PHARMACY

HDA board elects Cardinal Health’s Giacomin chairman

BY David Salazar
ARLINGTON, Va. — Cardinal Health’s pharmaceutical segment CEO Jon Giacomin has a new role on the board of directors for the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA). HDA’s board elected Giacomin to the position of chairman at its annual board and membership meeting and announced the change Monday. 
 
Giacomin had served as the board’s vice-chairman since November 2014, and takes over the chairmanship from Dakota Drug president and CEO Ted Scherr, who was elected to the position in September 2014. Scherr will remain on HDA’s executive committee and the vice-chairmanship will be taken over by H.D. Smith Holding Co. chairman and CEO Henry Dale Smith, Jr., who was recently recognized with the Nexus Award for Lifetime Achievement. 
 
“During his two years as chairman, [Scherr] helped lead us through the launch of our new brand identity, the passage of S. 483 and an increased global presence, and leaves us well-positioned for the future.” HDA president and CEO John Gray said. “I look forward to working closely with Jon and Dale as they assume their new leadership positions. Together with our board of directors, we will continue to support the important work of our members based on our core values of collaboration and supply chain leadership.”   
 
HAD also announced new board and executive committee members. The new executive committee members are Burlington Drug Co. VP Maria Burns and Value Drug Co. president Greg Drew. New board members are Miami-Luken president and CEO Michael Faul; Smith Drug president Jeff Foreman; Mutual Wholesale Drug Co. CEO Hal Harrison; Seacoast Medical CEO David MacFarlane; and Keith Patek, Prodigy Health Supplier Corp.’s VP corporate strategy and development. 
 
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PHARMACY

Pfizer decides against splitting Essential Health, Innovative Health divisions

BY David Salazar
NEW YORK — After a period of evaluation, Pfizer announced Monday that its board of directors and executive leadership team had decided not to split the company into two separate companies, Pfizer Innovative Health and Pfizer Essential Health. The two will remain separately managed units within Pfizer. 
 
“We believe that by operating two separate and autonomous units within Pfizer we are already accessing many of the potential benefits of a split — sharper focus, increased accountability, and a greater sense of urgency — while also retaining the operational strength, efficiency and financial flexibility of operating as a single company as compared with operating as two, separate publicly traded companies,” Pfizer chairman and CEO Ian Read said. “We will continue to generate the financial information necessary to preserve our option to split our businesses should factors materially change at some point in the future.”
 
The company evaluated the performance of both businesses, and they both demonstrated the ability to compete on a standalone basis, but according to Pfizer EVP business operations and CFO Frank D’Amelio, “In our analysis, we concluded that splitting into two companies at this time would not enhance the cash flow generation and competitive positioning of the businesses and the operational disruption, increased costs of a split and inability to realize any incremental tax efficiencies would likely be value destructive.”
 
Instead, Pfizer said it’s poised to grow the both the Innovative Health and Essential Health Business, and over the past years has improved the Essential Health business’s research and development capability, among other efforts to maximize its R&D investments’ value. Since 2010, Pfizer has received 20 new drug approvals. 
 
Similarly, the company said its Essential Health division has been strengthened by the completed acquisition of Anacor and its pending Medivation acquisition. This division was also bolstered by acquisitions of Hospira and Innopharma, as well as the pending acquisition of AstraZeneca’s small molecule anti-infectives business. 
 
Pfizer said that since 2010, it has captured approximately $32 billion from the disposition of its Capsugel and Pfizer Nutrition businesses, and its Animal Health business spinoff’s IPO and share exchange returned $88.1 billion to shareholders. The company said it will more fully allocate indirect expenses for each of the two business by including estimates of the dollar value of these expenses, starting with quarterly financials for Q1 2017. 
 
Read said this course of action “is currently the best structure to continue to deliver on our commitments to patients, physicians, payers and governments, and to drive value for our shareholders.”
 
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Ajanta launches generic Zegerid

BY David Salazar
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Ajanta Pharma on Monday launched its generic of Zegerid (omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate) powder for oral suspension. The drug is indicated to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers and inflammation of the esophagus. 
 
Ajanta’s generic with be available in 20- and 40-mg omeprazole/1680-mg sodium bicarbonate dosage strengths. 
 
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