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Datamonitor: Oral drugs set to dominate MS market by 2014

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The market for multiple sclerosis drugs, long dominated by biologics and injectables, soon could see a shakeup, according to a new report by a market analysis firm.

Datamonitor said Wednesday that new orally administered MS drugs could end the long-standing dominance of drugs like Teva’s Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) and interferon betas, citing the approval in Russia of Movectro (cladribine), Merck KGaA’s orally administered drug for relapse-remitting MS. The Russian approval makes Movectro the world’s first approved oral disease-modifying MS drug.

Datamonitor said Novartis’ Gilenia (fingolimod) likely would become the first oral MS drug to win approval in the United States, having won backing by a panel of Food and Drug Administration advisers in June. And by 2014, oral drugs will probably become the leading therapies for MS, according to Datamonitor, with expected 2019 sales of $2.4 billion for Gilenia and $820 million for Movectro in seven major drug markets.

“Approval of Movectro in Russia is an important milestone for the MS market and will open the floodgates for other oral therapies,” Datamonitor healthcare analyst Trung Huynh said. “These new drugs will rapidly capture market share in this lucrative market and are set to be key growth drivers in the mid-term.”

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Weis Markets reports rise in Q2 net income

BY Drug Store News Team

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis Markets reported Monday that its second-quarter net income rose to $20.5 million in the quarter ended June 26, compared with net income of $15.2 million a year earlier.

The company credits improvements in efficiencies and sales for the rise in profit.

Revenue increased 6.2% to $653.7 million. Same-store sales remained unchanged compared to the same period a year ago.

“It is clear the economy continues to be a major concern for our customers, who continue to be extremely cautious in their spending,” said David J. Hepfinger, Weis Markets’ president and CEO.

Weis Markets operates 164 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey and West Virginia.

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Nice-Pak develops ‘zero landfill’ facility

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Nice-Pak Products is focusing on sustainability and waste reduction by turning its Green Bay, Wis., manufacturing plant into a “zero landfill” facility.

“We are putting our sustainable and non-recyclable waste to good use by converting it into fuel pellets that will be consumed in industrial boilers to produce cleaner energy in the form of electricity,” said Brad Zenko, senior director of operations. “Converting our waste into fuel pellets eliminates approximately 50,000 cubic feet of landfill per year and replaces approximately one million pounds of coal per year.”

Nice-Pak, is one of the largest global producer of premoistened wipes, including brands such as the original Wet-Nap moist towelettes, Sani-Hands instant hand sanitizing wipes, and Sani-Cloth germicidal disposable wipes.

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