PHARMACY

Wegmans offers prescription shipping service, ideal for snowbirds

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Wegmans recently extended its pharmacy reach beyond its store base with a service many of its snowbird patients may find appealing. 

Not only will Wegmans process a refill online, they will now ship it to a verified patient anywhere in the United States. So seniors who head south for the winter can now maintain continuity with filling their prescriptions through the same pharmacy. 

Standard delivery (five to 10 business days) is free; express delivery (one to two days) is $18.95.

 

 

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AstraZeneca buys Spirogen for up to $440 million

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON — AstraZeneca has acquired a British developer of biotech drugs for treating cancer, AstraZeneca said Tuesday.

The company said its MedImmune subsidiary had acquired privately held Spirogen and also entered into a collaboration with ADC Therapeutics to develop two of ADC’s antibody-drug conjugate programs, currently in pre-clinical development. MedImmune will make an equity investment in ADC, which has an existing licensing agreement with Spirogen.

Under the Spirogen deal, MedImmune will acquire all shares of Spirogen for $200 million upfront and up to $240 million in milestone payments. MedImmune will also pay $20 million for the equity investment in ADC, matched by Auven Therapeutics, which is the majority shareholder in ADC and Spirogen.

 

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Actavis seeks approval for generic opioid-dependence drug

BY Alaric DeArment

DUBLIN — Actavis is hoping to become the first to market a generic version of a drug used to treat patients who have become dependent on opioid drugs, triggering a lawsuit from the branded drug’s manufacturer.

The generic drug maker said it had filed a regulatory approval application with the Food and Drug Administration for buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride sublingual film in the 2-mg/0.5-mg and 8-mg/2-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of Reckitt Benckiser’s Suboxone.

In response to the filing, Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary, and MonoSol Rx filed suit against Actavis last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, seeking to prevent Actavis from commercializing its product before the expiration of certain patents on Suboxone. According to FDA records, the patents covering Suboxone will expire in 2023 and 2030. Under the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984, the lawsuit places a stay of final FDA approval on Actavis’ product for 30 months, or until a settlement is reached.

Suboxone had sales of about $1.2 billion during the 12-month period that ended in August, according to IMS Health.

 

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