HEALTH

Actavis realigns corporate structure

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN — Actavis on Friday announced a realignment of its global strategic business structure to maximize the company’s newly strengthened position as a leading specialty pharmaceutical developer, manufacturer and marketer, and to enhance Actavis’ position for continued long-term growth. 

Under the new organizational structure announced at Actavis’ 2014 Investor Meeting in New York, Actavis’ global generics, specialty brands, branded generics, legacy brands, over-the-counter and third-party commercial operations and business development have been consolidated into a single new division, under the leadership of Siggi Olafsson, president of Actavis Pharma.

Actavis’ generic, brand, inhalation and biosimilars research and development organizations have been consolidated under the leadership of Fred Wilkinson, in the newly created position of president, Actavis Global Research and Development. 

Olafsson and Wilkinson will continue to report directly to Paul Bisaro, chairman and CEO Actavis.

"Over the past several years, Actavis has evolved into a leading specialty pharmaceutical company with a solid global commercial footprint and a research-and-development capability unmatched within the industry," Bisaro said. "This organization will provide unprecedented management focus on driving our company to the next stage in our evolution and ensure our successful evolution into the world’s premier, global specialty pharmaceutical leader."

In concert with the realignment, Bisaro established four strategic pillars of growth for the continued expansion of Actavis:

  • Maximize the company’s commercial structure to capitalize on the value of the pharmaceutical products being delivered to customers, regardless of whether they are generic, brand, branded generic, OTC and ultimately biosimilars;
  • Ensure continued focus on organic growth through maximization of the company’s research and development expertise;
  • Emphasize operational excellence and cost control across the company’s global manufacturing and distribution network; and
  • Deploy capital to drive the continued expansion of the company’s commercial, portfolio and technology capabilities through strategic mergers, acquisitions and business development initiatives that deliver growth multiples that complement investments in sustainable organic growth.

"By placing all commercial pharmaceutical sales and marketing functions under Siggi, our new commercial structure will better position us to respond to market needs and compete more effectively on the global specialty pharmaceutical stage," Bisaro said. "Actavis currently participates in more than 60 markets, and we are focused on expanding our commercial footprint. Siggi’s knowledge of global markets and understanding of the intricacies of delivering pharmaceuticals that meet the needs of specific market dynamics — brand, generic, branded generic and OTC products — ensures we are capitalizing on opportunities to drive revenues and earnings growth. Combining our commercial operations will dramatically strengthen Actavis’ position as a global provider of pharmaceutical products to our patients in our diverse customer base," he said. 

"By combining generic, brand, inhalation and biosimilar research and development, global regulatory affairs and global pharmacovigilance activities under Fred, we capitalize on his pharmaceutical industry expertise and intimate knowledge of commercial realities to direct and deliver on our investment in R&D, which is expected to exceed $800 million in 2014," Bisaro added. "Fred’s expertise in our core brand therapeutic categories, his management of our biosimilar initiatives and his decades-long experience in the generic pharmaceutical universe brings real world marketing realities to ensuring new products developed achieve their full potential. Under Fred’s leadership, we will dramatically enhance our ability to deliver on a fully integrated, global pharmaceutical pipeline and ensure we maximize value for every dollar we spend."

In addition to the commercial and R&D changes, Actavis announced that Robert Stewart, president Global Operations, will be charged with an expanded role driving efficiencies across the organization and capitalizing on the most efficient utilization of human and financial resources, as well as harnessing the capabilities of Actavis’ global manufacturing and distribution functions, including the continued oversight of Anda. Marc Lehnen, SVP Global Integration Management and Patrick Eagan, chief human resources officer, will now report to Stewart.

"Bob will drive synergy capture and value creation from organic and acquired assets resulting from mergers and acquisitions. Given the breadth of Bob’s responsibilities across our organization, I have also asked him to lead our efforts to realize the full potential of our global team by managing our Global Human Resources function," Bisaro said. "Bob has a proven track record of delivering operational excellence while providing exceptional cost control across our global network. By assuming responsibility for integration management and human resources, we expand the capabilities available to Bob as he continues to optimize our operational strengths."

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NAD refers Brain Research Labs to FTC

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division has referred to the Federal Trade Commission advertising claims made by Brain Research Labs, for Procera AVH, following the company’s failure to abide by the terms of an NAD decision.

In an underlying 2009 decision, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue a wide range of claims and testimonials for Procera AVH, including the unqualified claim that Procera AVH was “clinically shown to restore the memory and brain power you had 10-15 years ago" and claims that the product is “fast-acting.”

NAD also determined that a key ingredient in the product, vinpocetine, had not been demonstrated to provide increased oxygen delivery, uptake and utilization by the brain. NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue such claims.

NAD contacted the advertiser when it learned that the company was again making claims similar to those it agreed to discontinue in 2009.

The advertiser, in response, agreed to discontinue all the challenged claims except for the claim that Procera AVH has “vinpocetine, a substance that helps deliver increased oxygen and glucose to your brain.”

The advertiser asserted that a more recently conducted study supports the claim. However, an advertiser in an NAD proceeding may not, absent extraordinary circumstances, submit new evidence after the fact as support for claims that were the subject of an earlier proceeding.

Based on the advertiser’s actions, NAD has referred the matter to the Federal Trade Commission for further review.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

 

 

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UrgentRx launches provocative Twitter campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER — UrgentRx on Thursday began asking America where they would #WhipItOut with the launch of a provocative new campaign. The initiative is aimed at educating consumers during Heart Health Month by raising awareness around the potentially life-saving role that 325mg of aspirin plays for heart attack victims.

“Most people are unaware of the fact that the simple act of taking a 325mg dose of aspirin at the first symptoms can increase the chance of survival during a heart attack by 23%,” Jordan Eisenberg, president UrgentRx, said. “Critical Care Aspirin is a vital tool that everyone should be prepared to whip out to save a life anywhere, anytime.”

UrgentRx Critical Care Aspirin is a credit card-sized, single dose of fast-acting, flavored powder aspirin.

UrgentRx will leverage consumers’ willingness to #WhipItOut to donate up to $10,000 to the American Heart Association. Throughout the month of February, every time a consumer uses the hashtag #WhipItOut on Twitter or visits www.whipitouturx.com and takes the pledge to be "prepared over scared" when it comes to heart attack awareness, UrgentRx will donate $1 to the American Heart Association.

“With #WhipItOut, we’ve created a provocative campaign that we hope will help capture consumer attention and educate the public about what simple steps are available to help increase the odds of surviving a heart attack,” Eisenberg said.

 

 

 

 

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