Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 10, 2012 12:22 PM
Lipitor may be good for folks for helping lower blood cholesterol, but it is also extremely good at making money. Its manufacturer, Pfizer, raked in $12.9 billion annually at Lipitor’s peak, but those cash-cow days when Lipitor was the world's top-selling prescription drug are long gone. More generally known as Atorvastatin, it became a generic back at the end of November.
When a drug goes generic, drug companies generally give up on it right away and move on to the next thing that can potentially rake in the dough. But Pfizer didn’t want to do that. Lipitor had brought in so much, the company was hoping that it could find a way that it could continue to be a revenue stream, including its Lipitor for You patient program, even though Walmart jumped on the generic version as soon as it could do so. Now, don't bother asking your doctor if Lipitor is right for you.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 23, 2012 10:06 AM
Rodney Dangerfield should have been the mascot for generic drug makers when he was alive. The industry gets no respect.
But it does get a boatload of cash. And it took a big win last week at the Supreme Court when the justices ruled that generic drug makers “they can argue in court that their brand-name rivals overstated the reach of their patents in regulatory filings,” according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Generic pharmaceutical firms argue that the companies behind brand-name drugs can stretch things out in order to keep anyone else from making money on a particular drug.
The case had Detroit-based Caraco and its Mumbai-based parent company, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., taking on Denmark-based Novo about the drug Prandin, which Novo had the exclusive rights to till 2018.
Along with providing a resolution to the case, Justice Sonia Sotomayor also “called on Congress or the FDA to fix a system that forces generic-drug makers to engage in ‘expensive and time-consuming litigation’ to challenge an overly broad use code,” BW adds.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 22, 2012 01:25 PM
Battling counterfeit products is one of a brand's biggest headaches. More often than not, counterfeiting strikes luxury and accessory brands, since it is easier to sell fake branded handbags, shoes, and clothes online and in flea markets and bazaars around the world. But what about when buying a knock-off has life-or-death implications?
Fake products are penetrating an even more serious category than luxury goods — pharmaceuticals. America's Food and Drug Administration just announced the findings of the agency’s investigation of fake vials of the cancer drug Avastin that have showed up in California, Illionis, and Texas.
The FDA's tests indicated the vials did not contain Avastin's active ingredient, and traced the phony drug to the U.K. via a distributor in Tennessee. Reuters reported that the fake Avastin apparently originated in Cairo, Egypt and went from there through Switzerland to Britain. While the FDA was warned about the products by British officials late last year, it only confirmed that they were counterfeit last week. Cancer patients and medical practitioners, understandably, are up in arms.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 5, 2012 05:01 PM
Merck & Co.’s HIV-fighting drug Isentress has been on the market for adults since October of 2007. Now the FDA is letting Merck market the product to children and teens, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Isentress is what’s known as an “HIV integrase inhibitors,” that “work(s) by interfering with the virus's ability to replicate itself,” the Journal notes.
U.S. clinical trials were done with the drug on 96 children and teens between the ages of 2 and 18 years old with HIV. It “found that 53% of these patients had an undetectable amount of HIV in their blood after 24 weeks of treatment with the drug,” WSJ adds.
Merck also is joining five other drug manufacturers to provide discounts on HIV drugs to state drug-assistance programs, according to FiercePharma.com. Starting this week, Merck is discounting Isentress through 2013 to help out the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors.
"With the economy the way it is, there are many more people without jobs and many more people who are qualifying for the programs," said Murray Penner, the organization's deputy executive director. "The need has ballooned."
Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, Boehringer Ingelheim and the Pfizer/GlaxoSmithKline joint venture ViiV Healthcare have all also discounted drugs for the state programs.
Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 3, 2012 11:02 AM
With the end of a calendar year comes a flurry of corporate divestitures and acquisitions, designed to improve a company's bottom line going into the next year. Procter & Gamble, for instance, recently sold the PUR brand to Helen of Troy Limited, a "serial acquirer" of P&G brands who, in addition to PUR, owns Infusium23, Pert Plus and Sure.
So no surprise in 2011's 11th hour deal by GlaxoSmithKline to transfer 17 of its North American consumer OTC healthcare brands to a new owner, as was announced by Prestige Brands and GSK. Prestige Brands will acquire brands including Beano, Goody's, Ecotrin, Fiber Choice, Sominex, and Tagamet from GSK for a total of $660 million in cash, with all transactions expected to be completed in the first half of 2012.
For Prestige Brands, the acquisition is the largest in the company's history, following on the heels of their recent acquisitions of five brands from Blacksmith Brands and Dramamine from Johnson & Johnson. The company expects the acquired GSK brands to generate annual corporate revenues of about $600 million, "with an OTC business segment representing 85 percent of revenues and 90 percent of profits," according to Prestige Brands CEO Matthew M. Mannelly.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 1, 2011 02:59 PM
The drug Lipitor has made Pfizer so much dough that it isn’t planning to just turn its attention to newer products now that the drug can be sold generically as of Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
The problem is that Pfizer doesn’t have anything new that can make up for the $11 billion that Lipitor brings in, the AP points out, so it is doing everything it can to hang onto the customers it has.
The AP has it that when a drug goes generic, the revenue that is has been pulling in from that drug generally disappears for the most part within a year, but Pfizer has bought itself about six months by “devis(ing) discounts and incentives for patients, insurers and companies that process prescriptions” that will “make the brand name drug about as cheap as or cheaper than the generics.”Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 21, 2011 12:30 PM
Already 1,000 or so views on its way to chasing the 9.3 million of Toyota's "Swagger Wagon," married rappers, "Early Bird Catches the Sperm" is the latest Gen X-targeted anthem.
With lyrics such as "Runnin' home to get down / No matter where we are in town / Stayin' outta' the hot tub / So my sperm count won't go down," it's a hip-hop dance-hall lament addressing middle-age infertility, its lighthearted bird and bee characters make it the perfect viral for a branded fertility drug.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 13, 2011 04:00 PM
Talk about a Rocky Mountain High. Colorado has allowed the use of medical marijuana since 2000, but usage really went up after the U.S. Attorney General's office said in 2009 that it “would not prosecute marijuana users if their state permits use of the drug for medical reasons,” NPR reports.
As a result, Denver’s weekly alternative newspaper, Westword, has hired its first official marijuana critic, a reviewer who uses the pseudonym William Breathes (a chap who isn't adverse to writing puff pieces, clearly).
"We have more than 100,000 licensed medical marijuana cardholders in the state," Breathes told NPR. There are now actually more marijuana dispensaries —more than 300 — in the Mile High City than there are Starbucks locations.Continue reading...