PHARMACY

Wyeth’s 2Q sales rise, but income sees decline

BY Drew Buono

MADISON, N.J. Wyeth announced that its net income declined by 6 percent to $1.12 billion from $1.20 billion for its second quarter compared to the same period last year, according to published reports. Wyeth’s second-quarter sales rose 5 percent to $5.9 billion, with virtually all of the gain coming from the weak dollar.

Wyeth’s biggest product, the antidepressant Effexor, had sales of $1.02 billion, up 5 percent. The Prevnar pneumococcal vaccine posted sales growth of 9 percent to $691 million. Sales of the anti-inflammatory medication Enbrel outside the U.S. and Canada rose 36 percent to $692 million. Wyeth has exclusive rights to the drug outside the U.S. and Canada, while Amgen comarkets the drug with Wyeth in the U.S. and Canada. Wyeth reported revenue from these countries of $284 million, up 6 percent.

The recent launch of competing generic versions of the heartburn drug Protonix drove Wyeth’s sales for the product down 59 percent to $228 million. This includes both Wyeth’s branded version and an authorized generic version it launched when competitors began selling generics.

Much of the investor interest in Wyeth lately, however, is centered on a drug not yet on the market. Wyeth is developing an Alzheimer’s drug with Elan called bapineuzumab. The companies recently reported encouraging results from a mid-stage study of the drug, and are conducting larger, late-stage studies to support the potential filing for regulatory approval, which is a few years away. Analysts think the drug could be a major blockbuster.

But Wyeth executives indicated their focus wouldn’t be solely on prescription drugs. The company plans to build up its non-pharmaceutical business, which includes consumer health care, (which had sales of $665 million), nutritional and animal-health products, (which saw sales increase by 12 percent to $313 million). Chief executive officer Bernard Poussot said Wyeth would make small- to mid-sized acquisitions in these areas.

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Expert panel recommends lifestyle changes for pre-diabetics

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A panel of experts from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has recommended two approaches for treating patients with pre-diabetes.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, the panel recommended significant management of lifestyle to prevent the onset of diabetes. It also recommended preventing cardiovascular complications from developing.

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which patients have high levels of glucose or low tolerance to sugar, but don’t have high enough levels to be diabetic. The condition puts patients at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes affects 56 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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SF pharmacy tobacco ban up for vote

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO A San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee sent a proposed amendment to the city’s health code that would ban tobacco sales at pharmacies to the full board Thursday for a vote.

After the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee heard testimony from city government officials, industry representatives, anti-tobacco activists and pharmacy workers, Supervisor Carmen Chu, who chairs the committee, allowed it to go forward.

Proponents of the amendment say that pharmacies send a mixed message by selling cigarettes and medicines. Opponents call the proposed ban unfair because it exempts supermarkets and big-box stores that operate pharmacies.

The Board of Supervisors, the legislative body for the consolidated city and county of San Francisco, will vote on the amendment Tuesday.

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