NewsBytes — Chain Pharmacy, 12/10/12
Watson to change brand in 2013
PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals is changing its name to Actavis following its acquisition of the Swiss drug maker, Watson said. Watson, whose $5.6 billion acquisition of Actavis received approval from the Federal Trade Commission in October, said it would adopt the new name starting in 2013, with plans to start a multi-year rebranding campaign and trade under a new symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.
The rebranding will also include a redesign of the Actavis logo, created by branding firm Lippincott, which features a “W” emerging from an “A,” a reference to Watson.
The company also announced a new global generics commercial management team. Andrew Boyer will lead the company’s U.S. generics business. Jean-Guy Goulet will lead the company’s Canadian and Latin American business. The company’s European, Asia, Middle East and Africa, and Australian businesses have new leaders as well.
Sandoz starts phase-3 trial of
biosimilar anemia drug
HOLZKIRCHEN, Germany — Generic drug maker Sandoz has started a late-stage clinical trial in the United States for a biosimilar treatment for anemia, the company said.
The generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis said it had started enrolling patients for a phase-3 study of epoetin alfa, a biosimilar version of Epogen and Procrit, made by Amgen and Johnson & Johnson and used to treat anemia associated with chronic kidney disease.
Sandoz has marketed biosimilar epoetin alfa in the European Union for five years under the brand name Binocrit.
Par acquires rights to generic
version of Seroquel XR
WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Par Pharmaceutical has bought rights to a generic version of a drug used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Par said it bought marketing and distribution rights to generic quetiapine fumarate extended-release tablets from Handa Pharmaceuticals, acquiring Handa’s regulatory approval application for the drug. The deal gives Par the right to market, sell and distribute the drug after it receives approval from the FDA and receive a share of the profits. Par itself has a license to market the drug starting in November 2016, under a deal with AstraZeneca.
The drug is a generic version of AstraZeneca’s Seroquel XR, and Handa considers itself the first company to file a complete application for the generic drug in the 50-mg, 150-mg, 200-mg and 300-mg strengths. If it is, then the drug will have 180 days in which to compete directly with AstraZeneca’s product, according to generic drug regulations. Seroquel XR has annual sales of about $808 million, according to IMS Health.
Walmart to sell hypertension
drugs for a penny
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart and Humana said that starting in 2013, members of the Humana-Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan would have access to 10 drugs for high blood pressure for 1 cent each when filled at a Walmart or Sam’s Club store. The companies said the price meant members would pay that much for them through all phases of their benefit, regardless of whether they have met their deductibles or are in the coverage gap.
The drugs offered under the program are lisinopril, hydrochlorothiazide, metoprolol tartrate, atenolol, lisinopril-hydrochlorothiazide, triamterene-hydrochlorothiazide, enalapril maleate, benazepril, nadolol and captopril.
Industry divided over patent settlements
Patent settlements between generic and branded drug companies seem like one of the most controversial and long-standing issues in the pharmaceutical world, with strong opinions on both sides.
Typically, when a generic drug company wants to be the first to market a generic version of a drug, it will file for Food and Drug Administration approval for the generic before the branded drug has lost patent protection. This usually prompts a lawsuit from the branded drug company; and while the suits often go to trial, in many cases they will result in a settlement that allows the generic drug maker to launch at a later date. Critics call these settlements “pay-for-delay” deals, the idea being that they result in generic drugs getting into patients’ medicine cabinets later than they would if there had been no deal.
While the “pay” part of the deal may be monetary, it frequently consists of a promise on the part of the branded drug maker not to market an authorized generic — essentially the branded drug marketed at a discount under its generic name, usually by a third-party company — during the 180-day market exclusivity period to which generic companies are entitled if they are the first to win approval for a generic, when they have the sole right to compete against the branded version.
Last month, the American Medical Association became the latest player to make its voice heard when it came out in support of getting rid of the settlements. The AMA joins the Federal Trade Commission — which, under chairman Jon Leibowitz, has been aggressive in its criticism of many patent settlements — as well as legislators like Sens. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
In October 2012, the U.S. solicitor general, on behalf of the FTC, petitioned the Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling concerning the agency’s case against an agreement over the testosterone-replacement drug AndroGel. Originally filed in February 2009, the case alleges that Solvay Pharmaceuticals paid generic drug makers Watson Pharmaceuticals, Paddock Labs and Par Pharmaceutical millions of dollars per year to delay introducing generic versions of the drug and refrain from marketing them until 2015.
But the Generic Pharmaceutical Association counters that despite the settlements, generic drugs still become available months or even years ahead of the expiration of branded drug makers’ patents, and delaying launch of a generic beyond patent expiry would be illegal anyway. The patent covering AndroGel expires in August 2020, according to FDA records. And according to a report by RBC Capital Markets, generic drug companies win 48% of patent litigation settlements that go to trial, but their success rate increases to 76% when settlements are included.
No comments found
ReportersNotebook — Chain Pharmacy, 12/10/12
SUPPLIER NEWS — MediSafe Project has launched what it called the first cloud-synced mobile app to help prevent emergencies caused by over- or under-dosing medications.
NCR Corp. is partnering with health kiosk maker SoloHealth to provide on-site repairs to its interactive consumer healthcare kiosks at retailers as SoloHealth rolls them out around the country. The stations provide screenings for vision, blood pressure, weight, symptoms checking, body mass index and overall health.
TCE Group announced the introduction of its Pharma Kiosk, or PK+. The kiosk allows patients to order prescription drugs through an Internet connection and is designed to be located at any site, including such remote locations as office towers and shopping malls.
RETAIL NEWS — Kerr Drug has broadened its services with a new mobile pharmacy application. Powered by mScripts, the solution enables Kerr Drug customers to refill prescriptions and receive pickup and dosage reminders through the convenience of their mobile phones. Smartphone users can access the store locator, weekly specials and do a quick refill by scanning the QR code on prescription bottles. A text-messaging option for nonsmartphone users enables patients to receive many of the same benefits.
Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has launched a mobile app for patients to manage their prescriptions. The app, which operates on a secure network created by San Francisco-based mScripts, includes dosage reminders, health information and features for getting prescription refills and pickup reminders. The company also launched a new mobile website at M.pharmaca.com.
No comments found