Valeant receives U.S., Canadian rights for Zovirax
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to certain formulations of a GlaxoSmithKline drug used to treat cold sores.
Valeant announced Thursday that it had acquired the rights to nonophthalmic topical formulations of Zovirax (acyclovir) from GSK for $300 million through its Canadian subsidiary, Biovail Labs.
“We believe that Zovirax is a strong brand with continuing growth opportunities,” Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson said. “The current distribution agreement between GSK and BLS was problematic for both companies, and this new arrangement should solve this issue for both organizations.”
Former NCPA executive joins GPhA
WASHINGTON — The former top executive of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association may have gone to work for the National Community Pharmacists Association, but the generic drug industry trade group got one of the independent pharmacy group’s executives as well.
The GPhA announced the appointment of John Coster as SVP government affairs, effective Feb. 14. Coster previously worked at the NCPA and has worked on pharmacy and healthcare policy issues for more than 25 years. Former GPhA president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger was appointed as EVP and CEO of the NCPA in November 2010, after having left the GPhA last year.
The GPhA said its hiring of Coster was part of its 2011 strategic plan to expand its presence in Washington and advocate for generic drugs and follow-on biologics. Currently, the organization has not appointed a new president and CEO.
“John’s exceptional Hill experience and legislative expertise comes to us at a time when the cost-savings potential of generic pharmaceuticals has never been more important, both on the federal and state levels,” GPhA interim executive director Bob Billings said. “We are delighted to have this seasoned and respected professional on our team.”
US WorldMeds introduces Alsuma
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — US WorldMeds has announced a new treatment for migraines, the drug maker said Wednesday.
The company announced the launch of Alsuma auto-injector (sumatriptan), which injects the drug sumatriptan under the skin via a single-use, prefilled auto injector. The company is selling the drug under a licensing agreement from King Pharmaceuticals.
“Migraine headaches continue to be a significant problem for more than 30 million Americans, nearly half of whom are undiagnosed,” said Dennis O’Brien, president of King subsidiary Meridian Medical Technologies. “Alsuma is a natural extension of King’s existing portfolio of acute drug-delivery products.”
The U.S. market for sumatriptan was about $203 million during the 12-month period ended in March 2010, according to IMS Health.