PHARMACY

New office to help integrate Actavis into Watson

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Generic drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals has formed a special office to handle its pending acquisition of Actavis, the company said.

Watson announced the formation of the global integration management office, which will report directly to president and CEO Paul Bisaro and focus on integrating the Zug, Switzerland-based generic drug maker, which Watson announced it would acquire last month.

Marc Lehnen, a partner with consulting firm McKinsey & Co., has been hired to lead the office in the newly created position of SVP global integration management, a position he will assume on July 1.

"Watson is committed to integrating the combined assets of our company and Actavis as rapidly and as seamlessly as possible to recognize the combined potential of the global organization and to implement appropriate planning and execution processes to capitalize on the potential synergies that will result from this combination," Bisaro said.


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PHARMACY

MinuteClinic expands presence in San Antonio

BY Allison Cerra

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — MinuteClinic announced on Thursday the debut of two walk-in medical clinics inside CVS/pharmacy stores located in San Antonio.

The retail clinic operator, which opened its doors in the Lone Star state in 2006, now operates 45 clinics inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio markets. In addition to the two clinics, a third is slated to open later this year.

"Our innovative model of care can be part of the solution to help broaden access to high quality, convenient and affordable healthcare services in the San Antonio community and elsewhere in the state," MinuteClinic president and CVS Caremark SVP/associate chief medical officer Andrew Sussman said.

MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics in San Antonio operate from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.

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PHARMACY

Watson seeks approval for generic ulcerative colitis drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Generic drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals is hoping to be the first to market a generic version of a drug used to treat ulcerative colitis, the company said.

Watson announced that it had filed with the Food and Drug Administration through a subsidiary for melamine delayed-release tablets, a generic version of Shire Development’s Lialda, in the 1.2-g strength. Watson’s filing included a Paragraph IV certification, a legal assertion that Lialda’s patent protection is invalid, unenforceable or won’t be infringed.

In response, Shire and two other companies filed suit against Watson in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida seeking to prevent Watson from commercializing its drug, alleging that it infringes U.S. Patent No. 6,773,720, which expires in June 2020, according to the FDA. Under laws governing generic drugs, the lawsuit puts a stay of final FDA approval on Watson’s drug for up to 30 months or until the companies settle.

Lialda had sales of about $390 million during the 12-month period ended in March, according to IMS Health.


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