Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 23, 2012 03:02 PM
Walgreen, the nation’s largest pharmacy, and a slew of independent pharmacies are investing in RxAlly, a “private company that is launching a network involving 20,000 pharmacies focused on better care coordination,” according to the Associated Press.
The idea is for pharmacists to have “a chance to work more with patients to improve care and cut costs.”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 Shirley Brady on January 17, 2012 05:33 PM
Paula Deen confirmed this morning to Al Roker on The Today Show that she has had type-2 Diabetes for the past three years but chose to keep it "close to her chest," despite continuing to espouse butter-laden comfort food (stuffing on a stick or donut burgers, anyone?) on the Food Network.
Deen, who told Roker that she doesn't intend to change the way she cooks now that her diabetes is public, has timed her announcement to the signing of a deal to be a paid spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, which produces the diabetes drug Victoza. The drug company is featuring Deen on a new website (called "Diabetes in a New Light") that offers "recipes, lifestyle tips and support"). Deen's ads for the diabetes drug are slated to appear later this month.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...
getting by with a little help
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 12, 2011 10:17 AM
Sick of Trojans and whatever else you’ve found in your pharmacy’s aisles to aid your to pregnancy-free sexual adventures? Well, there may soon be a new condom in town and it’s coming all the way from China.
The Financial Times reports that Chinese condom maker Safedom is “seeking European partners or acquisitions as part of a bid to go global.” The company is, um, rising fast with 200 million sales expected this year in China and sales of a billion next year, the FT reports; now it's eyeing Bangladesh and African countries for expansion.
Safedom’s CEO, Brian Fu, recently visited the United Kingdom to meet with potential partners, and funding “will either come from existing shareholders, bank loans or possibly through an overseas stock market listing,” Fu told the paper.
Of course, condom makers have an edge in China, where couples are (officially) still subject to the country's controversial one child policy. Still, Fu is taking his product global, though he says that his company’s strength is “in manufacturing and technology,” so he will look to have “branding and marketing expertise” brought in from outside sources.
Meanwhile, a British "Viagra in a condom" concept is making waves for "unprofitable" drugmaker Futura Medical.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 Anthony Zumpano on September 26, 2011 11:01 AM
That over-the-counter asthma inhaler in your bag is about to become as scarce as, well, some bags.
To comply with the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty intended to cease production of ozone-depleting substances (and which forced a change in the construction of refrigerators and air conditioners), America's Food and Drug Administration is reminding asthmatics that Primatene Mist inhalers — the only over-the-counter inhaler sold in the US — will no longer be available starting January 1st.
Even if your airways are clear, you’re probably familiar with the Primatene commercials that promised relief for a bronchial asthma attack within 15 seconds of a single pump. The simple brand message – “fastest-type asthma relief without a prescription” – remained virtually unchanged over the years. The problem, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, is what helps make that asthma relief so fast: the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that propel the active ingredient, the hormone epinephrine.Continue reading...