PHARMACY

Head of Novartis moves to new position at J&J

BY Diana Alickaj

SOMERVILLE, N.J. Alex Gorsky, former leader of Novartis’ pharmaceuticals operations in the United States, has accepted a position at Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit beginning on Feb. 22.

According to published reports, Gorsky had worked for J&J for more than 15 years in the pharmaceutical business before accepting a position with Novartis in 2004. The Ethicon unit of J&J manufactures surgical sutures, meshes and wound dressings, and is based in Somerville, N.J.

Speculations about Gorsky’s departure were fueled by the decline of sales by Novartis; the company’s U.S. pharmaceutical sales fell 8 percent last year to $8.7 billion, and resulted in 1,126 job cuts. Ethicone, however, is experiencing an increase of 11 percent in sales with an estimated 9,000 employees working for the company.

The successor at Swiss drug maker Novartis has yet to be announced.

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PHARMACY

IVoice announces patent on new product for easy medicine consumption

BY Diana Alickaj

MATAWAN, N.J. iVoice has created a new product that will organize the way that patients consume pills. According to published reports, the invention is a medicine container that has speaking instructions.

iVoice has filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office under the title, “Methodology for Wirelessly Loading Speaking Medicine Containers, with an internal clock.”

The new iVoice product contains an internal clock, which starts when a patient activates the audio playback that, with recurring use, creates a message that displays how many pills the patient should have left, and if that “predetermined amount” is not in the container, a warning is displayed for the patient to contact a doctor or pharmacist. Other features include a medicine container starting table count, required consumption data and self-programming.

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FTC files complaint over Cephalon’s attempt at protection of Provigil market

BY Diana Alickaj

WASHINGTON Cephalon is facing a lawsuit filed by antitrust enforcers regarding its Narcolepsy medicine, Provigil.

Provigil is Cephalon’s best-selling drug, and according to the Wall Street Journal, the civil complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission stated that Cephalon was illegally delaying the sale of the drug by four rivals that were slated to produce and market the generic version of the drug. The sales of Provigil are a recorded $800 million per year.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, companies including Teva Pharmaceuticals, Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, Barr Pharmaceuticals, and Mylan Pharmaceuticals, were given a combined $200 million to push off the genetic version of their drug from market entry until 2012.

Cephalon denies any wrongdoing. “The transactions we reached met the letter and spirit of the law in every way,” Frank Baldino, Cephalon’s chief executive, said, “and we will litigate this matter, and we will prevail.”

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