PHARMACY

Teva seeks to market Shire’s ADHD drug

BY Alaric DeArment

DUBLIN Teva is hoping to get a generic drug for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder into the market a little early.

British drug maker Shire announced Tuesday that it received notice of Teva’s filing of a regulatory approval application with the Food and Drug Administration for a generic version of Intuniv (guanfacine hydrochloride) extended-release tablets in the 1-mg, 2-mg, 3-mg and 4-mg strengths. Teva’s application contained a Paragraph IV certification, a legal assertion that Shire’s patents covering Intuniv are invalid, unenforceable or won’t be infringed by Teva’s version of the drug.

Currently, Intuniv is covered by three patents, which expire in 2015, 2020 and 2022. Teva’s Paragraph IV certification was directed at the last two, and Shire said it was reviewing the notice letter.

The market-exclusivity period for Intuniv lasts until September 2012, meaning that the FDA can’t approve Teva’s version until then. Under the Hatch-Waxman Act, Shire has a month and a half to decide whether to sue Teva for patent infringement. If it does that, the FDA will be prohibited from approving Teva’s drug for two and a half years, or until the two companies reach a settlement or one wins the case.

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PHARMACY

Students celebrate Rx Day

BY DSN STAFF

OLYMPIA, Wash. —Students from the schools of pharmacy at the University of Washington, in Seattle, and Washington State University, in Pullman, Wash., converged on the Washington state capitol in Olympia to mark the annual Pharmacy Day on Feb. 9. Students and pharmacists met with state legislators and offered them and their staff free health screenings.

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Health Mart hits critical mass

BY DSN STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO —Chances are good that there’s a Health Mart in your community. Some four years after its reinvention as a cutting-edge, market-savvy pharmacy franchiser by owner McKesson, the hard-driving independent drug store network now operates in all 50 states and comprises one of the largest and fastest-growing pharmacy brands in America. With guidance from McKesson VP and Health Mart president Tim Canning, and a team of experienced marketing and merchandising hands, Health Mart has come a long way from its days as a dormant, 300-store remnant of the old FoxMeyer wholesale drug network purchased by McKesson in the early 1990s.

In January, Health Mart surged past another milestone when Trudell Health Mart Pharmacy in Dearborn, Mich., became the 2,500th independent pharmacy to join the franchise. That marks an 850% jump in store count over the past four years, according to McKesson.

“We joined Health Mart to take advantage of the innovative marketing, operational and patient care programs available. Then we found out we were the 2,500th pharmacy to go blue and green, which is exciting because we just celebrated 80 years of serving the community,” said Trudell owner Tom Fakih.

Among the reasons Trudell joined the franchise, Fakih said, were “new services and programs that help us better care for, educate and inform our patients,” including Health Mart’s recent “Health Across America” campaign to test people for diabetes risk.

To maintain its growth momentum, Health Mart has begun leveraging its national scale and reach. Early this year, the chain launched a national TV ad campaign tied to such major events as the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympic Games and the Academy Awards.

“Being ranked highest in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, coupled with our growth to 2,500 pharmacies, is a further demonstration of Health Mart’s commitment to the local Health Mart pharmacists,” Canning said.

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