PHARMACY

Decision Resources: Biosimilar insulin market may consume brand sales

BY Allison Cerra

WALTHAM, Mass. Decision Resources forecasted that biosimilar insulins and insulin analogues stand to erode $6.1 billion in brand sales in the United States and Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and U.K.) by 2018, saving healthcare systems $3.8 billion in the process.

As insulins are relatively easy to develop and manufacture, the new special report entitled “Biosimilars: ESAs, Insulins, and Human Growth Hormones,” predicts that a number of competing long-acting biosimilar insulins, which are typically injected once or twice daily, will enter the market during the 2008-2018 study period. Based on differences in revenue and upon patent expiry, Sanofi-Aventis’ Lantus presents a greater opportunity for manufacturers of biosimilars than Novo Nordisk’s Levemir, according to the report.

“Our survey data suggests that most endocrinologists expect to begin prescribing biosimilars within a year after they launch. Although endocrinologists will require a fair amount of clinical data before they will be comfortable prescribing biosimilars, they have fewer reservations about using biosimilar insulins (used in patients with diabetes) than they do for biosimilar human growth hormones (used in patients with human growth hormone deficiency),” stated MaryEllen Klusacek, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources.

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Abbott reports Q3 results

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Drug maker Abbott reported strong sales in its third-quarter 2009 earnings report Wednesday.

The company reported an increase of 8.4% in global sales, which remained at 3.5% when factoring in the rise in the value of the dollar. Excluding the dollar’s rise, pharmaceutical sales were 3.9%, but dipped into the red, to -1.6%, when including foreign exchange rates. Nutritional and medical products had much stronger sales – 11.1% and 9.8%, respectively – when the dollar’s value was included.

“Abbott is performing well, generating higher-than-expected earnings growth in the fourth quarter,” Abbott chairman and CEO Miles White said in a statement. “During the quarter, we announced several acquisitions that support our long-term growth strategy. These acquisitions add to our diverse mix of global businesses, with new technologies, established products and emerging market infrastructure that will help us deliver sustainable industry-leading growth.”

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Mylan, Pfizer settle drug dispute

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH Generic drug manufacturer Mylan and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have settled a dispute over Mylan’s attempt to manufacture a generic version of an antifungal drug.

Mylan announced Wednesday that it had entered a license agreement with Pfizer concerning Mylan subsidiary Matrix Labs’ voriconazole tablets in the 50-mg and 200-mg strengths, a generic version of Pfizer’s Vfend. Matrix had filed a regulatory approval application with the Food and Drug Administration; as the first company to file the application, Mylan will have the right to market its version in direct competition with Pfizer’s product for six months once the patent expires. Under the agreement, Mylan will have the right to market voriconazole tablets in the U.S. in first quarter 2011.

Vfend, used to treat yeast and other fungal infections, had sales of $164 million during the 12-month period ending June 30, according to IMS Health data.

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