PHARMACY

Amneal makes new executive appointments

BY Alaric DeArment

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Generic drug maker Amneal Pharmaceuticals has added four new executives, the company said.

Joseph Todisco has been appointed SVP global corporate strategy and business development. Previously serving as VP business development for Ranbaxy, Todisco will be responsible for the growth of Amneal’s U.S. generics business and development of partnerships, mergers and acquisitions.

Narasimhan Mani has been appointed director of global business development and portfolio, and will head the identification and execution of international opportunities and alliances, research and development product management and selection, and corporate portfolio management. Before working for Amneal, Mani was business development manager for Johnson & Johnson.

Pranav Mehta has been appointed global director of purchasing, overseeing research and development procurement, commercial active pharmaceutical ingredients and packaging. Mehta previously worked for JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Hanumantha Rao has been appointed director of business development and will seek alliances in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Before working for Amneal, Rao was assistant director of strategic sourcing and business development for North America and Europe at Dr. Reddy’s Labs.

 


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FTC approves Valeant’s acquisitions of Dermik, Ortho Dermatologics

BY Alaric DeArment

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — The Federal Trade Commission has voted to approve Valeant’s acquisitions of Dermik, a unit of French drug maker Sanofi that makes drugs for skin conditions, and Ortho Dermatologics, a division of Johnson & Johnson that also makes skin drugs.

At the same time, the FTC is requiring Valeant to dissolve its collaboration with Spear Pharmaceuticals related to the wrinkle and pigmentation disorder drug Refissa (tretinoin) and generic emollient cream, and divest its generic version of Sanofi’s acne drug BenzaClin (clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel) and its authorized generic version of its own actinic and solar keratosis drug, Efudex (fluorouracil cream).

The company said it expected to complete its acquisition of Ortho Dermatologics on Monday and of Dermik by the end of the year.

 


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Report: New Wash. law cuts off patient access to painkillers

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A new law in Washington state intended to curb accidental deaths related to opioid painkillers is having some adverse side effects, according to published reports.

The Seattle Times reported that the law has led dozens of clinics and hospitals around the state to refuse to treat pain patients or prescribe drugs like oxycodone due to the financial and regulatory burdens that the law places on them. Meanwhile, the state’s Medicaid program encourages patients to use methadone, which, while an effective painkiller, can also be dangerous as it can linger in the bloodstream for days after its effects have worn off, building up and potentially leading to harmful and even deadly side effects. Because most users of methadone are poor, deaths from methadone overdoses tend to be clustered in the poorest areas of the state, the newspaper reported.

The article also included a profile of Charles Passantino, a resident of the Tacoma, Wash., area with diabetes and liver disease who experienced months of pain with no drug treatments after his doctor stopped prescribing oxycodone as he and his wife searched for a Medicaid provider who would write a new prescription.

The law passed 96-1 in the state’s House and 36-12 in the Senate, bolstered by testimony from medical experts who cited statistics about accidental deaths from opioids, predictions of $13 million in savings to the state government and anecdotal accounts from its sponsors, state Rep. Jim Moeller and Sen. Karen Keiser, according to the Times.


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