PHARMACY

White House opposes part of new patent bill

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Bush administration expressed its concern regarding part of a patent bill that was passed by the House of Representatives, according to the Washington Post.

The administration criticized a provision changing how damages are calculated in infringement suits, criticizing the limiting of courts in determining damages. “Making this change to a reasonably well-functioning patent legal system is unwarranted and risks reducing the rewards from innovation—a result that would undercut the other useful reforms in this bill,” it said in a statement.

The bill is aimed at reducing the number of patent lawsuits by allowing inventors who file for patent protection first to receive protection rather than having to prove they were the first to invent. Pharmaceutical companies are saying they need the right to defend their patents and as a result the bill was being worked on up to the last minute to address the concerns of the drug manufacturers.

The bill is being sponsored by Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif. and is being called the Patent Reform Act of 2007. A similar bill is being worked on in the Senate, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

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PHARMACY

Teva announces shipment of generic Famvir

BY Allison Cerra

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has begun the shipment of its generic version of Novartis’ Famvir herpes treatment, the company said Friday.

As the first drug developer to file for a generic version of the drug, famciclovir, Teva has been awarded a 180-day period of marketing exclusivity.

The announcement comes two days following the U.S. District Court in New Jersey’s decision to deny Novartis’ motion for a preliminary injunction, which would have prevented Teva from marketing its version of Famvir.

During afternoon trading, shares of the Israeli company fell 11 cents to $43.39, while Novartis’ American Depositary Shares rose 8 cents to $53.41.

In 2006, Famvir net sales totaled at $166 million in the United States.

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PHARMACY

Actavis’ generic Norvasc gets approval from FDA

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration approved Actavis Group’s generic version of a well-known high blood pressure medication, the company announced Friday.

The company said they were given the go-ahead to develop amlodipine besylate tablets, the generic form of Pfizer’s Norvasc. The medication will be available in 2.5, 5 and 10 mg doses.

Actavis, one of the leading generic pharmaceutical companies in the world, operates in close to 40 countries, and continues to expand its business with various product developments. The company became privately owned last month.

In the interim, shares of Pfizer fell 7 cents to $24.55 in morning trading.

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