PHARMACY

Remicade usage hits 1 million mark

BY Drew Buono

HORSHAM, Pa. Remicade, a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, has become the first anti-TNF biologic therapy to treat one million patients worldwide, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

TNF-alpha is a naturally occurring protein produced by the body’s immune system to fight infections. Remicade is a monoclonal antibody engineered to inhibit TNF-alpha. Monoclonal antibodies are engineered in a laboratory to target specific antigens, or substances that cause an immune response, responsible for a disease.

The drug is currently approved for 15 inflammatory disease indications including psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and ankylosing spondylitis. Remicade, which generated sales of $3.77 billion last year, is approved in 88 countries.

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Mass. court levies combined $13.6 million against AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb

BY Drew Buono

BOSTON A federal court in Massachusetts entered $12.9 million in damages against AstraZeneca and $695,594 against Bristol-Myers Squibb for the state’s class action members in a suit related to marketing the spread of certain drugs, according to law firms.

The judge, Patti B. Saris, found that AstraZeneca marketed the spread on its Zoladex drug, which is used to treat prostate cancer, selling it based on its profitability to doctors’ offices. She also found that less than 10 percent of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s sales were made within 5 percent of its list price, according to DowJones.

AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb intend to appeal the ruling, which covers Massachusetts’s class-action participants.

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Eli Lilly’s depression care program receives certification

BY Drew Buono

INDIANAPOLIS Eli Lilly has received Program Design Certification from the National Committee for Quality Assurance for its Tools that Empower Depression Care Management Program.

Tools that Empower Depression Care Management Program is designed for managed care organizations to assist in further driving the standard of patient care around major depressive disorder. It helps identify members with major depressive disorder and offers educational resources to support treatment.

“Tools that Empower is part of Lilly’s commitment to our customers to help reduce patient risk and create an environment of continuous improvement for patient care,” said Jack Bailey, vice president, Lilly’s Business to Business division. “The NCQA certification validates the helpful tools provided by the program.”

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