HEALTH

Akorn acquires AVR in $26 million deal

BY Michael Johnsen

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Akorn, a niche generic pharmaceutical company, earlier this week entered into an agreement to acquire Advanced Vision Research, an over-the-counter ophthalmic company that promotes eye care products under the TheraTears and MacuTrition brands.

“AVR is a great strategic platform to expand into the OTC eye care market,” stated Akorn CEO Raj Rai. “With the acquisition, we can add value in future growth, as we have an existing sales infrastructure that markets products to ophthalmologists, optometrists and retailers nationwide complementing AVR’s sales initiatives.”

In 2010, AVR generated sales of $20 million, which consisted of domestic sales through major retail chains and sales in 20 countries across five continents. Akorn also announced plans to launch a new consumer health division to enter the $1.2 billion OTC eye care market, pending the acquisition of AVR. The company plans to further expand by licensing new products and developing private-label eye care products for major retailers.

Akorn tapped Bruce Kutinsky to lead its newly formed consumer health division as president. Prior to joining Akorn in 2010, Kutinsky served as VP strategic solutions at Walgreens. Kutinsky also has held various senior management positions at Option Care, which was acquired by Walgreens in 2007. Kutinsky started his career as a retail pharmacist and has a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan.

The deal was valued at $26 million in cash, Akorn reported.

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SDI’s Tara Harding honored by Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Tara Harding, SDI senior director of sales operations, was honored as an industry rising star by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association during its 2011 Woman of the Year award luncheon Thursday.

“Tara exemplifies the ideal of a selfless, team-oriented professional,” stated Andrew Kress, SDI’s CEO. “She is an innovative problem solver who has had a consistently positive impact on all areas of SDI, from sales to finance to customer operations. She leads by tireless example, and with her guidance, her team redesigned, implemented and monitored an entirely new system of sales metrics that significantly improved SDI’s sales results and customer service.”

HBA is a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to furthering the advancement of women in healthcare worldwide. HBA Rising Stars are professionals in various sectors of the healthcare industry, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, advertising, public relations, medical education and market research, among other fields, who represent various career stages and disciplines. The nomination demonstrates recognition by Rising Stars’ companies and colleagues of the outstanding performance, commitment to excellence, and energy and enthusiasm with which they approach activities daily to contribute to their companies’ success.

Harding has been with SDI since 2002, when she began in the finance department. She now oversees SDI’s sales operations, contract administration and forecasting.

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FlavoRx, RDC ink deal

BY Michael Johnsen

COLUMBIA, Md. — FlavoRx and Rochester Drug Cooperative on Thursday announced a long-term distribution agreement designed to bring the FlavoRx brand to more than 950 independent pharmacies serviced by RDC throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Connecticut.

At the same time, RDC expects the FlavoRx product line, including the new Fillmaster Plus, to provide its customers with unique offerings that add to the value it already brings to independent pharmacies in the region.

“We are delighted to partner with RDC to better serve the needs of independent pharmacies in the region,” stated Natasha Hobson, FlavoRx director of accounts. “The team at RDC has a deep understanding of the independent pharmacy market and truly cares about the continued success of [its] customers. Adding FlavoRx and Fillmaster to [its] portfolio is a progressive step that will give [its] customers access to unique products designed to enhance workflow and customer service while improving patient outcomes.”

As part of the partnership, RDC representatives now will offer the new Fillmaster Plus, a pharmacy device that automates drug reconstitution.

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