lay off more than 30% of the sales staff from its branded-drugs division as part of its acquisition of Warner Chilcott, the drug maker said.

The company said that Actavis Specialty Brands would have about 750 employees, compared with the 1,100 it had when it finished acquiring Warner Chilcott last month. The company said the smaller sales organization would have "equal or better" coverage than the legacy Warner Chilcott organization in all therapeutic areas, including women’s health, urology, gastroenterology and dermatology. The complete structure of the organization will be outlined at the company’s investor day, in January.

"Beginning at close, we initiated an extensive assessment and review process to determine the appropriate structure for our U.S. specialty brands sales organization, recognizing that the two companies had significant overlap in key areas," Actavis specialty brands president Fred Wilkinson said. "I am confident that this organization will be an industry leader in providing support to healthcare professionals within the women’s health, urology, dermatology and GI therapeutic categories."

 

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PHARMACY

Teva launches generic ADHD drug

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTH WALES, Pa. – Teva has introduced a generic version of a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the company said Thursday.

The drug maker announced the launch of dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release capsules, a generic version of Novartis’ Focalin XR.

Focalin XR has annual sales of about $202 million, according to IMS Health.

 

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Greatest phase-2, phase-3 drug R&D activity seen in oncology, report finds

BY Alaric DeArment

BURLINGTON, Mass. — While drug companies are developing treatments for a wide variety of diseases, the greatest amount of mid- to late-stage research and development activity is in cancer treatments, according to a new report.

According to healthcare market research company Decision Resources, among the top 25 drug companies, oncology is the focus for 30% of phase-2 drugs and 22% of phase-3 drugs. Other areas seeing strong activity include drugs for obesity, diabetes, infections and central nervous system disorders.

"To maximize R&D investments, biopharmaceutical companies must continue to address phase-2 and phase-3 attrition and identify better prospects early on," Decision Resources Group SVP Kate Hohenberg said. "As more than half of the costs associated with new drugs are accrued from phase 2 on, this could lead to significant cost savings."

 

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