PHARMACY

Teva announces shipment of generic Famvir

BY Allison Cerra

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has begun the shipment of its generic version of Novartis’ Famvir herpes treatment, the company said Friday.

As the first drug developer to file for a generic version of the drug, famciclovir, Teva has been awarded a 180-day period of marketing exclusivity.

The announcement comes two days following the U.S. District Court in New Jersey’s decision to deny Novartis’ motion for a preliminary injunction, which would have prevented Teva from marketing its version of Famvir.

During afternoon trading, shares of the Israeli company fell 11 cents to $43.39, while Novartis’ American Depositary Shares rose 8 cents to $53.41.

In 2006, Famvir net sales totaled at $166 million in the United States.

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Court denies Novartis injunction against Teva

BY DSN STAFF

JERUSALEM, Israel Teva Pharmaceutical Industries announced Wednesday that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey denied a motion filed by Novartis for a preliminary injunction related to Teva’s famciclovir tablets, the generic version of Novartis’ Famvir.

The Food and Drug Administration already has approved Teva’s abbreviated new drug application for famciclovir tablets. As the first company to file an ANDA containing a paragraph IV certification for this product, Teva has been awarded a 180-day period of marketing exclusivity.

Famvir had U.S. annual sales of approximately $200 million for the twelve months ended June 30, according to IMS sales data.

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Prescription drug abuse up among young adults

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON More young adults are abusing prescription medications, according to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to the results, 7 million Americans over 12 years old used prescription psychotherapeutic drugs—including pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants or sedatives—nonmedically in the month preceding the survey.

Overall prescription drug abuse among U.S. young adults increased from 5.4 percent in 2005 to 6.4 percent in 2006. Of the nonmedical prescription drug users in 2006, 5.2 million used prescription pain relievers, an increase from 4.7 million in 2005.

“The abuse of prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons is of increasing concern,” agency chief Terry Cline stated. “These are potent drugs that can have serious and life-threatening consequences if misused. Parents in particular need to be aware of this problem and take steps to prevent these medications from falling into the wrong hands.”

In 2006, 2.6 million people over 12 years old used psychotherapeutic drugs nonmedically for the first time, with the most significant increase being among the use of stimulants. The primary source of the drugs (55.7 percent) were friends and relatives who gave them away for free. About 19 percent were obtained from a doctor, and only 0.1 percent were purchased over the Internet.

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