PHARMACY

Exclusivity loss, foreign exchange reduce Pfizer Q1 revenues

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer reported revenues of nearly $11 billion and said its acquisition of Wyeth remained on track in its first quarter 2009 financial report Tuesday.

Revenues for the quarter were $10.9 billion, including $5 billion in the United States and $5.9 billion elsewhere, an 8% decrease compared to first quarter 2008, the company said. Foreign exchange rates negatively affected revenues by $640 million.

Other factors that had a negative affect on revenue growth were the loss of U.S. market exclusivity for the allergy drug Zyrtec (cetirizine hydrochloride) and the cancer drug Camptosar (irinotecan) in January and February 2008, respectively. Revenue from the cholesterol drug Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) also declined, as did those of the anti-smoking drug Chantix (varenicline), due to label changes.

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FDA, SAMHSA to develop education campaign for methadone

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. A drug used to treat pain and heroin addiction is one of the most-abused prescription drugs in the country, but two government agencies will collaborate to educate the public on how to use it safety.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced Monday that they would launch a joint education campaign within SAMHSA about the safe use of methadone.

The agencies will hold a press conference Tuesday morning to mark the launch of the program.

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Decision Resources releases bipolar depression report

BY Alaric DeArment

WALTHAM, Mass. Psychiatrists treating patients with bipolar depression base their prescribing decisions on a therapy’s effect on decrease in severity of depressive symptoms, a report released Monday has found.

Decision Resources’ report, “Bipolar Depression: Despite Negative Results, Physicians Still Hopeful About Aripiprazole,” based on a survey of psychiatrists in the United States and Europe, also found that an orally administered drug that carries a lower risk of weight gain than AstraZeneca’s Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) would earn a 21% patient share in bipolar depression in the United States and a 30% share in Europe.

Most of the people interviewed also thought that Abilify (aripiprazole), made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, is an efficacious therapy for bipolar depression despite its failure in clinical trials of people with the disorder.

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