PHARMACY

Retail pharmacies sue Abbott over Norvir pricing

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK Safeway, Walgreens, Kroger, Supervalu’s New Albertsons, and American Sales have filed a lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories, alleging that the drug maker abused its monopoly in the market for the AIDS drug Norvir, when it raised the price fivefold in 2003, according to the wallstreetjournal.com.

In the complaint filed Monday, the companies allege that Abbott “unlawfully extended its monopoly position as the sole provider of Norvir,” by raising its price 400 percent in December 2003. Norvir’s U.S. wholesale price rose to $257.10 from $51.30 for 30 100 mg capsules.

This is the second suit filed against Abbott. The company has already been sued by two AIDS patients and the Service Employees International Union Health and Welfare Fund. That suit is scheduled to go to trial in June.

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Sandoz completes $10 million expansion of N.C. facility

BY Drew Buono

WILSON, N.C. Sandoz recently completed the major phase of its Wilson, North Carolina expansion when over 50 employees moved into a new 30,000 square foot building.

Over 65 new jobs are expected to be created in Wilson as a result of the $10 million expansion. The positions will be filled by pharmaceutical scientists and analytical chemists and will bring the total of employees at the site to almost 480.

“The new laboratories present an excellent workplace and opportunity for top scientists to help us continue to growth in the U.S.,” said Bernhard Hampl, president and chief executive officer of Sandoz. “The new products developed at the site will be the basis for the future growth of the Wilson site.”

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Pfizer, Taisho sign letter of intent over schizophrenia drug candidate

BY Drew Buono

TOKYO and NEW YORK Taisho Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer have concluded on a letter of intent with regard to Taisho’s new drug candidate for schizophrenia, TS-032.

The drug is currently in the pre-clinical stage and the letter of intent relates to a proposed license agreement regarding rights for development and commercialization.

Through the agreement, Taisho will grant exclusive development and commercialization rights outside Japan for the drug to Pfizer. Once the agreement is signed, Taisho will receive an initial payment of $22 million as well as milestone and royalties linked to the development and sales of the drug.

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