PHARMACY

CVS praises FTC report on biogeneric competition

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark announced on Thursday that it applauds a Federal Trade Commission report this week supporting a pro-consumer approach to biogeneric competition.

“CVS Caremark serves hundreds of thousands of patients who rely on specialty and other biologic medicines to provide life-saving treatments for their conditions. The FTC’s expertise and their findings in support of a legislative pathway allowing the Food and Drug Administration to approve biogenerics in light of market-based competition that drives innovation should be heeded by Congress as we consider health care reform,” stated Dave Goldberg, EVP for Specialty Pharmacy services at CVS Caremark.

Goldberg participated in an FTC Roundtable event last fall on the issue. In?addition, the company has provided data to the Commission to assist in its research.

“CVS Caremark supports the Promoting Innovation and Access to Life-Saving Medicine Act because it represents bipartisan legislation that seeks to give patients access to safe and affordable medicines, even while fostering pharmaceutical innovation,” Goldberg stated. “Increased competition in the biologics market will benefit health plans, employers and federal programs, and more importantly, will help make these medicines more affordable for patients, many of whom must take these medications for their entire lives.”

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Senate to vote on drug importation measure

BY Anna Mcgrath

WASHINGTON U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., has dropped his proposal to add the importation of cheaper medicines from other countries to a tobacco legislation.

Dorgan claims that under the amendment, the Food and Drug Administration would be given the power to oversee packaging, marketing and manufacturing of cigarettes and other tobacco products, Reuters reported. Additionally, U.S.-licensed pharmacies and drug wholesalers would also be allowed to import FDA-approved medicines from Canada, Europe and a few other areas for cheaper prices.

The Senate will consider the drug issue separately, Reuters said.

President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $5 million for the FDA to get started. Despite presidental backing, drugmakers are unhappy with Dorgan’s bill, claiming that with importation comes the risk for counterfeit drugs.

The tobacco bill passed the Senate on Monday with a 61-30 vote and proceeds to legislation later this week.

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KV Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma settle OxyContin dispute

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS A generic drug company has settled a dispute with a branded drug company concerning the painkiller OxyContin.

St. Louis-based KV Pharmaceutical Co. announced Tuesday that it had entered a settlement agreement with Stamford, Conn.-based Purdue Pharma in a patent infringement lawsuit that Purdue filed against KV.

Under the terms of the agreement, KV agreed that Purdue’s patents for OxyContin (oxycodone hydrochloride) are valid, enforceable and infringed. In exchange, Purdue granted KV limited rights to sell generic controlled-release oxycodone hydrochloride tablets in the United States for an unspecified period of time.

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