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December 10, 2013

An expert panel at the Food and Drug Administration has given a thumbs-up to an experimental drug made by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. for treating ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, the drug maker said.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — An expert panel at the Food and Drug Administration has given a thumbs-up to an experimental drug made by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. for treating ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, the drug maker said.

December 10, 2013

Only a quarter of respondents to a new survey would call a doctor for advice when someone at home has the flu, despite widespread recognition of it as serious and of the need for vaccination.

BETHESDA, Md. — Only a quarter of respondents to a new survey would call a doctor for advice when someone at home has the flu, despite widespread recognition of it as serious and of the need for vaccination.

The study, conducted by the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases, found that 93% of adults understand the flu is serious, while 87% understand it's highly contagious, and 66% understand the need for vaccination. The study included a national survey of 1,000 adults and surveys of 500 adults in 10 states, collected between Aug. 6 and Aug. 28.

December 10, 2013

More than 11 million Americans had vacation plans disrupted by the flu in 2012, according to Walgreens' recent Impact Survey, the company announced Tuesday.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — More than 11 million Americans had vacation plans disrupted by the flu in 2012, according to Walgreens' recent Impact Survey, the company announced Tuesday.   

December 9, 2013

Swiss drug maker Novartis is providing a vaccine to Princeton University amid an outbreak of potentially fatal meningitis that has affected at least eight students, the university said Monday.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Swiss drug maker Novartis is providing a vaccine to Princeton University amid an outbreak of potentially fatal meningitis that has affected at least eight students, the university said Monday.

December 9, 2013

An experimental drug under development by Upsher-Smith Labs for epilepsy is able to reduce seizures in patients with mild to moderate side effects, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial announced Monday.

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — An experimental drug under development by Upsher-Smith Labs for epilepsy is able to reduce seizures in patients with mild to moderate side effects, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial announced Monday.

December 6, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment for a sexual deformity that affects men.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment for a sexual deformity that affects men.

December 6, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for hepatitis C made by Gilead Sciences, the drug maker said Friday.

FOSTER CITY, Calif. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for hepatitis C made by Gilead Sciences, the drug maker said Friday.

December 5, 2013

Four drug industry trade groups are suing the board of health in King County, Wash., over a local health ordinance that they say shifts the burden of sustainable disposal of unwanted drugs onto drug companies, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Four drug industry trade groups are suing the board of health in King County, Wash., over a local health ordinance that they say shifts the burden of sustainable disposal of unwanted drugs onto drug companies, according to published reports.

December 4, 2013

Crossix Solutions on Tuesday introduced its latest analytics innovation, Crossix POC Impact, which enables marketers to go beyond prescriber data and capture patient impact for a true representation of campaign effectiveness for the point-of-care marketing channel.

NEW YORK — Crossix Solutions on Tuesday introduced its latest analytics innovation, Crossix POC Impact, which enables marketers to go beyond prescriber data and capture patient impact for a true representation of campaign effectiveness for the point-of-care marketing channel.

December 4, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new topical drug for treating scars made by Oculus Innovative Sciences, the drug maker said Wednesday.

PETALUMA, Calif. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new topical drug for treating scars made by Oculus Innovative Sciences, the drug maker said Wednesday.

The FDA has approved Microcyn scar-management hydrogel, used to treat scars resulting from burns, surgery and trauma wounds. Oculus and a partnering company, Quinnova Pharmaceuticals, intend to start selling the drug in the first half of next year.

December 4, 2013

The availability of new generic drugs for treating HIV will erode sales of HIV antiretroviral drugs into the next decade in developed countries, according to a new report.

BURLINGTON, Mass. — The availability of new generic drugs for treating HIV will erode sales of HIV antiretroviral drugs into the next decade in developed countries, according to a new report.

Healthcare market research firm Decision Resources released the report Wednesday, showing that sales of antiretroviral drugs in the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Japan would be $13.1 billion in 2022, down from 2012's $13.4 billion.

December 3, 2013

Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

WASHINGTON — Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

December 3, 2013

Forest Labs is spending at least $240 million to buy rights to a psychiatric drug made by Merck, the New York-based drug maker said.

NEW YORK — Forest Labs is spending at least $240 million to buy rights to a psychiatric drug made by Merck, the New York-based drug maker said.

Forest said it would buy the U.S. rights for Merck's Saphris (asenapine), a tablet dissolved under the tongue for the treatment of schizophrenia and manic episodes in patients with bipolar disorder. Forest will pay Merck $240 million upfront, as well as milestone payments based on sales, while Merck will supply the drug. Forest will market the drug and conduct clinical studies.

December 3, 2013

Rite Aid has appointed healthcare executive Myrtle Potter to its board of directors, the retail pharmacy chain said Tuesday.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has appointed healthcare executive Myrtle Potter to its board of directors, the retail pharmacy chain said Tuesday.

Potter is currently CEO of Myrtle Potter & Co., a Silicon Valley-based consulting firm focused on life sciences and health care, as well as the head of consumer healthcare content company Myrtle Potter Media. She previous served as president of commercial operations and COO at Genentech and has worked at companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck.

December 3, 2013

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., the largest drug maker in Japan, has hired the head of GlaxoSmithKline's vaccines division as its COO, Takeda said.

OSAKA, Japan — Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., the largest drug maker in Japan, has hired the head of GlaxoSmithKline's vaccines division as its COO, Takeda said.

Christophe Weber was elected at the drug maker's board of directors meeting to become COO and candidate as the next CEO. Current president and CEO Yasuchika Hasegawa is expected to be named chairman and CEO.

Weber is currently president and general manager of GSK Vaccines, CEO of GSK Biologicals in Belgium and a member of GSK's global corporate executive team.

December 3, 2013

Impax Labs has settled a patent-infringement suit filed by Purdue Pharma concerning the opioid painkiller OxyContin, Impax said Tuesday.

HAYWARD, Calif. — Impax Labs has settled a patent-infringement suit filed by Purdue Pharma concerning the opioid painkiller OxyContin, Impax said Tuesday.

December 3, 2013

Officials in Rhode Island may set up a registry that would allow doctors and pharmacists to track patients who have problems with drug abuse, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Officials in Rhode Island may set up a registry that would allow doctors and pharmacists to track patients who have problems with drug abuse, according to published reports.

The Associated Press reported that the proposed registry would track prescriptions for drugs that are controlled substance and allow healthcare professionals to track their usage, similar to a monitoring program set up in New York this year. A task force that includes state lawmakers, health officials and healthcare professionals met Monday to look at the idea.

December 2, 2013

Shionogi and Egalet have entered a deal worth up to $425 million for the development of abuse-deterrent opioid painkillers, Egalet said.

MALVERN, Pa. — Shionogi and Egalet have entered a deal worth up to $425 million for the development of abuse-deterrent opioid painkillers, Egalet said.

The deal centers on the development and potential commercialization of experimental drugs containing the opioid painkiller hydrocodone.

December 2, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has designated a drug made by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries as an orphan drug, the company said.

JERUSALEM — The Food and Drug Administration has designated a drug made by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries as an orphan drug, the company said.

Teva said the drug, Treanda (bendamustine hydrochloride), received the designation for indolent B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma through October 2015 that has progressed during or within six months of treatment with a regimen containing Rituxan (rituximab), marketed by Genentech and Biogen Idec. The FDA gives orphan drug designation to treatments for diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.

December 2, 2013

Sandoz will market an authorized generic version of an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug made by Shire under a contract between the two companies, Shire said Monday.

PHILADELPHIA — Sandoz will market an authorized generic version of an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug made by Shire under a contract between the two companies, Shire said Monday.

Shire said Sandoz, the generics division of Swiss drug maker Novartis, would market an authorized generic version of Adderall XR (amphetamine; dextroamphetamine).

November 27, 2013

Researchers at the University of Dundee and University College London on Wednesday reported that taking the maximum daily dose of some medicines would exceed the recommended daily limits for sodium, without any additional dietary intake, and potentially become an added risk factor for heart disease.

LONDON — Researchers at the University of Dundee and University College London on Wednesday found that taking the maximum daily dose of some medicines would exceed the recommended daily limits for sodium, without any additional dietary intake and potentially become an added risk factor for heart disease.

They say the public "should be warned about the potential dangers of high sodium intake from prescribed medicines" and that sodium-containing formulations "should be prescribed with caution only if the perceived benefits outweigh the risks."

November 27, 2013

Treatment of influenza with antiviral medicines like Tamiflu and Relenza may improve survival rates in children, according to a study published Nov. 25 in Pediatrics.

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. — Treatment of influenza with such antiviral medicines as Tamiflu and Relenza may improve survival rates in children, according to a study published on Nov. 25 in Pediatrics

Researchers from the California Department of Public Health analyzed data abstracted from medical records to characterize the outcomes of pediatric patients hospitalized with the flu between April 3, 2009 and September 30, 2012. 

November 27, 2013

A new study is helping to provide a better understanding of vaccines for whooping cough, the Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — A new study is helping to provide a better understanding of vaccines for whooping cough, the Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday. Based on an animal model, the study shows that acellular pertussis vaccines licensed by the FDA are effective in preventing the disease among those vaccinated, but suggests that they may not prevent infection from the bacteria that causes whooping cough in those vaccinated or its spread to other people, including those who may not be vaccinated.

November 26, 2013

Drug maker AbbVie is launching an international awareness campaign focused on women living with HIV, the drug maker said Tuesday.

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. – Drug maker AbbVie is launching an international awareness campaign focused on women living with HIV, the drug maker said Tuesday.

November 26, 2013

German chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer plans to buy Norwegian drug maker Algeta for $2.4 billion, Algeta confirmed Tuesday.

OSLO, Norway — German chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer plans to buy Norwegian drug maker Algeta for $2.4 billion, Algeta confirmed Tuesday.

Responding to earlier media reports, the Norway-based maker of cancer drugs said Bayer would acquire it for 336 krone per share, equal to about $55.05. The company's share price increased to 349.40 krone, or $57.21 per share, in late-afternoon trading Tuesday on the Oslo Stock Exchange.