PHARMACY

FTC approves Watson-Actavis merger

BY Rebecca Haughey

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – The Federal Trade Commission has voted to approve Watson Pharmaceutical’s acquisition of Switzerland-based generic drug maker Actavis.

The unanimous vote in support of the merger follows Watson’s agreement to divest a number of marketed and pipeline products to Par Pharmaceutical and Sandoz as a condition to obtaining FTC approval.

The parties have now obtained all regulatory approvals required to close the transaction, and expect to complete the acquisition in late October or early November. The acquisition is expected to create the world’s third-largest generic drug maker; Actavis operates in more than 40 countries and markets more than 1,000 products.

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Kerr rolls out new pharmacy app

BY Barbara White-Sax

RALEIGH, N.C. — Kerr Drug has broadened its services with a new mobile pharmacy application.

Powered by mscripts, the solution enables Kerr Drug customers to refill prescriptions, and receive pickup and dosage reminders through the convenience of their mobile phones. Smartphone users can access the store locator, weekly specials and do a quick refill by scanning the QR code on prescription bottles. A text messaging option for non-smartphone users enables patients to receive many of the same benefits.

The new app and its mobile website, m.kerrdrug.com, operate on a secure network created by San Francisco-based mscripts, a leader in mobile pharmacy solutions. The easy-to-use app is available as a free download through Apple iTunes, the Android Market, Blackberry App World or KerrDrug.com.

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Par to acquire 14 generics

BY Barbara White-Sax

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Par Pharmaceutical Cos. has entered into agreements with Watson Pharmaceuticals and Actavis to purchase five generic products currently marketed in the United States by Watson or Actavis, eight abbreviated new drug applications currently awaiting regulatory approval, and a generic product in late-stage development.

The five currently marketed products covered by the acquisition include morphine sulfate extended-release capsules, the generic version of Kadian; fentanyl transdermal system CII, the generic equivalent of Duragesic; nifedipine extended-release tablets, the generic version of Adalat CC; diltiazem hydrochloride extended-release capsules, the generic equivalent of Cardizem CD; and metoclopramide hydrochloride tablets, the generic version of Reglan.

The purchase of the products is contingent on the closing of Watson’s acquisition of Actavis. Par expects to begin shipping these products to the trade immediately following the purchase.

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