PHARMACY

Shire files lawsuit against Watson over Adderall XR

BY Alaric DeArment

DUBLIN — British drug maker Shire has filed suit against Watson Pharmaceuticals and subsidiaries, alleging patent infringement in a case concerning a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Shire announced Wednesday that it had filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Watson and several subsidiaries over their attempt to market a generic version of Adderall XR (amphetamine, dextroamphetamine mixed salts) and breach of contract.

The suit alleges that Watson infringed on three Shire patents and breached a settlement and licensing agreement concerning the drug that the companies reached in November 2007 by filing for approval of a generic version of Adderall XR with the Food and Drug Administration.

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PHARMACY

Senate repeals 1099 tax reporting requirement

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Tuesday voted to repeal a law that posed a burdensome tax reporting requirement for businesses.

In an 87-12 decision, the legislative body passed H.R. 4, the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act, sponsored by Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif. The bill repeals a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 that required businesses to file a Form 1099 with the Internal Revenue Service whenever they made noncredit-card payments totaling $600 or more to a vendor during a single year.

The news follows one month after the House of Representatives voted 314-112 to approve the bill.

In response to the bill’s passing, the National Community Pharmacists Association commended the House and Senate for their efforts. “This bill will allow local pharmacists to spend more time providing expert medication counseling and care to patients and less time filling out paperwork for the IRS," NCPA said. "That’s why NCPA has long been an active member of the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare, which has been vocal from the start in seeking legislative solutions to this potential problem."

In addition to the NCPA, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores also lauded the decision, noting that it has consistently supported bicameral and bipartisan efforts to repeal the 1099 requirement.

“Repealing the burdensome 1099 provision is in the best interest of economic growth and job creation, and permits pharmacies — the face of neighborhood health care — to provide the most accessible and affordable healthcare services to patients," said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. "Everyone is better served when pharmacy can focus on patients, not paperwork."

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Merck eyes Inspire

BY Allison Cerra

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Drug maker Merck is looking to boost its eye care portfolio by acquiring a company focused on developing and commercializing ophthalmic products. The deal carries a cash value of about $430 million.

Merck said Tuesday that through its subsidiary, it will commence a tender offer for all outstanding common stock of Inspire at a price of $5 per share in cash. The offer is a 26% premium to the closing price of Inspire’s common stock on April 4, Merck said. Upon the completion of the tender offer, Merck will acquire all remaining shares through a second-step merger.

Inspire’s president and CEO, Adrian Adams, said the deal will enhance the company’s "long-term potential." The company is known for such products as AzaSite, a bacterial conjunctivitis treatment.

"Merck continues to build upon its long-term commitment to improving therapeutic options for the treatment of eye diseases," said Beverly Lybrand, SVP and general manager of neuroscience and ophthalmology at Merck. "This acquisition combines the talented commercialization organization at Inspire with the excellent team already in place at Merck, thereby strengthening our ophthalmology business and positioning us for future growth with an expanded portfolio. This deal helps address the needs of patients and customers in ophthalmology and creates value for both companies."

The closing of the tender offer will be subject to certain conditions, Merck noted.

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