PHARMACY

Appeals court rejects Teva request to stop Watson from selling generic Seasonique

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — An appeals court has thrown out an attempt by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to stop Watson Pharmaceuticals from selling a generic contraceptive, Watson said.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a lower court’s June 16 decision to deny Duramed Pharmaceuticals’ request for an injunction that would stop Watson from selling a generic version of Seasonique (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol [0.15 mg/0.03 mg] and ethinyl estradiol [0.01 mg]). Duramed originally was a subsidiary of Barr Pharmaceuticals, which Teva acquired in 2008.

Watson launched its version of Seasonique, sold under the brand name Amethia, in July.

 


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PHARMACY

Watson files for approval of generic dementia treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals is challenging three of Swiss drug maker Novartis’ patents on a drug used to treat dementia, Watson said.

The company said subsidiary Watson Labs had filed for approval generic rivastigmine transdermal system patches in the 4.6-mg and 9.5-mg strengths, both designed to last for 24 hours, with the Food and Drug Administration. The patches are used to treat mild to moderate dementia associated with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

The drug is a generic version of Novartis’ Exelon, which had sales of about $424 million during the 12-month period ended in September, according to IMS Health. Novartis responded by filing a patent-infringement suit against Watson on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in order to prevent Watson from commercializing the patches before the expirations of three patents, which are set to occur in 2014 and 2019, according to FDA records.


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Legislation aimed at closing tax loophole receives NACDS endorsement

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Legislation that would level the playing field for brick-and-mortar retailers, including pharmacies, by closing a loophole that puts them at a disadvantage with online retailers has received praise from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wy., is the sponsor of the Marketplace Fairness Act and serves as the ranking Republican member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

In a letter sent to Enzi, NACDS stated that the Marketplace Fairness Act would help retail-based health providers by permitting states to collect the sales taxes they are owed from out-of-state businesses, rather than relying on consumers to pay those taxes, which is the current system.

“For too long, remote Internet retailers have enjoyed an unfair and competitive advantage over local brick and mortar retail establishments,” NACDS stated in its letter. “Online-only companies can achieve as much as a 10% price advantage over brick-and-mortar retailers by not collecting state sales taxes. This not only hurts local businesses, it robs state governments of vital tax revenue. It is estimated that states lose $23 billion annually in uncollected sales taxes, a figure that is sure to grow as Internet commerce expands.”

NACDS noted that state budgets already face heady financial challenges, and this tax loophole only further stymies a state’s ability to continue to fund important programs.

“At a time when state governments are struggling to fund important public health and safety functions — including Medicaid health benefits for low income citizens — it is vitally important to give states all the tools they need to collect revenue they are owed.  Your legislation is a strong step in that direction,” the letter stated.

NACDS also recently joined retail groups in submitting a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction — the super committee — urging the committee to close this loophole as part of its efforts to curb wasteful spending.

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