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Amgen reports Q2 results

BY Alaric DeArment

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. Profits at Amgen were $1.27 billion for second quarter 2009, compared with $906 million for second quarter 2008, the company announced in an earnings release Tuesday, driven in part by increased sales of such drugs as the rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis treatment Enbrel.

At the same time, adjusted earnings per share increased from $1.14 in second quarter 2008 to $1.29 this year, a 13% increase, while adjusted net income saw an increase of 6%, from $1.24 billion to $1.3 billion.

“We are optimistic about our financial performance in 2009 and are focused on making denosumab a success,” chairman and CEO Kevin Sharer said in a statement, referring to an investigational drug for treating postmenopausal osteoporosis in late-stage clinical trials.

Global product sales decreased by 2%, from $3.7 billion to $3.63 billion, while sales in the United States remained relative unchanged. This included a 16% decline in worldwide sales of the anemia drug Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa), from $825 million to $693 million, and a 3% increase in sales for Epogen (epoetin alfa), also used to treat anemia, from $622 million to $638 million. Meanwhile, combined worldwide sales of the immune-cell boosters Neupogen (filgrastim) and Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) decreased by 4%, from $1.2 billion to $1.16 billion. The arthritis and psoriasis drug Enbrel (etanercept) had a 7% increase in sales, from $841 million to $899 million. Recent European launches of the cancer drug Vectibix (panitumumab) drove sales of that drug from $32 million to $56 million.

In other news, Amgen announced that it would collaborate with British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline to commercialize denosumab as a treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico when it is approved. Amgen will commercialize the drug for PMO in the United States and Canada and for cancer in Europe.

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Ross Valley Pharmacy develops medication management, diabetes counseling initiatives

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK There are a couple of items of note with Ross’ announcement. First is the value of the pharmacist. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released last week found that almost half of Americans are putting off healthcare costs, with 33% of Americans reporting that they’re replacing a possible doctor’s office visit with a trip to the pharmacy to purchase an over-the-counter solution. A higher incidence of OTC use combined with a lower incidence of consultation with a family practitioner could result in some pretty serious adverse events without the intervention of a MTM-minded pharmacist. To be sure, OTC medicines are proving to be very valuable to consumers during these recessionary times, but the fact is that nonprescription medicines are still medicines, and it’s not only important to use as directed, but also to speak with a pharmacist around a patient’s entire drug/supplement regimen.

 

Second, it further substantiates several trends — a trend toward utilizing Internet technology to help manage healthcare conditions; a marriage of sorts between that Internet interoperability and smart phones; and the desire to have a privacy-protected online home around those healthcare conditions.

 

TheCarrot.com site provides tools for tracking a variety of topics including health, nutrition, fitness, and medicines all within a layman-friendly calendar format. Through the free, anonymous service, consumers can achieve a more comprehensive view of their health conditions. TheCarrot.com also allows users to employ a cell phone or iPhone to upload healthcare datapoints.

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Gaiam brings three classics films home for the holidays

BY Anna Mcgrath

BROOMFIELD, Colo. Gaiam is bringing together three classic holiday films from ITV Global with the DVD releases of festive films starring the great talents of Henry Winkler, Jason Gedrick, Rhea Perlman and Tom Arnold.

“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “The Christmas Choir” and “Moonlight Mistletoe” debuted on the Hallmark Channel in 2008, and thanks to Gaiam, the films are coming to DVD for the first time on Oct. 13.

“We are thrilled to be working with ITV Global to bring all the fun and joy of these great new Christmas classics to consumers nationwide,” said William S. Sondheim, president of entertainment and worldwide distribution for Gaiam.  “These quality films truly embrace the warmth and heart of the holidays and will surely help bring the whole family together this season.”

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