PHARMACY

Drug Information Association opens branch in China

BY Alaric DeArment

BEIJING An organization that provides forums for professionals in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and regulatory industries around the world has opened an office in China’s capital.

The Drug Information Association said the new regional office would add another dimension to its global operations. DIA has headquarters in Horsham, Pa., and regional offices in Basel, Switzerland, Mumbai, India, and Tokyo.

“China’s pharmaceutical industry has become a major force in drug discovery and development,” DIA acting worldwide executive director William Brassington said in a statement. “As the premier provider of neutral global forums for the exchange of information, education and training, it is imperative that we solidify our presence in the region.”

DIA established the Provisional Advisory Council of China in May, and the council will continue to provide support and oversight for DIA’s presence in the country.

“An influx of Western-trained scientists and increased access to global markets are extending the development opportunities available in China,” DIA board member and pACC chairman Su Ling said. “DIA’s presence in China will certainly contribute to meeting the enormous needs in training, education and information sharing and exchange in global drug development and access to new medicines.”

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FDA grants conditional approval to generic version of Wyeth’s Effexor

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH The Food and Drug Administration has given tentative approval to a generic version of Wyeth Pharmaceutical’s Effexor XR, an antidepressant.

Mylan announced the FDA decision Monday for its version of the drug, known generically as venlafaxine hydrochloride. Mylan plans to sell the extended-release capsules in 37.5 mg, 75 mg and 150 mg formulations.

The branded version of the drug had sales of $3 billion during the 12 months ending Sept. 30, according to IMS Health.

 

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Interpol seizes more than $6 million in counterfeit prescription drugs in Asia

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK More than $6 million in counterfeit drugs were seized in an international Interpol sting as part of an investigation lasting five months.

The bust, called Operation Storm, netted $6.65 million in counterfeits of drugs for malaria, HIV and tuberculosis in Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and China.

The international law-enforcement agency arrested 27 people in the sting.

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