PHARMACY

Former pharmaceutical executive takes on new role at Fuse Science

BY Allison Cerra

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. — Fuse Science announced that one of its advisory board members has taken on a new role.

Jeanne Hebert, a 20-year industry veteran, will become VP marketing and clinical research, effectively immediately. Her responsibilities will include advancing product innovation through development and commercialization phases, including work with suppliers on product design and advanced medical prototyping.

Prior to her new role, Hebert worked for such companies as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Merck and Integral Orthopedics.

In addition to Hebert’s appointment, Fuse Science also announced that Julie Zastrow to the management team to lead its grass roots marketing, athlete management and social media efforts. She formerly was VP marketing and merchandising for apparel brand Tapout.

"We are very pleased to have Jeanne & Julie join our team," Fuse Science president and COO Rubin Hanan said. "We are aggressively driving our product commercialization efforts, continued research and athlete strategy for the Powered By Fuse brand. The full-time commitment of Ms. Herbert and Ms. Zastrow to our business brings immediate positive impact and advancement to this strategy."

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PHARMACY

Counterfeit Avastin circulating in U.S., FDA warns

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Fake versions of a cancer drug made by Roche’s U.S. unit have entered the United States, the Food and Drug Administration warned Wednesday.

The FDA advised healthcare professionals and patients that a counterfeit version of Genentech’s Avastin (bevacizumab) had been distributed in the United States. The agency said the counterfeit versions carried Roche’s logo instead of Genentech’s and displayed batch numbers starting with B6010, B6011 or B86017.

The FDA said 19 medical practices in the United States had purchased unapproved cancer medications from a foreign supplier called Quality Specialty Products, also known as Montana Health Care Solutions, while a Gainesboro, Tenn.-based company called Volunteer Distribution was a distributor of QSP’s products. The agency said medical practices that had obtained products from Volunteer Distribution and QSP should stop using them an contact the FDA.

 


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Managed care plans prefer generic over branded Lipitor

BY Alaric DeArment

PHOENIX — Managed care and prescription plans are working to switch patients to generic versions of Pfizer’s Lipitor despite the drug maker’s efforts to reduce costs for the branded version, a new study suggested.

According to a report released Wednesday by Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions’ inThought research group, while Lipitor (atorvastatin) has 41% of the market share of all dispensed prescriptions of atorvastatin, it has 35% of the payer approval volume.

"At 41% of market share, Lipitor is ahead of the game, at least compared [with] Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) and Cozaar (losartan), both blockbuster drugs that lost patent protection in the last two years," Wolters Kluwer inThought analyst and author of the report Rusty Jones said, referring to an Alzheimer’s disease drug made by Pfizer and Eisai and a blood pressure drug made by Merck, respectively. "Our latest data, however, show that it may be losing more ground than the traditional prescription data suggest, especially on the important battleground of managed care coverage."

The report noted that Pfizer has used several managed care strategies to maintain its brand share of the drug, which lost patent protection in November 2011 and now faces competition from a generic version made by Ranbaxy Labs. But despite Pfizer’s efforts to lower patient costs, it has retained less than half the total atorvastatin pill count, 10 weeks after the generic became available.

"Since the 35% approval volume is lower than Lipitor’s current market share, the claims data suggest that Lipitor volumes will continue to decline," Jones said. "Despite the discounts, managed care plans are still financially motivated to put their patients on generic atorvastatin."

 


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