PHARMACY

U.S. secretary of labor visits Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy headquarters

BY Alaric DeArment

FLINT, Mich. — The country’s largest privately owned specialty pharmacy provider recently got a visit from the U.S. secretary of labor.

Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy announced last week that labor secretary Hilda Solis toured the company’s new headquarters at a former General Motors building in Flint, Mich.

“This is testimony of what people can do when they pull together,” Solis said, referring to Diplomat’s use of the building. “Flint, Mich., is on the map again.”

She also congratulated Diplomat president and CEO Phil Hagerman.

“This facility has been a game changer for us and signifies Diplomat’s continued national growth,” Hagerman said. “Diplomat was picked for this important visit as a unique example of how entrepreneurial business can work together with federal, state and local government to accelerate their growth. We’ve hired 100 employees so far this year and are on track to hire another 150 before year end.”

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PHARMACY

American Regent launches generic Xalatan

BY Alaric DeArment

SHIRLEY, N.Y. — American Regent has launched a generic drug for relieving pressure inside the eye, the company said.

American Regent announced the availability of latanoprost ophthalmic solution in the 0.005% strength.

The drug is a generic version of Pfizer’s Xalatan and is used to treat such conditions as glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

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Decision Resources: Victoza may outpace Byetta

BY Alaric DeArment

BURLINGTON, Mass. — Novo Nordisk could be outpacing Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals in the diabetes wars, according to an analysis by healthcare market research firm Decision Resources.

A recent report by the firm found that more patients were switching from Lilly and Amylin’s Byetta (exenatide) to Novo Nordisk’s Victoza (liraglutide) than vice versa, with 25.2% switching to Victoza and 2.8% switching to Byetta. Still, for the time being, Byetta commands a higher patient share. Between the first and last quarters of 2010, Byetta’s patient share fell from 4% to 3.2%, while Victoza’s increase from 0.1% to 1.8%.

“Use of both Byetta and Victoza is usually reserved for later lines of therapy,” Decision Resources analyst Kate Sullivan said. “The increasing use of Victoza is most likely a result of Victoza’s more convenient once-daily dosing and its greater HbA1c-lowering and weight-loss efficacy.”

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drsarahj says:
Jul-08-2011 05:54 pm

It seems oddly coincidental (perhaps manipulative) that Decision Resources would announce this research finding about Victoza on a day when Amylin stock is rising with the news of their positive heart rhythm study. Novo Nordisk has a great product, but once a day is not as convenient as once per week, and there is NO way that can be spinned other than for what it is. For once, I wish the market would stop worrying about investors and demonstrate some genuine concern about patients. The market is large and getting larger, certainly enough room for many players besides Novo, and both Amylin and Mannkind will demonstrate this convincingly in the months and years ahead.

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