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Sandoz announces FDA approval, U.S. launch of chemotherapy drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a chemotherapy drug made by Sandoz, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Sandoz, the generics division of Swiss drug maker Novartis, announced the approval and launch of docetaxel, an injectable chemotherapy drug that the company said was the 11th cancer drug it has launched in the United States.

The drug is a ready-to-use formulation of Sanofi’s Taxotere in a single vial.* Various versions of Taxotere had sales of about $1.1 billion during the 12-month period ended in June, according to IMS Health. The drug is used to treat cancers of the lung, breast, prostate, stomach, head and neck, in combination with various other drugs.

* CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story referred to the drug as a generic version of Taxotere, based on an error in Sandoz’s original press release. The drug was approved under an FDA New Drug Application, as opposed to an Abbreviated New Drug Application, as is the case with generic drugs, so Sandoz’s product is not technically a generic drug.

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CVS Caremark announces receipt of requisite consents, termination of replacement capital covenant, expiration of consent solicitation

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has announced the results of its previously announced solicitation of consents from the registered holders as of 5 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 8 of its 6.125% senior notes due Aug. 15, 2016, to terminate the replacement capital covenant — which was entered into on May 25, 2007 — for the benefit of the holders of the notes in connection with the issuance of its 6.302% enhanced capital advantaged preferred securities due 2062.

Under the replacement capital covenant, CVS Caremark was prohibited from repurchasing, redeeming or repaying its ECAPS on or before June 1, 2047, unless a specified portion of the funds used to repay, redeem or repurchase the ECAPS were obtained by CVS Caremark through the sale of common stock or certain other equity or equity-like securities.

The consent solicitation expired at 5 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 22. The termination of the replacement capital covenant required the consent of the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding notes. Based on the final tabulation provided by the information and tabulation agent for the consent solicitation, D.F. King & Co., Inc., the holders of approximately 619,838,000 notes, or approximately 88.55% of the aggregate principal amount outstanding, delivered duly executed consents prior to the expiration of the Consent Solicitation.

CVS Caremark has executed a termination of the replacement capital covenant and will make a cash payment to each holder of the notes of $15 per $1,000 in principal amount of the notes as to which a duly executed consent was delivered and not revoked on or prior to the expiration of the consent solicitation.

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Former Duane Reade CEO Tony Cuti gets three years in prison for fraud

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Former Duane Reade CEO Tony Cuti was sentenced on Monday to three years in prison in connection with accounting fraud at the New York-based drug store chain.

Cuti, who is to report to prison on Jan. 31, 2012, also must pay a $5 million fine.

In sentencing Cuti, U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts in Manhattan called him a "gifted, arrogant, driven and entitled individual" who "bullied people into committing fraudulent acts to make the company look better than it actual was," according to published reports.

In June 2010, Cuti was found guilty of conspiracy, securities fraud and making false statements. Former Duane Reade CFO William Tennant was found guilty of securities fraud.

Tennant’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 29.

From November 2000 through June 2005, Cuti and Tennant reported inflated income from fraudulent real estate transactions and reduced company expenses through fictitious credits from vendors, prosecutors said.

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