PHARMACY

AstraZeneca launches Dutoprol

BY Alaric DeArment

WILMINGTON, Del. — AstraZeneca has launched a new drug for treating high blood pressure, the company said Thursday.

The Anglo-Swedish drug maker announced the launch of Dutoprol (metoprolol succinate extended-release and hydrochlorothiazide) tablets, calling it the first and only pill to combine the active ingredient of its Toprol-XL ER (metoprolol succinate) and hydrochlorothiazide.

"Dutoprol may provide another treatment option for patients with hypertension," AstraZeneca executive director of foundation brands Steve Davis said. "We have launched Dutoprol so patients now have the option to receive a branded combination of medicine in a convenient, once-a-day tablet."

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PHARMACY

Impax Labs files Gralise patent challenge

BY Alaric DeArment

HAYWARD, Calif. — Generic drug maker Impax Labs is challenging the patent protection on a drug used to treat postherpetic neuralgia, the company said Thursday.

Impax announced that it had filed a regulatory approval application with the Food and Drug Administration for gabapentin tablets, a generic version of Depomed’s Gralise, in the 300-mg and 600-mg strengths.

The application contained a Paragraph IV certification, a legal assertion that the patents covering the drug are invalid, unenforceable or won’t be infringed. In response, Depomed filed a lawsuit against Impax Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Gralise had sales of about $1.3 million during the three-month period ended in February, according to Wolters Kluwer Health.

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PHARMACY

Valeant acquires Pedinol

BY Allison Cerra

MONTREAL — Valeant announced that it has acquired a privately owned specialty pharmaceutical company based in the United States.

Pedinol Pharmacal, a podiatry-focused company that has been in business for more than 85 years, was acquired for an undisclosed amount that was said to be 1.5 times sales. Pedinol touted $18 million in revenue last year.

"The Pedinol business will be a strong fit alongside Valeant’s dermatology franchise," Valeant chairman and CEO J. Michael Pearson said. "The podiatry market has similar characteristics to the dermatology market that we find attractive from a risk and reward aspect, and expanding into this area is a natural extension of our topical formulation development capabilities."


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