PHARMACY

Bristol-Myers Squibb discusses pipeline with investors

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Aims of becoming a leader in biotechnology headlined a meeting Thursday between Bristol-Myers Squibb and investors as the drug maker highlighted a pipeline of late-stage and early-development drugs.

Like many big drug companies, Bristol has focused on beefing up its pipeline as it faces big patent expirations over the next few years, particularly for the anti-clotting drug Plavix (clopidogrel). The company has particularly high hopes for investigative compounds to treat Alzheimer’s disease and hepatitis C.

“I am fully confident in our ability to deliver on our three major strategic imperatives – driving our performance in the next few years, improving our earnings base in 2013 and sustaining growth in 2014 and beyond,” said Bristol president and COO Lamberto Andreotti, who will soon replace James Cornelius as CEO. “We have important strategic, operational and financial levers which will allow us to fully realize our potential as a biopharma leader, and to deliver on our near-term and long-term growth opportunities.”

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PHARMACY

Pfizer may buy Ratiopharm

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK It appears that Pfizer has changed its mind a second time about buying Ratiopharm.

According to published reports, Pfizer has renewed its offer for the German generic drug maker, for $4 billion. That pits the world’s largest drug maker against generic drug makers Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Actavis.

Pfizer has been on a hunt for opportunities lately, most notably with its acquisition of Wyeth, as it faces patent expirations on such high-selling drugs as the cholesterol medication Lipitor (atorvastatin).

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Walgreens completes acquisition of SpecialtyScripts

BY Alaric DeArment

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has completed its acquisition of prescription files from Cardinal Health subsidiary SpecialtyScripts, based in Fall River, Mass., Walgreens announced Wednesday.

Founded in 2002, SpecialtyScripts niche is in providing specialty pharmacy services for such chronic illnesses and complex diseases as hepatitis C, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and oral oncology.

Walgreens said the acquisition would allow Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy to scale the operations of its existing locations. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We’re excited about our acquisition of SpecialtyScripts and see it as an opportunity to grow our specialty pharmacy business through additional preferred payer agreements,” Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy EVP and Walgreens divisional VP Michael Nameth said in a statement. “It’s a good fit for us because SpecialtyScripts has a similar client base, and we share a commitment to providing patients and customers with quality care and exceptional service.”

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