PHARMACY

AstraZeneca announces plans to lay off 6,000 employees by 2013

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Drug maker AstraZeneca plans to lay off 6,000 employees by 2013, the Anglo-Swedish company announced Thursday.

The layoffs add to the 9,000 jobs AstraZeneca said it would cut in 2007. The company has 65,000 employees.

Amid the worldwide economic downturn, several drug makers have announced layoffs. Pfizer announced this week that it would lay off more than 8,000 workers as part of its acquisition of Wyeth.

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FDA approves generic version of Depakote

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of Abbott’s Depakote, FDA records show.

The agency approved Dr. Reddy’s Labs divalproex sodium delayed-release capsules in the 125 mg strength. The capsules are used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder and migraine headaches.

The branded version of the drug had sales of $1.5 billion in 2007, according to Abbott financial records.

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FDA approves Mylan’s generic epilepsy drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH The Food and Drug Administration has approved Mylan’s generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s epilepsy drug Lamictal, Mylan announced Wednesday.

The drug, known generically as lamotrigine, is also used to treat bipolar disorder. Mylan will sell the drug in the 25 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg and 200 mg strengths. The FDA also approved Genpharm?s application for a chewable generic version of Lamictal.

The branded version of the drug had sales of about $91 million in the year ending Sept. 30, according to IMS Health. 

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