PHARMACY

Barr’s stock takes a hit after announcement of Q3 results

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Generic drug maker Barr Pharmaceuticals felt the burn of bad news when the company’s stock dropped on Thursday after announcing its third-quarter profit had plunged.

The company said its third-quarter profit dropped 26 percent and also said its fourth-quarter profit may miss the Wall Street outlook.

The stock fell $2.78, or 4.9 percent, to $53.90 Thursday. Shares have traded between $45.41 and $58.38 over the last 52 weeks.

The company cited that the quarterly drop was caused by special charges for the buyout of Croatian drug maker.

Barr expects fourth-quarter profit will be between 73 cents and 83 cents per share, but that puts the guidance midpoint “well below Wall Street expectations” of 83 cents per share, the Associated Press reported.

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Eisai announces new hires and appointments

BY Drew Buono

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. Eisai Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Eisai Co., today announced new hires and appointments within the company, which produces such drugs as the acid-reflux medication Aciphex and Aricept, which is used to treat mild, moderate and severe Alzheimer’s disease.

Sunitha Ramamurthy has joined Eisai Corporation of North America as compliance director of Research and Development. Christine Drobot has joined the company as counsel for Employment and Research and Development. Barbara Sudovar has joined Eisai Inc. as director of U.S. Market Research.

Steven Brown has been promoted to director of Marketing Finance and will be responsible for financial reporting and business planning of product line P&Ls. Prior to this promotion, Steven was associate director of Marketing Finance for two years and marketing finance manager on the Aricept brand for two years. Terry Paluga has been promoted to specialty district manager where she will oversee the Baltimore Specialty District.

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Study shows Zocor could increase incidence of sleep disorders

BY Drew Buono

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. A new study showed that patients on the cholesterol drug Zocor were three times as likely to suffer from insomnia than those who took another cholesterol drug Pravachol and those taking a placebo, according to Bloomberg.com.

Insomnia is listed as a possible side effect for all cholesterol-lowering drugs. Merck spokesman Ron Rogers said the company found no significant effects on sleep in its own insomnia studies comparing Zocor with pravastatin, the generic of Pravachol and a placebo. Nor did the company see sleep disruption as a side effect in two other studies testing the drug’s effectiveness in thousands of patients.

The National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland, funded the study. Zocor was the world’s second-best-selling cholesterol pill, behind Pfizer’s Lipitor, before it lost patent protection in June 2006.

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