PHARMACY

Eli Lilly acquires Alnara

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS Drug maker Eli Lilly has finished its acquisition of a company developing a pancreatic disorder treatment.

Lilly announced Tuesday that it had finished acquiring Alnara Pharmaceuticals, a privately held company, in a deal announced July 2. Lilly acquired Alnara for an upfront payment of $180 million, and Alnara stockholders could receive up to $200 million in additional milestone payments based on product performance.

Alnara is developing liprotamase, a pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy under review by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, a disease resulting from cystic fibrosis, removal of the pancreas, chronic pancreatitis and other conditions.

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PHARMACY

Pfizer suspends more tanezumab trials

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Drug maker Pfizer is suspending some clinical studies of a biotech drug for treating pain following reports of harmful side effects in patients, Pfizer said Monday.

The drug maker halted studies of the drug tanezumab in patients with chronic low back pain and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy at the request of the Food and Drug Administration.

Pfizer said the suspension follows further consideration of reports of harmful side effects in osteoarthritis patients taking the drug. The company already had suspended the osteoarthritis study of tanezumab in June.

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PHARMACY

PCMA responds to government funding anti-fraud programs

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON The leader of a group representing the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers responded to a House subcommittee’s decision to allot $561 million for programs designed to combat fraud, waste and abuse.

Pharmaceutical Care Management Association president and CEO Mark Merritt said the decision shows “it’s more important than ever to enhance America’s overall program integrity capabilities.” The money was provided to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Justice Department.

“The administration has noted that these kinds of efforts can save almost $10 billion,” Merritt said. “The other side of the anti-fraud coin is that policymakers must reject policies that inadvertently weaken the ability of public and private payers to detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse. It’s far easier to prevent fraud than to engage in ‘pay and chase’ activities after the fact.”

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