HEALTH

FTC: Solvay Pharmaceuticals violated antitrust laws

BY Drug Store News Team

WASHINGTON The maker of a hormone-replacement drug gained a monopoly and violated antitrust laws by paying three generic drug makers to delay release of their own versions, the Federal Trade Commission alleges in a suit.

The FTC said Solvay Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the topical medication Androgel (testosterone gel), told Watson Pharmaceuticals, Paddock Laboratories and Par Pharmaceuticals to delay release of generic versions of the gel until 2010, in exchange for a share of profits from the branded version.

Such deals are called exclusion payment settlements and involve branded drug makers paying generic drug makers to delay release of generic drugs. Several members of the Senate and House introduced legislation last year to challenge the practice.

Legislation has also been introduced in the House this year to prohibit the selling of authorized generics during the customary six-month exclusivity period, whereby a large drug maker will sell its drug through a generic drug maker at a reduced price to compete with the generic version.

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Matrixx considering partnership with other OTC companies to release Zicare and Xcid

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx Initiatives is exploring partnering with other over-the-counter companies on the national roll out of its Zicare oral care product and Xcid antacid.

“We continue to explore the possibility of partnering with other parties on both of those projects,,” Bill Hemelt, Matrixx acting president, CFO and COO, told analysts last week. “As we’ve said before, we don’t want to move forward on them by ourselves because of the significant risks associated with that,” he said. “Xcid was a disappointment. … We did roll it out on a limited basis this past year, but it did not meet our expectations. Not because it’s a bad product, it just simply will require greater investment to take that nationally. So we are exploring partnership possibilities for both of those projects.”

Both products are “market ready,” Hemelt said, replete with consumer research and product research.

Zicare, when used in conjunction with a daily oral routine, helps dissolve up to 30% of visible tartar that has already formed and helps inhibit future tartar formation above the gumline, according to the product web site. Zicare is a gel that is applied at the gumline and between the teeth after brushing and before bed.

Xcid is an antacid featuring a unique delivery form — a creamy pudding-like gel available in three flavors: strawberry, orange and chocolate.

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Following salmonella outbreak, Obama calls for review of FDA

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The spate of peanut butter recalls associated with salmonella contamination has prompted President Barack Obama to call for a “complete review” of the Food and Drug Administration for failing to detect the contamination before sickening more than 500 people in an interview with TODAY co-host Matt Lauer over the weekend, which aired Monday.

Over the course of the interview, Obama suggested that the comprehensive peanut butter recall was only the latest incident to highlight misgivings about the agency. “The FDA has not been able to catch some of these things as quickly as I expect them to catch,” he said during the interview.

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