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Pfizer-Wyeth deal gives added heft to Pfizer’s pharmaceutical division

BY Drug Store News Team

The deal gives a great deal of added heft to Pfizer’s pharmaceutical division — the combined Pfizer/Wyeth entity represents $70 billion in annual sales. Pfizer was already the leading pharmaceutical supplier at retail pharmacy for the 12 months ending November according to IMS Health. And that’s thanks in large part to the company’s Lipitor franchise. While Lipitor is the No. 1 drug sold in retail pharmacy today, the first patent protecting the statin expires as soon as 2010, though most analysts project a generic Lipitor will be introduced by November 2011.

Lipitor isn’t the only blockbuster Pfizer drug facing generic competition in the near future. Pfizer’s erectile dysfunction franchise pioneer Viagra is slated to lose patent protection in 2012.

Together, Pfizer and Wyeth will field 17 different blockbuster drugs on the market this year with no one drug accounting for more than 10 percent of overall revenues.

And while Wyeth has its own share of blockbusters facing generic competition, merging with Wyeth gains Pfizer entry into two promising arenas — biomedicine and vaccines.

The deal also underscores the value of a consumer health division. While OTC division sales are typically dwarfed by their Rx-only sister divisions, OTC affords a company significant free cash flow during economically challenged periods.

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Study: 13% of Americans aged 20 and over have diabetes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Almost 13% of Americans aged 20 and older have diabetes, according to a new study.

Of those, 40% have been diagnosed, which is more than previous studies indicated, but the number of undiagnosed patients has remained flat, according to the study, published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

The study was based on a national survey of more than 7,000 patients aged 12 and older interviewed between 2005 and 2006. The researchers compared the data to data gathered between 1988 an 1994.

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CVS/pharmacy holds 2nd annual ‘For All the Ways You Care’ contest

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has announced that it is holding its second annual “For All the Ways You Care” contest created as a way to celebrate and honor caregivers nationwide.

“CVS/pharmacy is committed to caring for women and those they care for. We are pleased to see the For All the Ways You Care community continues to grow as people exchange stories and discuss all aspects of caregiving,” stated Rob Price, SVP, marketing and advertising for CVS/pharmacy. “Thousands of stories have been shared on ForAllTheWaysYouCare.com since it launched last year, and we continue to be truly amazed by the selfless devotion demonstrated by so many caregivers.”

The site is a growing community that serves as forum for people to share a story about someone who has touched their life or how they personally have touched another’s.

For the stories submitted between Oct. 5, 2008 and March 1, 2009, CVS/pharmacy and a panel of judges will select a group of finalists and ultimately a grand-prize winner whose stories best represent a nurturing spirit and dedication to others. The finalists will be honored for their inspirational stories at a luncheon and luxury weekend in New York City in May. In addition, nine finalists will each receive $10,000 and the grand-prize winner will receive $25,000 from CVS/pharmacy.

Panelists include Lee Woodruff, author and wife of ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff; Dr. Roseanna Means, founder of Women of Means, a program of volunteer doctors who provide free medical care to homeless women and children; Tina Sharkey, BabyCenter chairman and global president; and Rosemary Ellis, Good Housekeeping editor-in-chief. Panelists will post their own personal caregiving stories on the Web site.

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