PHARMACY

Kinray acquisition drives Cardinal Health’s Q2

BY Allison Cerra

DUBLIN, Ohio — Second-quarter revenue for Cardinal Health rose 2%, thanks in part to its acquisition of pharmaceutical distributor Kinray.

Revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010, totaled $25.4 billion, compared with the prior-year period. Similarly, Cardinal Health’s earnings per share from continuing operations jumped 21% to 69 cents.

Cardinal Health said its acquisition of Kinray extended the company’s reach to the independent pharmacy community "by adding approximately 2,000 pharmacy customers," Cardinal Health chairman and CEO, George Barrett, said. Cardinal Health also added that its acquisition of Yong Yu in China built on the company’s foray into the international healthcare market.

Breaking down its second-quarter results, the company’s pharmaceutical segment experienced a 2% boost in revenue — thanks to nonbulk customers — to $23.2 billion. Segment profit increased 11% to $289 million, which was attributed to stronger generic sales and sourcing initiatives.

Revenue for the medical segment declined 1% to $2.2 billion, primarily driven by previously disclosed fiscal 2010 customer losses and a strong flu season in the prior-year period. Segment profit was $102 million, even with the prior year, Cardinal Health reported.

In related news, the healthcare services company also disclosed early renewal of a distribution agreement with Walgreens to supply pharmaceuticals to the retailer’s national network of retail pharmacies.

Cardinal Health raised its full-year guidance with an earnings-per-share range of $2.54 to $2.60.

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PHARMACY

Valeant receives U.S., Canadian rights for Zovirax

BY Alaric DeArment

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to certain formulations of a GlaxoSmithKline drug used to treat cold sores.

Valeant announced Thursday that it had acquired the rights to nonophthalmic topical formulations of Zovirax (acyclovir) from GSK for $300 million through its Canadian subsidiary, Biovail Labs.

“We believe that Zovirax is a strong brand with continuing growth opportunities,” Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson said. “The current distribution agreement between GSK and BLS was problematic for both companies, and this new arrangement should solve this issue for both organizations.”

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PHARMACY

Former NCPA executive joins GPhA

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The former top executive of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association may have gone to work for the National Community Pharmacists Association, but the generic drug industry trade group got one of the independent pharmacy group’s executives as well.

The GPhA announced the appointment of John Coster as SVP government affairs, effective Feb. 14. Coster previously worked at the NCPA and has worked on pharmacy and healthcare policy issues for more than 25 years. Former GPhA president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger was appointed as EVP and CEO of the NCPA in November 2010, after having left the GPhA last year.

The GPhA said its hiring of Coster was part of its 2011 strategic plan to expand its presence in Washington and advocate for generic drugs and follow-on biologics. Currently, the organization has not appointed a new president and CEO.

“John’s exceptional Hill experience and legislative expertise comes to us at a time when the cost-savings potential of generic pharmaceuticals has never been more important, both on the federal and state levels,” GPhA interim executive director Bob Billings said. “We are delighted to have this seasoned and respected professional on our team.”

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