PHARMACY

Analysis finds Johnson & Johnson’s cancer drug cost-efficient

BY Alaric DeArment

HORSHAM, Pa. An analysis sponsored by Johnson & Johnson’s biotech division and published in the Journal of Medical Economics has shown that one of its cancer drugs costs less than a competing drug from Amgen.

The analysis, published in the journal’s spring issue, found that J&J biotech unit Centocor’s Procrit (epoetin alfa) was associated with lower drug costs when used to treat chemotherapy patients than Amgen’s Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa). Both drugs are synthetic forms of the hormone erythropoietin called erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, or ESAs, which stimulate red blood cell growth.

The retrospective cohort study examined data on 10,928 patients, investigating current real-world dosing patterns and associated ESA costs. The data showed that the cumulative cost for Procrit was $4,321, versus $6,089 for Aranesp, with a dose ratio of 255 units of Procrit to 1 microgram of Aranesp.

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PHARMACY

Pfizer expands generics portfolio with Aurobindo, Claris deals

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A big pharmaceutical company has entered licensing agreements with two Indian generics companies, expanding its portfolio by 75 products.

Pfizer announced Wednesday that the agreements, with Aurobindo Pharma and Claris Lifesciences, would “significantly expand” the portfolio of medicines in its Established Products Business Unit, giving it products to market in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and more than 70 emerging market countries.

“[Today’s] announcement demonstrates Pfizer’s commitment to improving the global public health landscape by making needed quality medicines – in a range of disease areas – accessible to underserved populations worldwide,” Pfizer chairman and CEO Jeff Kindler stated. “The off-patent marketplace worldwide too often suffers from quality and supply reliability issues.”

Under the terms of the agreements, Pfizer has acquired the rights to 55 pill drugs and five injected drugs from Aurobindo to sell in emerging markets, and 15 injected drugs from Claris to sell in developed markets.

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Lilly, Medtronic to deliver diabetes education

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS A drug maker and a medical device maker have announced a collaboration to provide education on care and management of diabetes.

Eli Lilly & Co. and Medtronic said their marketing and sales operations would work with healthcare professionals to deliver diabetes education for patients and caregivers affected by Type 1 diabetes, including the development of educational resources and classes around the initiation and intensive management of insulin, insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring.

“Medtronic and Lilly are joining together to help improve patient access to high-quality diabetes education,” Medtronic SVP and diabetes business unit president Chris O’Connell said. “Because diabetes management is complicated, it is crucial that physicians and patients have the best access to information and educational resources.”

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