PHARMACY

Viibryd gets FDA approval

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for treating major depressive disorder, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Viibryd (vilazodone hydrochloride), made by New Haven, Conn.-based PGxHealth.

“Major depressive disorder is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally,” FDA Division of Psychiatry Products director Thomas Laughren said. “Medications affect everyone differently, so it’s important to have a variety of treatment options available to patients who suffer from depression.”

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PHARMACY

PIPCo joins NCPA

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Shortly after the Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma joined a group representing the nation’s independent community pharmacies and their patients, another organization also has signed up.

The National Community Pharmacists Association said Monday that the Partners in Pharmacy Cooperative have signed up for NCPA membership. PIPCo is an independent pharmacy cooperative owned and managed by its independent community pharmacy members in the north-central United States.

“PIPCo is dedicated to the support of independent pharmacies and keeping them profitable in a competitive marketplace,” said Robert Greenwood, NCPA president. “We at NCPA share that same dedication to independent pharmacy’s future and ability to continue providing expert medication counseling and other cost-saving services to patients. While PIPCo’s leadership and many of its members have long been a part of NCPA, we are glad to now have all PIPCo members join us.”

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PHARMACY

Watson forecasts successful year

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Generic drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals expects sales of $4.2 billion for 2011, the company said Friday.

The company expected the forecasted sales for the year to include between $2.8 billion and $3 billion in global generics sales, compared with around $2.35 billion in 2010. Total sales for 2010 were around $3.5 billion, according to preliminary financial results released last week.

“2010 was an extremely successful year within our global integrated pharmaceutical company,” Watson president and CEO Paul Bisaro said. “Total net revenues increased more than 25%, adjusted cash earnings per share increased approximately 12% and cash flow from operations was in excess of $570 million.”

Other highlights for the year included the company’s first biologic development project, as well as expansions in Watson’s branded and generic drug pipelines, Bisaro said. The company is planning to launch generic versions of Johnson & Johnson’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Concerta (methylphenidate) and Pfizer’s cholesterol medication Lipitor (atorvastatin) in May and November, respectively. Watson filed 34 generic approval applications in 2010 and has more than 120 on file with the Food and Drug Administration, including 29 potential first-to-file or shared exclusivity products.

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