PHARMACY

Teva to market generic Combivir tablets

BY Allison Cerra

JERUSALEM — Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is set to market a generic version of an HIV treatment, the drug maker announced Thursday.

Teva said it will launch generic Combivir tablets (lamivudine and zidovudine) and is eligible for a 180-day period of marketing exclusivity, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The drug maker is expected to ship the drug in fourth quarter 2011, per terms of a settlement agreement between Teva, Glaxo Group and ViiV Healthcare.

Combivir tablets had annual sales of approximately $315 million in the United States, according to IMS sales data.

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PHARMACY

Retail pharmacy should be applauded for emphasizing medication adherence

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The fact that CVS Caremark convened its first-ever national forum in an effort to battle the $300 billion problem of medication nonadherence is important on several fronts, including the simple fact that retail pharmacy deserves credit for more effectively communicating what adherence is and why it’s important.

(THE NEWS: CVS Caremark convenes first-ever national forum on nonadherence. For the full story, click here.)

Such efforts as this forum — which uncoincidentally was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. — are an important reason why consumer awareness is rising on the importance of adherence. So are such programs as the Script Your Future campaign, which kicked off May 23 in Providence, R.I.

As reported by Drug Store News, Elizabeth Roberts, lieutenant governor of the state of Rhode Island, together with the National Consumers League launched Script Your Future in Providence to raise awareness among patients about the health consequences of not taking medication as directed. CVS Caremark, a national partner in the Script Your Future campaign, is headquartered in Rhode Island and participated in the Providence launch, which is 1-of-6 regional city markets where the campaign will pilot activities, research and advertising.

Both the forum and the campaign launch were offered online as a webcast, making it yet one more indication of the effort to spread the word and raise awareness on the vexing issue of nonadherence.

Nonadherence is not only a $300 billion a year drain on the U.S. healthcare system, but the stark reality is that it also is a matter of life and death. More than one-third of medicine-related hospitalizations and nearly 125,000 deaths in the United States each year are due to people not taking their medicines as directed.

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J&J looks to boost product portfolio, seeks regulatory approval for 11 new drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Drug maker Johnson & Johnson plans to file for regulatory approval for 11 new drugs between 2011 and 2015, the company said Thursday in relation to a meeting between J&J’s executive committee and investors.

During the same period, J&J plans to file for approval for more than 30 extensions of existing product lines as one of several growth strategies in its pharmaceuticals segment, which generated $22.4 billion in sales last year — accounting for 36% of the company’s total sales — and made it the world’s eighth largest pharmaceutical company and fifth largest biotech company.

“Our people focus every day on addressing the world’s major unmet medical needs with superior science,” executive committee vice chairwoman Sheri McCoy said. “Since our last Pharmaceuticals Business Review with analysts in 2009, we have built a highly productive pharmaceuticals pipeline, with six key new products launching and another two pending regulatory review, some in multiple geographies.”

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