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District court dismisses Teva case against Mylan over four patents on Copaxone

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — A federal court in New York has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that Mylan infringed four of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ patents when it sought Food and Drug Administration approval for a multiple sclerosis drug.

Mylan had filed with the FDA for approval of a generic version of Teva’s Copaxone (glatiramer acetate), attracting a patent-infringement suit from Teva alleging that it violated four patents on the drug, according to FDA records. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has dismissed the case.

Mylan said it would appeal to the Federal Circuit a separate decision at the same district court by a different judge that upheld nine other patents.


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Return of venerable McNeil, Novartis brands will make Q4 highly promotional

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson will be making a strong comeback across its portfolio of McNeil Consumer Healthcare recalled OTC products in the fourth quarter of this year. And with a J&J pledge to partner with key retail partners "on strategic relationships that are rebuilding our relationships and supporting their health and wellness strategies," this fourth quarter will likely be more promotional all around. 

"By year end, our plan is to deliver reliable and consistent supply of three quarters of the product brands," Sandra Peterson, group worldwide chairman, told analysts during a quarterly conference call Tuesday. "In the first half of 2013, we achieved the U.S. OTC operational growth of 19.7%, which includes 26% growth in revenues in over-the-counter medicines, and we are winning the hearts of consumers as these products return to the shelves in all four segments: cough, cold and flu; allergy; pain; and digestive health," she said. 

But even with that immediate success behind them, J&J will be investing heavily going forward. "In addition to all of the remediation efforts, we also are going to ensure that we are investing sufficiently to bring these brands back and bring them back fully to consumers and retailers," Peterson said. "Our current estimation is that we will probably be spending at a higher rate than our historical averages as we are bringing all of these brands back," she said. "Clearly, our intent and our desire is to get back to the share numbers that we had before we went in to the [Consent Decree] process and that’s what we are really focused on doing."

As J&J ramps up marketing and merchandising commitments for the fourth quarter, competitors are expected to follow suit. Especially Novartis, which, like J&J is bringing several venerable OTC brands back into the fold following a recall. "The combination of J&J and Novartis coming back at the same time, you’ll have those companies … doing more merchandising, advertising and promotion," commented Laura Mahecha, industry manager at Kline’s Healthcare practice. "The competitive set will match them [so as to] not get lost in [the] noise," she said. For an upcoming cough/cold season that will be compared against an extremely strong season a year ago, that suggests there will be a significant amount of spending in this category this fall irrelevant of sickness trends. 


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Salon quality Hot Legs depilatory to make an exclusive drug channel debut at Walgreens, Duane Reade

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Salon quality Hot Legs hair removal system, imported from Australia, is now available exclusively at Walgreens nationwide and Duane Reade locations in the New York metropolitan area through an exclusive drug store channel deal to promote the celebrity- and stylist-touted line to American consumers, Hot Legs announced Wednesday.  

“We strive to always remain ahead of the curve with innovative brands that are relevant to our consumers in markets across America,” stated Rudy Kucera, DMM Beauty & Personal Care at Walgreens. “Hot Legs waxes are suitable for all hair and skin types, and the entire range of products aligns with our beauty initiatives and purpose to help customers get, stay and live well.”

The Hot Legs wax and depilatory products available include the Hot Legs Total Body Cream, Hot Legs Cool Gel, Hot Legs Total Body Wax Strips in Walgreens and Duane Reade stores; and Hot Legs After Waxing Oil and Hot Legs Peel Off in select locations nationwide. 

“The Hot Legs relationship with Walgreens and Duane Reade creates a new platform to offer true salon quality hair removal at an affordable price,” commented Gayna Elvin, Hot Legs president. “We are more than impressed with Walgreens commitment to beauty product training to ensure that its staff offers customers expert advice. We know that we have an exceptional product and will ensure that American consumers are elated with the quality and performance of our product line. We are also very proud to offer the entire Hot Legs mix of products with clear and concise bi-lingual English-Spanish copy in all messaging and packaging, in addition to all digital and social platforms.”


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