Dr. Reddy’s, Merck KGaA partner on biosimilars
HYDERABAD, India — A generic drug maker in India and a German pharmaceutical company will collaborate to develop biosimilars.
Dr. Reddy’s Labs and Merck KGaA subsidiary Merck Serono announced a partnership to develop biosimilar cancer treatments, most of them monoclonal antibodies, for global markets. Based in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck KGaA operates in the United States under the name EMD to distinguish itself from U.S. drug maker Merck.
The companies said the partnership would expand on Dr. Reddy’s presence in the biosimilar space in emerging markets and allow it to participate globally. Currently, a small handful of companies — particularly Teva, Hospira and Novartis generics division Sandoz — dominates the biosimilars market in developed countries, mostly Europe. Part of the healthcare-reform law included a regulatory approval pathway for biosimilars in the United States, but regulations have yet to be finalized.
"We strongly believe that biosimilars is an important area of future growth, and these products give us the opportunity to provide affordable and innovative medicines to patients across the globe," Dr. Reddy’s vice chairman and CEO G.V. Prasad said. "With the recent [European Medicines Agency] and [Food and Drug Administration] guidance on biosimilars, it is clear that any significant player in the field will need strong biologics development, manufacturing and commercialization capabilities. Merck Serono’s and Dr. Reddy’s joint expertise in these fields makes for a powerful global partnership."
NRF: Consumers to spend (almost) as much on dad
WASHINGTON — While dads usually don’t get the same caliber of gift for Father’s Day as moms do for Mother’s Day, if the results of NRF’s latest survey are to be believed, dads should be pretty pleased with what they receive this year.
According to NRF’s 2012 Father’s Day spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, the average person will shell out $117.14 on dad’s gifts this year, up 10% from $106.49 last year and closing the gap between its biggest competitor: Mother’s Day (consumers planned to spend an average of $152 on the holiday). Total spending for Father’s Day is expected to reach $12.7 billion.
"He may not ever expect the ‘royal treatment’ on Father’s Day, but this year dad doesn’t have much of a say as it’s evident his loved ones want to make sure he has a great day," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "For those looking for the perfect gift idea, retailers will have specials on everything from patio sets and grills to ties and gardening tools in the weeks leading up to the holiday."
With a plethora of options to choose from, consumers plan to splurge on a variety of gifts. According to the survey, more people this year will treat dad to a special outing, such as golfing, eating out or heading to a sporting event ($2.3 billion versus $2 billion in 2011). They also will invest in electronic gift items ($1.7 billion versus $1.3 billion last year) and apparel ($1.7 billion versus $1.4 billion in 2011). Others will splurge on gift cards ($1.7 billion), sporting goods ($641 million) and books or music ($645 million).
When it comes to the number of men people plan to buy for this Father’s Day, the survey found consumers are likely to consider a variety of "types" of dads this year. Most people will buy for their father or stepfather (53.9% versus 50.3% in 2011) and their husband (29.2% versus 26.1% last year). Others will treat their son (9.7%), grandfather (5.3%), brother (6.8%) and friend (5.7%) to something nice.
Mobile shoppers will be out and about these next few weeks as they seek the perfect gift for dad. More than one-quarter of those who own a tablet (25.2%) said they will use their tablet to make a Father’s Day purchase. Overall, more than half (54.6%) of tablet owners will use their device to research products and compare prices, redeem coupons and look up retailers’ information such as store hours and location.
Not surprising, the majority of smartphone owners will use their smartphone to research gift ideas and compare prices (26.7%), but others will look up store hours and location information (18.9%) and use mobile applications to research or purchase products (11.3%). One-in-10 (13.7%) will purchase a Father’s Day gift via their smartphone.
PTCB to update PTCE blueprint
WASHINGTON — The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board announced the update of the pharmacy technician certification exam blueprint.
While much of the PTCE’s content remains unchanged, the PTCB said the blueprint has been reorganized into nine domains, called "knowledge areas," each with a number of sub-domains. This organization gives the new blueprint a knowledge focus and conveys more information about the type and amount of content in the exam. The "knowledge areas" are:
Pharmacology for technicians;
Pharmacy law and regulations;
Sterile and nonsterile compounding;
Pharmacy quality assurance;
Medication order entry and fill process;
Pharmacy inventory management;
Pharmacy billing and reimbursement; and
Pharmacy information systems usage and application.
The changes to the PTCE blueprint were prompted by results of a PTCB Job Analysis Study (completed in February) — in which more than 25,000 pharmacy technicians from every state and practice setting participated — identified the entry level knowledge and skills needed to perform tasks that are most important to protecting public health. From there, a panel of expert pharmacists and pharmacy technicians used the findings to develop the revised PTCE blueprint.
"Developing and maintaining an exam for pharmacy technicians that is psychometrically sound and meets standards for validity remains PTCB’s greatest mission," PTCB executive director and CEO Everett McAllister said. "We remain committed to routinely evaluating the evolution of technician responsibilities to create a product that effectively measures knowledge across pharmacy practice settings."
It is anticipated that the PTCE will reflect the new blueprint starting in mid-2013. No changes will be made to the length of the exam, or the number or type of exam questions, the PTCB noted.