PHARMACY

Sandoz affirms its generic anti-clotting drug will be approved

BY Alaric DeArment

BASEL, Switzerland Sandoz is “confident” that it will win approval for a generic anti-clotting drug, according to published reports.

Reuters reported that Sandoz, the generics arm of Novartis, and partner Momenta Pharmaceuticals were hoping to gain approval of a generic version of Sanofi-Aventis’s Lovenox (enoxaparin), but that Sandoz CEO Jeff George was “cautiously optimistic.”

Teva and a partnership involving Watson Pharmaceuticals and Amphastar Pharmaceuticals are seeking approval for versions of the drug as well, according to Reuters. The drug is used to treat deep vein thrombosis.

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Report; N.Y. seeks to prohibit doctors from accepting gifts from drug companies

BY Alaric DeArment

ALBANY, N.Y. New York Gov. David Paterson hopes to put an end to gifts from drug companies to doctors, according to published reports.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that Paterson proposed legislation that would prohibit drug makers from giving doctors such gifts as pens and free meals to persuade them to prescribe their drugs. Drug companies that violated the ban would be fined between $15,000 and $250,000, while healthcare professionals would be fined $5,000 to $10,000. Nine states so far have laws on the books that prohibit the practice.

According to the AP article, patient-advocacy organizations such as AARP are supporting the legislation, while the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents the branded drug industry, opposes it.

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Acorda appoints EVP commercial development

BY Alaric DeArment

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. The founder of a consulting firm has joined the executive board of Acorda Therapeutics, the drug maker announced Monday.

Lauren Sabella will work as Acorda’s EVP commercial development, reporting to president and CEO Ron Cohen and assuming responsibility for Acorda’s commercial operations such as marketing, sales and managed markets.

Before working for Acorda, Sabella was founder and principal of Tugboat Consulting Group, which assisted companies in commercialization. She also worked as VP commercial development for Altus Pharmaceuticals and served in various positions at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaeuticals for 18 years.

“I’m delighted to welcome Lauren Sabella to Acorda’s management team,” Cohen said. “Lauren has an impressive record of achievement in the pharmaceutical industry, including responsibility for launching and managing several high-performing products.”

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