PHARMACY

Watson to acquire rights of progesterone products from Columbia Labs

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. Watson Pharmaceuticals will buy the U.S. rights to two progesterone products used to treat infertility and menstrual problems, the drug maker announced Thursday.

Watson, better known as a manufacturer of generic drugs, will acquire the rights to Columbia Labs’ Crinone and Prochieve. Prochieve treats secondary amenorrhea, or absent menstruation, in women. Both products are bioadhesive progesterone gels undergoing phase 3 clinical trials. Watson will also acquire 11.2 million shares of Columbia’s stock.

Under the agreement, Watson will pay Columbia $47 million upfront, as well as milestone payments of up to $45.5 million and royalties.

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PHARMACY

Pfizer may buy Ratiopharm

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK It appears that Pfizer has changed its mind a second time about buying Ratiopharm.

According to published reports, Pfizer has renewed its offer for the German generic drug maker, for $4 billion. That pits the world’s largest drug maker against generic drug makers Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Actavis.

Pfizer has been on a hunt for opportunities lately, most notably with its acquisition of Wyeth, as it faces patent expirations on such high-selling drugs as the cholesterol medication Lipitor (atorvastatin).

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Walgreens completes acquisition of SpecialtyScripts

BY Alaric DeArment

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has completed its acquisition of prescription files from Cardinal Health subsidiary SpecialtyScripts, based in Fall River, Mass., Walgreens announced Wednesday.

Founded in 2002, SpecialtyScripts niche is in providing specialty pharmacy services for such chronic illnesses and complex diseases as hepatitis C, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and oral oncology.

Walgreens said the acquisition would allow Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy to scale the operations of its existing locations. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We’re excited about our acquisition of SpecialtyScripts and see it as an opportunity to grow our specialty pharmacy business through additional preferred payer agreements,” Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy EVP and Walgreens divisional VP Michael Nameth said in a statement. “It’s a good fit for us because SpecialtyScripts has a similar client base, and we share a commitment to providing patients and customers with quality care and exceptional service.”

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