PHARMACY

Armada to move into expanded office space

BY Alaric DeArment

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Specialty pharmacy group purchasing and channel management organization Armada Health Care is moving into a bigger office space, the company said Tuesday.

Armada announced that the new space, two floors up from its current offices at 100 Campus Drive in Florham Park, N.J., is nearly three times larger. The company plans to take possession of the new offices in late June and expects to use it to support its expanded service and technology divisions.

"Our innovative solutions and new technology products are quickly being adopted throughout the specialty pharmacy market while our core business units all continue to grow," Armada president Robert Irene said. "The larger offices are necessary to accommodate the additional employees we are hiring along with the added workspace we need."


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PHARMACY

Reports: Legislation proposed for biosimilars, overseas drug manufacturers

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Legislation proposed in the House of Representatives would speed up Food and Drug Administration approval of knock-off versions of vaccines and other biologics while requiring the agency to conduct more inspections of drug factories overseas, according to published reports.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the bills, sponsored by Republican Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, would create an expedited FDA approval pathway for follow-on versions of biogenetic medications such as vaccines and drugs made from human tissue and plasma.

According to the newspaper, Murphy said the legislation would make the medications more affordable and accessible while ensuring that offshore drug makers are held to the same manufacturing standards as those based in the United States.

The Post-Gazette reported that the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the legislation 46-0 and now heads to the House floor.


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Reports: Pfizer ‘quietly’ giving up on Lipitor marketing

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Pfizer apparently is relenting on its attempt to drive sales of its top cholesterol drug as several new generic versions look set to enter the market, according to published reports.

The Associated Press reported that Pfizer was "quietly" giving up on the drug Lipitor (atorvastatin) after an $87 million campaign to continue marketing the drug despite generic competition.

Lipitor lost its patent protection on Nov. 30, 2011, facing competition from a generic version made by India-based Ranbaxy Labs. Ranbaxy, as the first company to win approval for a cheaper, generic version of the drug, was entitled to 180 days in which to compete exclusively with the branded version, but that exclusivity period is expiring. This will allow other generic drug makers to enter the market with their own versions, which will depress the price of the drug even further.

Lipitor had sales of $8.2 billion in 2011, according to IMS Health.

 


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