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June 18, 2012

Americans still are forgoing or delaying health care on account of the economy, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which recently released its May Health Tracking Poll.

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Americans still are forgoing or delaying health care on account of the economy, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which recently released its May Health Tracking Poll.

One in four Americans reported they have had problems paying medical bills in the past year, and as many as 60% said they have cut corners to avoid healthcare costs.

June 15, 2012

GlaxoSmithKline has received regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a vaccine designed to prevent invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups C and Y and Haemophilus influenzae type B.

PHILADELPHIA — GlaxoSmithKline has received regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a vaccine designed to prevent invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups C and Y and Haemophilus influenzae type B.

MenHibrix (Meningococcal Groups C and Y and Haemophilus b Tetanus Toxoid conjugate vaccine) is approved for use in children ages six weeks through 18 months. The vaccination schedule is a four-dose series given at two, four, six, and 12 through 15 months of age.

June 15, 2012

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has agreed to acquire a specialty oral health company that develops and commercializes products that improve and maintain oral health.

MONTREAL — Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has agreed to acquire a specialty oral health company that develops and commercializes products that improve and maintain oral health.

Valeant said it is acquiring OraPharma from private equity firm Water Street Healthcare Partners for $312 million. The drug maker also said it will pay $114 million in potential contingent payments based on certain milestones.

June 14, 2012

Cellceutix on Wednesday reported that the Food and Drug Administration granted a section 505(b) designation for its Prurisol treatment for psoriasis, which would allow the company to forgo early-stage trials and advance Prurisol into latter-stage clinical trials.

BEVERLY, Mass. — Cellceutix on Wednesday reported that the Food and Drug Administration granted a section 505(b) designation for its Prurisol treatment for psoriasis, which would allow the company to forgo early-stage trials and advance Prurisol into latter-stage clinical trials.

June 14, 2012

Kadmon Pharmaceuticals earlier this month announced that it has launched a new 600 mg/day dose pack of Ribasphere RibaPak (ribavirin, USP), Kadmon's proprietary ribavirin regimen available in a daily, two-pill compliance package for enhanced therapy adherence.

NEW YORK — Kadmon Pharmaceuticals earlier this month announced that it has launched a new 600 mg/day dose pack of Ribasphere RibaPak (ribavirin, USP), Kadmon's proprietary ribavirin regimen available in a daily, two-pill compliance package for enhanced therapy adherence.

The new dose pack is designed to provide added dosing control to improve the management of hemolytic anemia in certain patients prescribed the triple therapy of a protease inhibitor, pegylated alpha interferon and ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

June 14, 2012

Novo Nordisk and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on Wednesday announced the creation of a joint research and development team to discover and develop novel immunotherapies to prevent, treat and help cure Type 1 diabetes.

NEW YORK — Novo Nordisk and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on Wednesday announced the creation of a joint research and development team to discover and develop novel immunotherapies to prevent, treat and help cure Type 1 diabetes.

June 14, 2012

Stiefel, a GlaxoSmithKline company, on Monday acquired the eczema remedy Toctino (alitretinoin) from Basilea Pharmaceutica.

LONDON — Stiefel, a GlaxoSmithKline company, on Monday acquired the eczema remedy Toctino (alitretinoin) from Basilea Pharmaceutica.

“Toctino is an important and growing product that complements the Stiefel portfolio and offers a proven therapy for patients with a significant unmet medical need," stated Simon Jose, Stiefel president. "This acquisition gives us an immediate opportunity to develop and expand the availability of this new and innovative product of value, and reinforces Stiefel and GSK’s commitment to dermatology.”

June 14, 2012

A new Walgreens study released Thursday found that a pharmacist-led training and counseling program for patients receiving an injectable diabetes medication improved medication adherence by 24%.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — A new Walgreens study released Thursday found that a pharmacist-led training and counseling program for patients receiving an injectable diabetes medication improved medication adherence by 24%.

June 13, 2012

Bayer on Tuesday announced that on July 1, Philip Blake will become senior Bayer representative USA, following a common company practice of assigning this oversight role to a senior executive already holding a significant business role or roles within the region.

PITTSBURGH — Bayer on Tuesday announced that on July 1, Philip Blake will become senior Bayer representative USA, following a common company practice of assigning this oversight role to a senior executive already holding a significant business role or roles within the region.

“Phil Blake is a highly valued and respected leader at Bayer,” stated Richard Pott, member of the management board of Bayer. “Having been with Bayer for more than 30 years, he brings a wealth of experience to this new role.”

June 13, 2012

Health Net on Tuesday launched a national public service campaign to help increase awareness of prenatal and infant health.

LOS ANGELES — Health Net on Tuesday launched a national public service campaign to help increase awareness of prenatal and infant health.

Created in collaboration with the National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition, the campaign announcements encourage mothers and fathers to sign up for a free mobile health service called Text4baby.

June 13, 2012

Merck on Wednesday released new data from two pivotal Phase III efficacy trials for suvorexant, the investigational medicine Merck is developing for the treatment of insomnia.

BOSTON — Merck on Wednesday released new data from two pivotal Phase III efficacy trials for suvorexant, the investigational medicine Merck is developing for the treatment of insomnia.

Merck expects to file a new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration in 2012. If approved, suvorexant would be the first medicine approved in a new class of medicines, called orexin receptor antagonists, for use in patients with difficulty falling or staying asleep. Merck anticipates that suvorexant will be evaluated by the Controlled Substance Staff of the FDA.

June 13, 2012

As health departments across the country report record numbers of pertussis cases, the results of a new survey of American adults released Wednesday revealed that most parents aren't asking adults close to their infants and young children to get an adult whooping cough booster vaccine, even though they do ask them to follow other basic precautions to safeguard their children's health.

SWIFTWATER, Pa. — As health departments across the country report record numbers of pertussis cases, the results of a new survey of American adults released today reveal that most parents aren't asking adults close to their infants and young children to get an adult whooping cough booster vaccine, even though they do ask them to follow other basic precautions to safeguard their children's health.

June 13, 2012

Upsher-Smith Labs on Wednesday announced that it has agreed to acquire Proximagen Group, a European biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for diseases of the central nervous system and inflammation.

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Upsher-Smith Labs on Wednesday announced that it has agreed to acquire Proximagen Group, a European biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for diseases of the central nervous system and inflammation.

Upsher-Smith intends to retain operations in Cambridge and London, England, the company reported.

June 12, 2012

The 2011-2012 influenza season was one of the mildest and latest seasons on record, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ATLANTA — The 2011-2012 influenza season was one of the mildest and latest seasons on record, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The peak percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illnesses of 2.4% was the lowest reported since the system began in its current format in 1997. The peak percentage of visits for ILI during those 14 seasons ranged from 3.2% for the 2002-2003 season to 7.7% during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

June 12, 2012

A Sanofi company is seeking regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a drug designed to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A Sanofi company is seeking regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a drug designed to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis.

June 12, 2012

One-quarter of Type 2 diabetes patients do not take basal insulin as prescribed, while more than one-third suffer from hypoglycemia, according to a global survey funded by Novo Nordisk.

PHILADELPHIA — One-quarter of Type 2 diabetes patients do not take basal insulin as prescribed, while more than one-third suffer from hypoglycemia, according to a global survey funded by Novo Nordisk.

June 12, 2012

The Healthcare Distribution Management Association on Tuesday honored 10 pharmaceutical and consumer product manufacturers through the presentation of its annual Distribution Management Awards for Notable Achievements in Healthcare, or DIANA. The winners were announced Monday evening at the Association’s 2012 Business and Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Healthcare Distribution Management Association on Tuesday honored 10 pharmaceutical and consumer product manufacturers through the presentation of its annual Distribution Management Awards for Notable Achievements in Healthcare, or DIANA. The winners were announced Monday evening at the Association’s 2012 Business and Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

June 11, 2012

When one of Amylin Pharmaceuticals' diabetes drugs is used with mealtime insulin, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients maintain blood sugar in the normal glucose range on a daily basis, according to two analyses presented at the 72nd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

PHILADELPHIA — When one of Amylin Pharmaceuticals' diabetes drugs is used with mealtime insulin, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients maintain blood sugar in the normal glucose range on a daily basis, according to two analyses presented at the 72nd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

June 11, 2012

Genentech has received regulatory approval for a drug designed to treat breast cancer.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Genentech has received regulatory approval for a drug designed to treat breast cancer.

June 11, 2012

GlaxoSmithKline again has extended an unsolicited tender offer to acquire Human Genome Sciences.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — GlaxoSmithKline again has extended an unsolicited tender offer to acquire Human Genome Sciences.

HGS, which previously rejected an unsolicited bid from GSK, said the latest bid, which was extended Friday, is a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of HGS for $13 per share. HGS said that the offer price is inadequate and "does not reflect the value inherent in [the company]."

June 11, 2012

An investigational insulin being developed by Novo Nordisk significantly reduced the rate of hypoglycemia at night in adults with Type 2 diabetes, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial presented at the 72nd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

PHILADELPHIA — An investigational insulin being developed by Novo Nordisk significantly reduced the rate of hypoglycemia at night in adults with Type 2 diabetes, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial presented at the 72nd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

June 8, 2012

Walmart has partnered with En-Vision America to launch a pilot program that provides those who cannot read standard print a safe and easy way to access the information on their prescriptions.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has partnered with En-Vision America to launch a pilot program that provides those who cannot read standard print a safe and easy way to access the information on their prescriptions.

June 7, 2012

Government authorities are working to educate independent pharmacy owners on prescription drug abuse, an independent pharmacy network said.

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — Government authorities are working to educate independent pharmacy owners on prescription drug abuse, an independent pharmacy network said.

In an event sponsored by American Associated Pharmacies in San Diego, Drug Enforcement Administration deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Diversion Control Joseph Rannazzisi discussed topics related to prescription drug abuse. Rannazzisi explained how drug abusers divert prescription drugs through doctor shopping, forged prescriptions, theft and the Internet.

June 7, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by GlaxoSmithKline and XenoPort for treating pain associated with shingles.

NEW YORK — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by GlaxoSmithKline and XenoPort for treating pain associated with shingles.

The drug makers announced Thursday the approval of Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil) extended-release tablets for managing post-herpetic neuralgia. The drug already had FDA approval for treating restless legs syndrome. The approval entitles XenoPort to a $10 million milestone payment from GSK, according to a collaborative agreement between the two companies.

June 6, 2012

A generic drug maker in India and a German pharmaceutical company will collaborate to develop biosimilars.

HYDERABAD, India — A generic drug maker in India and a German pharmaceutical company will collaborate to develop biosimilars.

Dr. Reddy's Labs and Merck KGaA subsidiary Merck Serono announced a partnership to develop biosimilar cancer treatments, most of them monoclonal antibodies, for global markets. Based in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck KGaA operates in the United States under the name EMD to distinguish itself from U.S. drug maker Merck.