PHARMACY

Watson’s Ella enters market

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals has made an emergency oral contraceptive available by prescription in the United States, the company said Wednesday.

Watson announced the launch of Ella (ulipristal acetate) in the 30-mg dose, designed to prevent pregnancy up to five days after unprotected sex or failure of other contraceptives. The drug is designed to delay ovulation for five days, the amount of time that sperm can survive in the female genital tract.

“Ella is the first truly new emergency contraceptive option for U.S. women since 1999,” Watson Global Brands EVP Fred Wilkinson said. “It has a unique, sustained efficacy profile and offers women an additional therapeutic option for preventing unintended pregnancy.”

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PHARMACY

PhRMA: 100 HIV/AIDS drugs, vaccines are in development

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — One hundred new drugs and vaccines are in development to treat HIV/AIDS and related conditions, according to a new report by a pharmaceutical industry trade group.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said the drugs include novel ones designed to stay ahead of the disease. For example, drugs under development include one that attacks infected cells while leaving healthy cells alone, while a new class of drugs is designed to prevent the virus from breaking through cell membranes. On the vaccine front, one uses a weakened version of the virus that causes the common cold to boost the immune system, while another is administered via a skin patch.

“We have progressed in just a few decades from having no medicines available for HIV/AIDS patients to having highly effective treatments — even against multidrug-resistant forms of the virus,” PhRMA president and CEO John Castellani said. “We have moved from complicated drug cocktails that needed to be taken around the clock to simple, once-a-day treatments. However, we have not defeated HIV/AIDS, and we cannot afford to become complacent.”

More than 1 million Americans are living with HIV infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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PHARMACY

ReCept shuffles executives

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WORTH, Texas — Regional specialty pharmacy chain ReCept has appointed several people to new executive positions, the company said Wednesday.

ReCept, which owns 15 stores in Texas and specializes in compounding pharmacy services for people with such conditions as HIV/AIDS and cancer, announced the appointments of Nicky Otts as chairman and CEO, Carmine DeNardo as president and COO, Rob Jarvis as EVP sales and chief marketing officer, Jeff Brumbaugh as chief information officer and Stephanie Romero as VP finance.

Most of the executives already worked for ReCept, with the exception of Romero, who is new to the company and previously worked for other private companies. Otts founded ReCept in 1978, while Brumbaugh began working for it when ReCept acquired his company, M.E.II Computer Systems. DeNardo and Jarvis began working for the chain in January 2009 and April 2007, respectively.

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