PHARMACY

Valeant buys product lines from Atlantis Pharma for $71 million

BY Alaric DeArment

MONTREAL — Valeant Pharmaceuticals International is acquiring "certain assets" of a drug maker based in Mexico.

Valeant said Wednesday that it would buy gastric, analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs from branded generics manufacturer Atlantis Pharma for $71 million. The products had sales of $26 million last year.

"Atlantis Pharma’s well-known brands in Mexico, and the potential to expand our export business to Central America and the Andean region, make this a strong addition to our current operations in Mexico," Valeant chairman and CEO J. Michael Pearson said. "The ability to combine these assets with our existing operations in Mexico should provide distinct commercial synergies for our overall business."


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PHARMACY

Roche ends bid to buy diagnostics firm

BY Alaric DeArment

BASEL, Switzerland — Roche has decided not to buy diagnostics firm Illumina, the drug maker said Wednesday.

Roche said it had decided not to extend its $51-per-share offer for Illumina following the reelection of Illumina’s incumbent directors. Roche offered to buy Illumina for $44.50 per share in January, increasing the offer to $51 on March 29. The company took the offer directly to shareholders earlier this month after Illumina’s board rejected it.

"We continue to hold Illumina and its management in very high regard, but, with access only to public information about Illumina’s business and prospects, we do not believe that a price above Roche’s offer for Illumina of $51 per share would be in the interest of Roche’s shareholders," Roche CEO Severin Schwan said. "We have throughout this process desired to engage in a constructive dialogue with Illumina’s management, listen to its views of value and prospects and offer a fair and adequate price for Illumina’s shareholders. But in the absence of such discussions, our duty to be disciplined with the assets of Roche’s shareholders has led to this decision."


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Walgreens donates remaining flu shot inventory to Lao PDR

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday donated 375,000 doses of seasonal flu vaccine to Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Lao PDR health officials have designated the 375,000 doses of donated flu vaccine for people at high risk of flu complications in that country, including pregnant women, seniors and people with such chronic health conditions as heart and lung disease. The Walgreens donation was the result of a longstanding collaboration between the Lao MOH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

“This is an example of the potential value of collaboration between public health and private organizations,” stated Joe Bresee, chief of the epidemiology and prevention branch in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s influenza division.

“In recent years, going back to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, we’ve demonstrated the positive impact we can have by helping to increase flu vaccination coverage while working together with government and health officials at every level,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “As flu season winds down here in the United States, we’re pleased to provide vaccine to the people of Laos and to work with the Ministry of Health to help launch its seasonal flu vaccination effort.”

Walgreens has worked with the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services to help increase the number of people vaccinated against influenza in underserved communities across America. HHS has assisted Walgreens in the distribution of seasonal flu vaccine vouchers in select markets throughout the country the last two years, which provided free flu vaccinations for the uninsured and underinsured.


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