PHARMACY

Cardinal taps Teva’s Barrett as CEO of healthcare supply chain services

BY Antoinette Alexander

DUBLIN, Ohio Cardinal Health has announced that George Barrett, chief executive officer of Teva North America, will join the company as vice chairman of Cardinal Health and chief executive officer of its Healthcare Supply Chain Services sector.

He will join the company at the end of January, reporting to chairman and chief executive officer R. Kerry Clark. Barrett served as corporate executive vice president of Teva’s global pharmaceutical markets from January 2007, as well as chief executive officer of Teva North America from January 2005. From 1999 to 2004, he was president and chief executive officer of Teva USA.

“I am very pleased to welcome George to Cardinal Health,” stated Clark. “His strategic leadership, deep operational experience and outstanding global knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry will help us on our path to becoming the premier global health care company. I am also very grateful to our chief financial officer Jeff Henderson for his strong, interim leadership of the supply chain business during the past three months.”

In his new role at Cardinal, Barrett will be responsible for all of Cardinal Health’s supply chain business. This sector operates more than 70 distribution centers, 160 nuclear pharmacies and six surgical kitting facilities. In its most recent fiscal year, the supply chain sector contributed 70 percent of Cardinal Health’s consolidated profit.

In other Cardinal news, David Schlotterbeck has been named vice chairman in addition to his role as chief executive officer of the company’s Clinical and Medical Products sector. This sector includes the company’s intravenous infusion, automated dispensing and respiratory systems, and infection prevention products.

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House investigates possibly misleading Lipitor advertisement

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON Democrats in the House of Representatives are investigating as to whether or not consumers are being misled by advertisements for Lipitor featuring Dr. Robert Jarvik, the inventor of the artificial heart, the Associated Press reported.

Michigan Reps. John Dingell and Bart Stupak sent a letter to the drug’s manufacturer Pfizer on Monday, questioning the credibility of Jarvik, whom they believe is not certified to practice or prescribe medicine because he might not have taken the necessary tests or performed an internship.

Pfizer spokesman Chris Loder said Jarvik’s presence in the advertisements is meant to educate consumers on the importance heart health. “Dr. Jarvik is a respected health care professional and heart expert who knows how imperative it is for patients to do everything they can to keep their heart working well,” Loder said in a statement.

The representatives have requested that Pfizer turn over all of its information concerning Jarvik including its contract with him and any information about his professional qualifications.

Lipitor is the most prescribed drug in the U.S., with sales of $13.6 billion in 2006.

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King ends five-year Skelaxin patent suit against CorePharma

BY Drew Buono

BRISTOL, Tenn. & MIDDLESEX, N.J. King Pharmaceuticals has ended is patent lawsuit with CorePharma regarding its muscle relaxant drug Skelaxin and has signed an agreement with CorePharma related to the drug, according to Forbes.

On Jan. 2, the two companies signed an agreement under which, CorePharma will gain certain exclusive rights to Skelaxin 800 mg to market a generic version, called metaxalone and have also gained a non-exclusive license to produce and market a 400 mg version of the drug. This license will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.

Back in 2003, CorePharma was one of several biopharmaceutical companies to file with the Food and Drug Administration seeking permission to produce a generic. King countered by suing CorePharma and later Eon Labs and Mutual Pharmaceuticals, who also sought permission to produce a generic.

As of now, CorePharma is the only company that King Pharmaceuticals has an agreement with concerning Skelaxin. The drug is estimated to account for about $400 million in sales in 2008, according to Morgan Stanley.

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