PHARMACY

Endo Health Solutions to buy Paladin Labs

BY Alaric DeArment

MALVERN, Pa. — Endo Health Solutions will acquire Canadian drug maker Paladin Labs for $1.6 billion, mostly in shares of stock, Endo said Tuesday.

Endo said the acquisition would accelerate its efforts to become a global specialty healthcare company, given Paladin’s Canadian business, drug pipeline and business in emerging markets. Paladin, based in Montreal, specializes in drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, pain, urology and allergies and owns controlling and majority stakes in Mexico-based Laboratorios Paladin and South Africa-based Litha Healthcare Group.

"The acquisition of Paladin Labs accelerates Endo’s transformation from an integrated health solutions company to a top-tier global specialty healthcare leader," Endo president and CEO Rajiv De Silva said. "Together with our sharpened focus, lean operating model and improved execution within our core businesses, strategic acquisitions will continue to play a key role in maximizing our growth potential and cash flow generation to drive future value for Endo shareholders."

As part of the deal, a new holding company based in Ireland, called New Endo, is being created, led by Endo’s current management team. Paladin Labs will continue under its current name and maintain its Montreal headquarters.

 

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PHARMACY

Study finds similar patient responses between branded arthritis treatment, Hospira biosimilar

BY Alaric DeArment

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — A recently released clinical trial has found that patients taking a biotech drug for arthritis and those taking a biosimilar version had similar responses to both treatments.

Hospira announced the results of two extension studies of Inflectra (infliximab), its biosimilar version of Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, at the American College of Rheumatology and Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals joint annual meeting in San Diego. The rheumatoid arthritis study included 302 patients, out of the 455 who had completed a previous clinical trial, while the ankylosing spondylitis study included 174 patients from a previous 210-patient trial.

In each study, participants were divided roughly in half, with one group receiving Inflectra continuously and one switching from Remicade to Inflectra. Patients in both studies showed similar responses in terms of efficacy and safety, whether they took Inflectra only or switched to it.

"We’re very pleased with the findings of the two-year extension studies," Hospira corporate VP and chief medical officer Stan Bukofzer said. "We are committed to continuing to build on our biosimilars experience."

Inflectra, which Hospira also refers to as CT-P13, was approved in the European Union in September, though it is not approved in the United States. A provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act included an abbreviated regulatory approval pathway for biosimilars, though Food and Drug Administration regulations have not yet been finalized. Biosimilars are expected to reach the U.S. market in the middle of the decade.

 

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Walgreens generates October sales of $6.4 billion with a 5.8% same-store sales lift

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday posted October sales of $6.4 billion, an increase of 6.1%. Sales in comparable stores increased by 5.8% in October. 

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 5.7% in October and increased 6.2% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. This year’s October had one additional Thursday and one fewer Monday compared with October 2012. These calendar shifts negatively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 50 basis points.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores also were positively impacted by 110 basis points due to more flu shots versus last year and were negatively impacted by 20 basis points due to lower incidence of flu in this year’s October.

October pharmacy sales increased by 7.8%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 7.9% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 8.4%. Calendar day-shift adjusted comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 100 basis points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, and were positively impacted by 70 basis points due to more flu shots versus last year. Pharmacy sales accounted for 65.5% of total sales for the month.

Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season to date were more than 4.9 million versus nearly 3.6 million last year.

Total front-end sales increased 3.5% compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2.3%. Customer traffic in comparable stores increased 0.6% while basket size increased 1.7%.

Calendar 2013 sales to date were $60.5 billion, an increase of 4.3%.

Fiscal 2014 year-to-date sales for the first two months were $12.3 billion, up 7%.

Walgreens opened 14 stores during October, including four relocations, and closed two.

 

 

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