PHARMACY

Amgen tries to retain market share on its anemia drugs

BY Drew Buono

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. Amgen is trying to keep the market on its anemia drugs Epogen and Aranesp, as well as Procrit which is sold under a license to Johnson & Johnson.

A competitor, Roche is nearing an approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its new drug Mircera. The company expects it to be approved by Nov. 14 thereby breaking the monopoly held by Amgen in the anemia drug treatment market.

Amgen has already sued Roche over patent infringement in Boston and the jury ruled in favor of Amgen. The two companies are still fighting in court.

Meanwhile, Amgen is deciding on ways to dominate the market in case Mircera does reach the market. The company is working on lowering prices and creating rebates and deal with companies that offer dialysis to maintain domination in the market.

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FDA supports Medicare rule on anemia drugs

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration is agreeing with Medicare on restrictions for government payments for anemia drugs made by Amgen and Johnson & Johnson, according to Bloomberg.

Payment rules set by Medicare, are “generally consistent’’ with prescribing information for use of the drugs in cancer patients, the Food and Drug Administration said in a letter released today by Representatives Pete Stark and Henry Waxman.

Medicare said back in July that they would not pay for the drugs, Epogen, Aranesp, and Procrit used in cancer patients with hemoglobin levels exceeding 10 grams a deciliter. The companies are trying to convince Medicare that the drugs were safe to use up to 13 grams.

U.S. sales of Amgen’s Aranesp fell 19 percent in the second quarter after the FDA warned doctors to dispense the lowest doses possible to minimize heart risks. Sales of Johnson & Johnson’s Procrit fell 15 percent in the third quarter.

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My Clinic to open 12 clinics nationwide

BY Allison Cerra

HOUSTON Intrepid Holdings, founder of My Healthy Access, announced that subsidiary My Clinic company has opened twelve new retail clinic models in a national retail pharmacy chain, the company said Tuesday.

The first of these clinics, located in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio will provide care for non-threatening medical conditions, the company said. Certified nurse practitioners or physician assistants will provide care with physician oversight.

A leading provider of clinic, pharmacy and related healthcare services to the urban marketplace, Intrepid Holdings believes that these clinics will provide greater access to quality, convenient and affordable healthcare for non-emergency conditions such as pink eye, colds, and ear and eye infections.

“My Clinic offers patients access to a quality, convenient and affordable healthcare solution in their local community retail pharmacies that they trust and depend on for their prescription needs,” said Toney Means, president of Intrepid Holdings and chief executive officer the Clinic Group. “These patients now have the opportunity to receive quality, affordable and convenient medical care for non emergency episodic conditions in their local community pharmacy.”

Intrepid’s My Healthy Access currently operates clinics in select Wal-Mart supercenters in Houston.

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