PHARMACY

Vaccines sector of healthcare market expands, report finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The global market for vaccines grew to more than $20 billion last year, according to a report by healthcare market research firm Kalorama Information.

 

The New York-based firm’s report, “Vaccines 2010: World Market Analysis, Key Players and Critical Trends in a Fast-Changing Industry,” indicated that the world market for preventative vaccines was $22.1 billion in 2009, compared with $19 billion in 2008.

 

 

“We’ve forecasted a high growth rate for vaccines over the past few years, and market events have matched our predictions,” Kalorama publisher Bruce Carlson said. “The vaccine business is not without its risks, but for some companies, vaccines were the only bright spot in their portfolio in 2009. It’s not a surprise therefore that development is heavy in this sector, and that will continue to contribute to growth over the next five years.”

 

 

Much of the market centers on five companies, namely Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Novartis and Sanofi-Aventis division Sanofi Pasteur. GlaxoSmithKline took a quarter of the market, thanks largely to the influenza vaccines Fluvarix and Hiberix, Kalorama said.

 

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PHARMACY

FDA approves emergency contraceptive Ella

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved an emergency contraceptive pill made by a French drug maker.

 

The FDA announced the approval of Ella (ulipristal acetate), designed to prevent pregnancy when taken orally within five days of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, though it is not designed for routine use as a contraceptive.

 

 

The drug, which works by preventing ovulation, is manufactured by Paris-based Laboratoire HRA Pharma and distributed by Morristown, N.J.-based Watson. Watson said it plans to launch the drug in the fourth quarter of this year.

 

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Meda ventures into generic drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

SOMERSET, N.J. A lot of generic drug companies have conducted business in the branded drug market on the side for a long time, with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Watson Pharmaceuticals standing out as good examples. But lately, some branded drug companies have sought to get into generics as well.

Meda Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. subsidiary of Swedish drug maker Meda A.B., recently decided to create its own generics subsidiary, calling it Wallace Pharmaceuticals, senior marketing director John White told Drug Store News.

“The strategy demonstrates Meda’s efforts to diversify and align and better serve the needs [and] interest of our customers,” White said. “We believe our ability to provide consistency in therapeutic effect, manufacturing and supply to our parent company’s branded products will prove to be a competitive advantage for Wallace Pharmaceuticals.”

Wallace will focus its business in the United States, with a core portfolio of allergy and pain medicines, White said. The company currently has no plans to enter the biosimilars market, however.

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