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May 8, 2012

A generic version of a schizophrenia drug made by Otsuka Holdings and Bristol-Myers Squibb can't be launched until April 2015, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — A generic version of a schizophrenia drug made by Otsuka Holdings and Bristol-Myers Squibb can't be launched until April 2015, according to published reports.

Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the validity of patents covering Abilify (aripiprazole) in the two companies' lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Apotex.

According to IMS Health, Abilify was the fourth top-selling drug in the United States in 2011, with sales of $5.2 billion.

May 8, 2012

University of British Columbia researchers may have found a way to develop universal flu vaccines and eliminate the need for seasonal flu vaccinations, university officials announced Tuesday.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — University of British Columbia researchers may have found a way to develop universal flu vaccines and eliminate the need for seasonal flu vaccinations, university officials announced Tuesday.

May 8, 2012

Consumption of probiotics is associated with a reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, a common adverse effect of antibiotic use, according to a review and meta-analysis of previous studies published in the May 9 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

CHICAGO — Consumption of probiotics is associated with a reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, a common adverse effect of antibiotic use, according to a review and meta-analysis of previous studies published in the May 9 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

May 7, 2012

Pharmaceutical wholesaler H. D. Smith will act as the exclusive supplier of various healthcare products for a buying group that serves independent pharmacies, the company said Monday.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Pharmaceutical wholesaler H. D. Smith will act as the exclusive supplier of various healthcare products for a buying group that serves independent pharmacies, the company said Monday.

May 7, 2012

Drug maker Purdue Pharma has introduced a new educational resource for healthcare professionals designed to curb the abuse of prescription drugs, the company said Monday.

STAMFORD, Conn. — Drug maker Purdue Pharma has introduced a new educational resource for healthcare professionals designed to curb the abuse of prescription drugs, the company said Monday.

May 4, 2012

Kmart is introducing prescription pet medications at its stores, the mass merchandise retail chain said Friday.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart is introducing prescription pet medications at its stores, the mass merchandise retail chain said Friday.

The company said the new program was designed to make it easier for customers to get branded and generic pet drugs and more convenient to shop for the whole family. More than 60% of American households own a pet, and families spent more than $50 billion on their pets in 2011, according to the American Pet Products Association.

May 4, 2012

The number of new drug shortages has been halved as early notifications from manufacturers of potential shortages have increased sixfold, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration wrote Thursday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The number of new drug shortages has been halved as early notifications from manufacturers of potential shortages have increased sixfold, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration wrote Thursday.

May 3, 2012

Drug maker Johnson & Johnson is seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a drug to treat patients with deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, the company said.

RARITAN, N.J. — Drug maker Johnson & Johnson is seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a drug to treat patients with deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, the company said.

J&J division Janssen Research & Development announced the submission of a supplemental new drug application for Xarelto (rivaroxaban) to the FDA for the two conditions and for preventing recurrent venous thromboembolism.

May 3, 2012

Drug makers could strike big with new treatments for rare diseases, according to a new report by a market research firm.

NEW YORK — Drug makers could strike big with new treatments for rare diseases, according to a new report by a market research firm.

May 2, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for a rare genetic disorder that affects 10,000 people worldwide.

NEW YORK — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for a rare genetic disorder that affects 10,000 people worldwide.

Pfizer and Protalix BioTherapeutics announced Wednesday the approval of Elelyso (taliglucerase alfa), an enzyme-replacement therapy for the long-term treatment of Type 1 Gaucher disease.

April 30, 2012

Eisai announced that Allen Waxman has joined the company.

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Eisai announced that Allen Waxman has joined the company.

Waxman, who has worked at such companies as Kaye Schouler LLP and Pfizer, will serve as SVP and general counsel, where he will be responsible for leading the office of the general counsel and all legal matters for the company in the United States. Waxman also will be a member of the company's executive committee and also will join others in providing leadership for a number of global legal matters for Eisai.

April 30, 2012

Mylan will be barred from marketing a generic version of a Merck cardiovascular drug until the drug's patent expires, under a court ruling announced Friday.

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Mylan will be barred from marketing a generic version of a Merck cardiovascular drug until the drug's patent expires, under a court ruling announced Friday.

Merck said the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled against Mylan in two patent infringement suits related to the drugs Zetia (ezetimibe) and Vytorin (ezetimibe and simvastatin). Specifically, the court ruled that a patent covering the drug, RE 42,461, is valid and enforceable and enjoined Mylan from launching until the patents expiration in April 2017.

April 30, 2012

An online plea for help from a mother dying of breast cancer prompted the manufacturer of an experimental drug to release it early, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — An online plea for help from a mother dying of breast cancer prompted the manufacturer of an experimental drug to release it early, according to published reports.

In an article posted on its website, CNN told the story of 46-year-old Darlene Gant, a woman with stage-four breast cancer, as she wrote letters to be given to her 11-year-old son on his upcoming birthday, and at future events, such as his high school and college graduations and marriage.

April 27, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by GlaxoSmithKline for certain cancer patients.

PHILADELPHIA — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by GlaxoSmithKline for certain cancer patients.

April 27, 2012

A drug made by Novartis has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to treat benign kidney tumors related to tuberous sclerosis complex.

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — A drug made by Novartis has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to treat benign kidney tumors related to tuberous sclerosis complex.

The FDA approved Afinitor (everolimus) tablets for treating the tumors, known as renal angiomyolipomas, in adults with TSC who don't require surgery. The drug already was approved to treat brain tumors known as subependymal giant cell astrocytoma, or SEGA, in patients with TSC.

April 27, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for treating erectile dysfunction, the agency said Friday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for treating erectile dysfunction, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Vivus' Stendra (avanafil).

"This approval expands the available treatment options to men experiencing erectile dysfunction and enables patients, in consultation with their doctor, to choose the most appropriate treatment for their needs," FDA Office of Drug Evaluation III deputy director Victoria Kusiak said.

April 26, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration declined to approve a drug made by Takeda Pharmaceutical, the drug maker said.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — The Food and Drug Administration declined to approve a drug made by Takeda Pharmaceutical, the drug maker said.

Takeda announced that the FDA issued a complete response letter for its regulatory applications for the Type 2 diabetes drug alogliptin and a combination pill that includes alogliptin and pioglitazone, the active ingredient in the drug Actos.

April 26, 2012

Drug makers in the United States are developing nearly 300 vaccines for preventing and treating diseases, according to a new report by a drug industry trade group.

WASHINGTON — Drug makers in the United States are developing nearly 300 vaccines for preventing and treating diseases, according to a new report by a drug industry trade group.

April 25, 2012

Biotech drug maker Amgen is buying a pharmaceutical company based in Turkey, the companies said Wednesday.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Biotech drug maker Amgen is buying a pharmaceutical company based in Turkey, the companies said Wednesday.

Amgen said it would acquire 95.6% of Istanbul-based Mustafa Nevzat for $700 million in an all-cash deal, saying the purchase would allow it to expand in Turkey and the surrounding region. The company, also known as MN, is a major supplier of injectable drugs in Turkey and, increasingly, an exporter of medicines.

April 25, 2012

GlaxoSmithKline said its offer to buy Human Genome Sciences was "full and fair" Wednesday after HGS turned it down last week, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — GlaxoSmithKline said its offer to buy Human Genome Sciences was "full and fair" Wednesday after HGS turned it down last week, according to published reports.

Reuters reported that GSK's $13-per-share, $2.6 billion offer for HGS would give the former full control of Benlysta (belimumab), the first new drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for lupus in more than half a century. The two companies developed the drug together under a partnership, and the drug received approval in March 2011.

April 24, 2012

George Rathmann, Amgen's founding CEO, has passed away, the drug maker announced Monday.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — George Rathmann, Amgen's founding CEO, has passed away, the drug maker announced Monday.

April 24, 2012

Globalization has led to a rapid increase in the drugs and foods arriving on U.S. shores from abroad, a trend that has prompted U.S. regulators to transform their approach.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Globalization has led to a rapid increase in the drugs and foods arriving on U.S. shores from abroad, a trend that has prompted U.S. regulators to transform their approach.

The Food and Drug Administration released a report Monday detailing its strategies for what it called transforming from a domestic to a global public health agency.

April 23, 2012

Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca will buy a San Diego-based biotech company for $1.26 billion, the two said Monday.

SAN DIEGO — Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca will buy a San Diego-based biotech company for $1.26 billion, the two said Monday.

April 23, 2012

Watson Pharmaceuticals announced the launch of an authorized generic version of a drug used to lower blood glucose in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals announced the launch of an authorized generic version of a drug used to lower blood glucose in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

April 21, 2012

More than 250 executives joined Anda for its 5th Annual Supply Chain Symposium here Thursday and Friday.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — More than 250 executives joined Anda for its 5th Annual Supply Chain Symposium here Thursday and Friday.

(For photos of the event, click here.)