PHARMACY

Watson announces launch of Generess Fe, patient support program

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals has launched a low-dose chewable contraceptive, the company said Monday.

Watson announced the U.S. commercial launch of Generess Fe (norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol chewable tablets, and ferrous fumarate chewable tablets) in the 0.8-mg/25-mcg strength.

As part of the launch, Watson has created the “I am Generess” patient support program, which caps participant cost for the drug at $25 per prescription and donates $5 in the person’s name to one or more women’s charities of the patient’s choosing, including the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network; and the Society for Women’s Health Research.

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NACDS elects new 2011-2012 officers at Annual Meeting

BY Allison Cerra

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced that Robert Loeffler will succeed Larry Merlo as the organization’s new board of directors chairman, and also announced the appointment of several other elected officers, at its 2011 Annual Meeting.

Loeffler, who serves as H-E-B’s chief administrative officer, will replace Merlo, who is CVS Caremark president and CEO, as NACDS board chairman. Additionally, Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson was elected vice chairman, while Thrifty White president and CEO Robert Narveson was named treasurer.

“I congratulate Bob Loeffler on his election as NACDS chairman of the board,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “During his service as an officer on the NACDS board, as chairman of the NACDS Political Action Committee and as an active participant in the NACDS RxImpact grassroots advocacy program, Bob has demonstrated his unyielding commitment to pharmacy. We all look forward to working with him in his new role with NACDS in the coming year."

In addition to the election of the new officers for one-year terms, NACDS members also elected two new executive committee members, which included Narveson and Michael Kaufmann, pharmaceutical CEO of Medicine Shoppe International.

Four new board members also were elected: Jose Barra, SVP health care and beauty at Target; Jerry Cline, SVP retail sales and marketing for Good Neighbor Pharmacy; Lynne Fruth, chairman of the board for Fruth Pharmacy; and Steve Kaczynski, Navarro Discount Pharmacy CEO. These four new board members will join the other 21 members of the NACDS board of directors to develop NACDS’ policies and priorities, the association said.

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Teva comes up as front-runner to buy Cephalon

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM — Cephalon has another suitor in the form of the world’s largest generic drug company.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries said Monday that it would buy Frazer, Pa.-based Cephalon for $6.8 billion, undercutting efforts by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, which had offered $5.7 billion in March.

The boards of both companies have agreed to the acquisition, equal to $81.50 per share. Cephalon previously had turned down Valeant’s offer, prompting the Mississauga, Ontario-based company to take its case directly to Cephalon’s shareholders.

Teva said the buyout would create a robust pipeline that includes more than 30 drugs in late-stage clinical trials, enhancing Teva’s branded drug portfolio with treatments for cancer, respiratory diseases, pain management and central nervous system disorders.

“We are embarking today on a new and exciting future for Teva’s branded business, and we are delighted that we will be working together with the Cephalon team,” Teva president and CEO Shlomo Yanai said. “This is transforming for Teva’s branded business, as it will help us to deliver on our strategic goal of creating a diversified, multifaceted company.”

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