News Briefs

05/12/2022

Sand​​​​​​​oz launches generic Esbriet

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Different colored and different size tablets.

Sandoz is launching generic pirfenidone, the first generic of Genentech’s Esbriet.

The oral medicine, which is used to treat patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is immediately available to patients via specialty pharmacies, with a $0 co-pay program for eligible patients, the company said. 

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, is a progressive rare disease with no cure that causes irreversible lung scarring and makes it difficult to breathe. It primarily affects adults over the age of 50 years old, and is more common in men. Approximately 140,000 Americans live with IPF. In addition to medicines that can slow the progression of scar tissue formation, it is recommended that patients stay active, eat well and use oxygen therapy as prescribed.

“Sandoz is putting patients first by expanding access to generic pirfenidone for those living with this rare disease, who will benefit from a more affordable, yet equally effective treatment,” said Keren Haruvi, president of Sandoz. “We developed this medicine in-house and continue to build our expertise and infrastructure to support our long-term commitment to grow our respiratory portfolio.”

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05/12/2022

Upsher-Smith makes leadership changes

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A puzzle piece with a stick figure.

Upsher-Smith is making changes to its executive leadership. 

Taku Nakaoka has been appointed chairman and CEO of Upsher-Smith, effective May 13. Additionally, Rich Fisher, senior vice president of corporate strategy, has been named president and chief operating officer. He is responsible for the day-to-day leadership of Upsher-Smith. 

Nakaoka succeeds Rusty Field, who previously served as president and CEO and recently departed the company to pursue another opportunity.

As chairman and CEO, Nakaoka is responsible for the strategic direction, operating performance and growth of Upsher-Smith. Nakaoka also serves as corporate officer and group chief officer of corporate strategy of Sawai Group Holdings, Upsher-Smith’s parent company, and corporate officer and general manager of corporate strategy at Sawai. Prior to Sawai, he had several executive-level positions at Sumitomo.

“I am honored to assume this role as chairman and CEO, and look forward to working alongside the executive team to drive the strategic direction of the company, expand global partnerships and enhance programs critical to future growth,” Nakaoka said. “Rusty’s strong and determined leadership over the past eight years was integral to building a strong foundation for Upsher-Smith, and Rich Fisher’s previous role as senior vice president of corporate strategy makes him well-positioned to successfully lead the company as president and COO.”

 

05/12/2022

Everyware unveils Pay By Text functionality

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Everyware, a leading contactless payments and customer engagement solutions company, is rolling out Pay By Text, a functionality which allows customers to use their cell phone number to make a payment.

Through its collaboration with Visa, Everyware is leveraging Token ID, which empowers banks, merchants, regional payments schemes, clearing houses and other payments stakeholders like Everyware to build, manage and control their own tokenization capabilities.

Through Token ID, Everyware will act as a token requestor, requesting network tokens on behalf of their clients and enabling their customers to pay with just a cell phone number across merchants and payment processors, wherever Visa is accepted.

Visa’s transformative tokenization technology, in conjunction with Everyware’s solution, allows customers to simply respond ‘yes’ by text message to quickly and safely authorize a payment. Everyware will provide this payment method, enabled by Token ID, to payment processors, gateways and software companies so their customers will be able to have a better checkout experience and will see increased authorization success rates across all card types.

“Network tokenization has taken a giant step forward in security and value for card-not-present transactions," said Larry Talley, founder & CEO of Everyware. “Through the power of the Network Token, Everyware can provide a frictionless payment experience."

The pandemic propelled contactless payments into modern day, and Everyware is now able to provide merchants with more convenient payment options without jeopardizing security. In fact, network tokenization minimizes the impact of security breaches and helps online merchants improve their data security by eliminating the actual storage of credit card numbers in any internal systems, the company said. Experts predict that retailers will lose about $130 billion between 2018 and 2023 to fraud. Network tokenization ensures that card details are protected throughout the entire transaction lifecycle.

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05/12/2022

NowRx, Hyundai Motor Group partner on last mile medication delivery

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NowRx, a tech-powered pharmacy that provides same-day prescription delivery and telehealth services, and Hyundai Motor Group, a global scale mobility provider including Hyundai Motor and Kia, are set to kick off a pilot project to explore the use of new solutions in the delivery of prescription medications.

The parties plan to launch the project later this year, serving two micro-fulfillment centers in the Los Angeles area. The pilot includes aspects of automated dispatch, fleet management and other last mile optimization technologies, with the extended scope to test autonomous vehicle technologies in the future.

Supported by the Innovation division of the Group, NowRx plans to combine its proprietary pharmacy management system QuickFill capabilities and the Group’s smart mobility solutions. The synergies are expected to provide a seamless healthcare experience to end consumers.

“Autonomous vehicles are part of our long-term strategic vision for NowRx to further reduce delivery costs at scale,” said Cary Breese, CEO and co-founder of NowRx. “We can’t imagine a better company to work with than the Group, which has demonstrated substantial leadership in the autonomous vehicle, and other robotics and automation areas.”

“The Group expects this collaboration with NowRx to help expand our mobility business model beyond the anticipated industry,” said Minsung Kim, vice president of Hyundai Motor Group and head of the Open Innovation Strategy Team. “We believe a new opportunity with the technologically innovative e-pharmacy NowRx, that uniquely integrates pharmacy management and delivery service, supports our movement toward smart mobility solutions provider.”

05/12/2022

Generic firms working on Paxlovid access for low-, middle-income countries

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White pills spilling out of a medicine bottle

The Clinton Health Access Initiative has reached agreements with several leading generic manufacturers to make generic Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir – NIR/r) available to low- and middle-income countries at under $25 per treatment course for the treatment of COVID-19 in high-risk patients.

The manufacturers have signed agreements with the Medicines Patent Pool to make and supply the generic version of Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 treatment NIR/r to 95 LMICs. As these manufacturers are in the early stage of product development and have not received regulatory approval, their names cannot be shared publicly, CHAI said on its website. 

Participating companies are well established and trusted suppliers to the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program. As leaders in the HIV antiretroviral market, they represent over 25% of global low- and middle-income public sector procurement volumes per year.

CHAI interim co-CEO Joy Phumaphi announced the new ceiling price agreements at the White House Global COVID-19 Summit, stating, “Today’s agreements represent a significant step toward ensuring equitable access to a proven COVID-19 treatment that will save lives and reduce the burden on struggling health systems.”

Paxlovid is a highly effective and safe treatment that has received emergency sse authorization in the United States, Europe and many other countries.

Under the agreements, the companies will guarantee the production of an affordable generic version of the drug and dedicate capacity for 4.5 million treatment courses per month for low- and middle-income countries covered under their licensing agreements with the Medicines Patents Pool, pending provision of demand forecasts. Manufacturers will work to file for World Health Organization prequalification or approval from a stringent regulatory authority by the first quarter of 2023 and will register the product widely across licensed territories.

05/12/2022

PharmaCare US makes 3 exec appointments

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A puzzle piece with a stick figure.

PharmaCare US announced three executive leadership appointments. Javier Aste will serve as president of the Americas and Jeff Dotzler will serve as vice president of sales for North America. Art Rowe-Cerveny, founding member of the company’s U.S. division, will now lead as executive vice president of marketing for the Americas. 

PharmaCare US said Aste brings a wealth of experience from his senior roles around the globe, most recently at Coty and Procter & Gamble. He prides himself on being a results-oriented senior leader, with a core focus on growing market share, sales and profit. He will be ushering in the next chapter of growth and innovation, the company said.

“Retailers and consumers are pushing for purposeful innovation,” Aste said. “Our core brand, Sambucol, is primed for its next phase of growth. Product innovation will be central to our next chapter.”

Aste succeeds Brad Olsen, who served as the Americas leader from 2013 before his retirement in April 2022.

Dotzler joined the PharmaCare team on May 1, 2022, bringing his years of leadership experience from IRI, Crossmark and, most recently, Coty’s beauty division. “He will finesse and bolster the PharmaCare go-to-market strategy to deliver new competitive advantages for the company,” PharmaCare said.

“PharmaCare is at an exciting stage in its history. I’m eager to create new sales opportunities to boost the company’s already impressive growth trajectory,” Dotzler said.