Six retailers charge Wyeth, Teva with unlawfully delaying generic Effexor XR
TRENTON, N.J. — Six retailers on Wednesday filed suit naming Wyeth and Teva Pharmaceuticals as defendants and alleging that the defendants unlawfully delayed the entry of generic versions of Wyeth’s antidepressant Effexor XR (venlafaxine). A summons was issued to Wyeth and Teva on Thursday.
The retailers include Ahold USA, H-E-B, Kroger, Safeway, Supervalu and Walgreens. The companies are suing for three-times damages plus attorneys fees.
Wyeth was acquired by Pfizer in October 2009.
"Although Wyeth’s marketing exclusivity for the original compound patent for Effexor XR lapsed on June 13, 2008, the first generic equivalent was foreclosed for two more years, until July 2010, and other generics (including Wyeth’s authorized generic) remained foreclosed until June 2011," wrote the plaintiffs in a 79-page complaint. The suit alleged that Wyeth fraudulently procured three patents for extended-release formulations of venlafaxine hydrochloride and engaged in "serial sham litigation" to block and delay generic entry. The suit further alleged that Wyeth colluded with Teva to delay generic introduction of the antidepressant by Teva.
For the nine months ended Oct. 2, Pfizer reported $537 million in Effexor XR sales, down 64.5% as compared with the nine months ended Oct. 3, 2010.
Octapharma USA reintroduces Octagam 5%
HOBOKEN, N.J. — A drug for treating immune system disorders is available again following a voluntary market withdrawal last summer.
Octapharma USA said Wednesday that Octagam (immune globulin intravenous [human] 5% liquid preparation) again was available for purchase. The Food and Drug Administration approved its reintroduction on Nov. 3.
The company started a voluntary market withdrawal of the 5% strength of the drug in August 2010 after patients reported internal blood clots known as thromboembolic events, in which a clot or thrombus forms locally in a blood vessel or breaks loose and blocks another vessel.
"It is a very exciting time for patients throughout the United States as they again have access to Octagam 5%, a therapy that has long been valued by the medical community for patient tolerability," Octapharma USA president Flemming Nielsen said. "We have seen over the last year that there are industry-wide concerns over [thromboembolic events] connected with multiple immune globulin products that remained on the market while we have implemented enhanced safety measures for Octagam 5%."
Navarro Discount Pharmacy celebrates opening of 30th store
MIAMI — Navarro Discount Pharmacy, a Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain and an MBF Healthcare portfolio company, has opened its 30th store in Homestead in the Homestead Pavilion Shopping Center.
For added convenience and improved customer service, the pharmacy department has been moved to the front of the new 11,280-sq.-ft. store. The store layout features new colors and enhanced signage in English and Spanish, wider aisles, a larger fragrance section with added light boxes, and more products in the refrigerated food and dairy section. Services for customers include a pediatric window for busy parents, compounding pharmacy services, a free Diabetes Club for adults and children with diabetes, and free prescription delivery for all customers.
Navarro’s shelves in Homestead are stocked with ethnic products for the Mexican community, including Jumex nectars, an extensive variety of chili peppers, piñatas and Hispanic products from Goya and Gamesa. Signature products for Hispanics also available in the Homestead store include Café La Llave Expresso coffee and Fabuloso multipurpose cleaner, plus such popular brands as Valentini, El Sembrador and La Fe. Navarro’s new Vida Mia private-label brand products, with labels in English and Spanish, also are available in the store.
“Due to the strength of the Navarro brand in the Hispanic community, the new Homestead store, our southernmost store, has had excellent traffic and higher than normal opening sales,” stated Juan Ortiz, CEO of Navarro Discount Pharmacy. “There is a tremendous need locally for a community pharmacy such as Navarro and a lot of pent up demand.” As part of Navarro’s 22-store expansion strategy, the next store opening after Homestead is Pembroke Pines in Broward County in the spring of 2012.
Attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening were Homestead mayor Steven Bateman, vice mayor Jon Burgess and Greater Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce chairman Linda Hicks. The first 200 customers received a free Navarro reusable bag filled with product, there was free product sampling throughout the day and special 2-for-1 product offers. Representatives from Florida Health College, Dade Medical College and the American Heart Association staffed tables and administered free vascular, glucose and vitals screenings for customers.