PHARMACY

FDA approves Par’s chronic pain drug

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of a chronic pain drug.

Par Pharmaceuticals announced Monday the approval of tramadol extended-release tablets in the 100-mg and 200-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of Johnson & Johnson’s Ultram ER, which has sales of $156 million per year, according to IMS Health. Ultram ER is used to treat chronic pain in adults who require around-the-clock treatment.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware ruled in August that Par could market a generic version of the drug. Par plans to begin shipping the drug immediately.

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CDC encourages diabetics to get H1N1 vaccines as part of American Diabetes Month

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA In recognition that November is American Diabetes Month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday reminded the public that diabetics have an increased risk of severe illness from any flu. And when people with diabetes get the flu, it can be more difficult for them to manage their blood sugar.

“People with diabetes account for about 12% of all of the hospitalizations we’ve seen from the H1N1 influenza virus,” said Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC. “If we focus in on adults, 19% of those people who have been hospitalized have diabetes. … One-in-4 hospitalized patients with diabetes did require intensive care unit management.”

Schuchat recommended that people with diabetes get vaccinated with H1N1 influenza vaccine as soon as they are able, and that they should receive the shot, not the nasal spray. “In this American Diabetes Month, we really remind people to take care of themselves with diabetes and get those two vaccines [H1N1 and seasonal flu], [and] to get care promptly to get antiviral medicines should they have symptoms.”

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Lilly Research Labs president set to retire in 2010

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS A top executive of Eli Lilly & Co. plans to retire, the drug maker announced Friday.

EVP science and technology and president of Lilly Research Labs Steven Paul will retire from the company, effective Feb. 28, 2010. AstraZeneca EVP and head of global discovery research Jan Lundberg will replace him.

Paul began working for Eli Lilly as VP central nervous system discovery research and decision-phase medical research in 1993. The company promoted him to group VP therapeutic area discovery research and clinical investigation in 1998, and to his current position in 2003. Before working for Eli Lilly, Paul was scientific director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

“Under Steve’s leadership, we now have the most robust pipeline in Lilly’s history, including approximately 60 unique potential medicines – both small molecules and biologics – in human testing,” Eli Lilly chairman and CEO John Lechleiter stated. “Additionally, Steve has helped to recruit many of the top leaders we have in [Lilly Research Labs] today.”

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