PHARMACY

Cantrell named Good Neighbor Pharmacy president

BY Michael Johnsen

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. Michael Cantrell has been promoted to the new position of president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy and group VP retail business development, reporting directly to Jerry Cline, SVP retail sales and marketing at AmerisourceBergen, the wholesaler announced Tuesday afternoon.

“I am looking forward to helping our pharmacists develop their role in healthcare reform, with the understanding that they are a significant component of the solution,” Cantrell stated. “The changes will revolve around access, affordability and quality; and the community pharmacist plays an integral part in healthcare reform.”

In his new role, Cantrell will serve as the national leader of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, a network of more than 3,600 stores that generated some $9.7 billion in prescription revenue in 2009, according to Drug Store News estimates.

Cantrell joined AmerisourceBergen in 2009 as VP central fill business development. Prior to AmerisourceBergen, he was VP professional services at Longs Drug Stores, which at the time was one of the largest regional retail chains in the country. While at Longs, he was appointed to the board of RxAmerica — Longs’ wholly owned PBM — and was responsible for central fill initiatives; managed care contracting and performance; state and federal regulatory and legislative affairs; and strategic business development.

Cantrell is a registered pharmacist, having graduated from the college of pharmacy at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He earned his J.D. at the former Peninsula University in Mountain View, Calif., and is a current member of the State Bar of California.

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PHARMACY

FDA approves emergency contraceptive Ella

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved an emergency contraceptive pill made by a French drug maker.

 

The FDA announced the approval of Ella (ulipristal acetate), designed to prevent pregnancy when taken orally within five days of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, though it is not designed for routine use as a contraceptive.

 

 

The drug, which works by preventing ovulation, is manufactured by Paris-based Laboratoire HRA Pharma and distributed by Morristown, N.J.-based Watson. Watson said it plans to launch the drug in the fourth quarter of this year.

 

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Meda ventures into generic drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

SOMERSET, N.J. A lot of generic drug companies have conducted business in the branded drug market on the side for a long time, with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Watson Pharmaceuticals standing out as good examples. But lately, some branded drug companies have sought to get into generics as well.

Meda Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. subsidiary of Swedish drug maker Meda A.B., recently decided to create its own generics subsidiary, calling it Wallace Pharmaceuticals, senior marketing director John White told Drug Store News.

“The strategy demonstrates Meda’s efforts to diversify and align and better serve the needs [and] interest of our customers,” White said. “We believe our ability to provide consistency in therapeutic effect, manufacturing and supply to our parent company’s branded products will prove to be a competitive advantage for Wallace Pharmaceuticals.”

Wallace will focus its business in the United States, with a core portfolio of allergy and pain medicines, White said. The company currently has no plans to enter the biosimilars market, however.

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