PHARMACY

Eli Lilly to reorganize, trim staff

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS Drug maker Eli Lilly & Co. unveiled a plan Monday that it hopes will speed up the process of getting drugs from its pipeline to patients.

The Indianapolis-based company announced that it would establish a Development Center of Excellence to accelerate late-stage drug development while reorganizing its pharmaceutical business into five business units – for cancer, diabetes, established markets, emerging markets and animal health – and reduce costs by the end of 2011.

The company also hopes to lower costs by $1 billion and reduce its global workforce to 35,000, except for sales locations in high-growth emerging markets and Japan. According to published reports, these plans will reduce the work force by nearly 14%, or 5,500 employees.

“We remain confident that continued focus on medical innovation is the best way to ensure the long-term growth of our company,” chairman and CEO John Lechleiter said in a statement. “The changes we are announcing today will accelerate the progress of the most exciting pipeline in our history, with more than 60 molecules currently in clinical development.”

Lechleiter said the changes were needed to adapt to slowing innovation, rising costs, competition from generic drugs and patent expirations, including a series of patient expirations for key products starting in late 2011.

“While our financial performance during the past few years has been strong, we will soon enter the most challenging period in our company’s history,” Lechleiter said. “This calls for strong measures to speed our output of new medicines, better meet the changing needs of our customers and reduce our costs.”

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PHARMACY

FDA approves Par’s diabetes drug

BY Allison Cerra

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. A generic drug maker has received final approval for a Type 2 diabetes treatment.

Par Pharmaceutical announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved its ANDA for nateglinide tablets. Nateglinide is a generic version of Novartis’ Starlix. Nateglinide tablets are indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Par will begin shipping the 60-mg and 120-mg strengths of nateglinide to the trade immediately.

Annual U.S. sales of Starlix are approximately $124 million, according to IMS Health data.

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Sweetbay Supermarket clinic to launch campaigns aimed at women

BY Antoinette Alexander

TAMPA, Fla. It has been several months since the opening the USF Health Neighborhood Care Center within Sweetbay Supermarket and, according to a local news report, the clinic is launching campaigns aimed at women.

The move is yet another indication that convenience care clinics are expanding their services to drive clinic utilization and further augment – not replace – the medical community.

The opening of the clinic was originally reported in the Aug. 10 issue of Drug Store News.

According to a recent Tampa Tribune article, the clinic, which opened in partnership with USF Health, is launching campaigns aimed at women ages 35 to 55 to sign up for a bone density screening. It is also urging area residents to come in for seasonal flu vaccinations.

Although the companies have yet to launch an advertising campaign, the paper states, the clinic receives two to three telephone calls a day from people seeking directions to the store.

The clinic currently offers treatment for acute ailments and offers such services as camp physicals and vaccines. Patients can them be referred to the network of more than 350 doctors in the USF Physicians Group for further treatment, if needed.

The clinic opening was a significant development for the 103-store grocery chain and a continuation of a relationship with USF Health that began last year when Sweetbay was selected to open two pharmacies inside USF facilities.

Sweetbay is owned by Belgium-based Delhaize Group, with also owns Food Lion and Hannaford.

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