PHARMACY

Hi-Tech Pharmacal acquires rights to branded drugs

BY Allison Cerra

AMITYVILLE, N.Y. — Generic drug maker Hi-Tech Pharmacal said that it has acquired marketing and distribution rights to pain treatments made by Atley Pharmaceuticals.

Hi-Tech, which paid $3.6 million in cash for rights to the products and inventory, said some of Atley’s drugs already have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, while others were pending approval. The company didn’t say which products it was acquiring the rights to, but noted that Hi-Tech subsidiary ECR Pharmaceuticals will produce and promote the products.

"We are pleased to add these branded prescription products to our product portfolio," Hi-Tech president and CEO David Seltzer said. "We believe the acquisition of these products creates an excellent synergy with ECR’s current product line and provides additional therapeutic options to help primary care physicians and their patients address problems with pain."

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AstraZeneca, BMS say late-stage trial of Onglyza met primary endpoint

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO — A cobranded Type 2 diabetes treatment may help reduce blood-sugar levels among patients when combined with insulin (with or without metformin), according to a late-stage clinical trial.

AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb said that when Onglyza (saxagliptin) in the 5-mg strength was combined with insulin (with or without metformin), patients saw significantly lower HbA1C levels by an average of about 0.73% by the end of the phase-3 trial, compared with a placebo-insulin (with or without metformin) combination.

Conducted over a period of 24 weeks, the multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study included 455 Type 2 diabetes patients between the ages of 18 years and 78 years. All of the patients enrolled in the study were diagnosed as having inadequate glycemic control, AstraZeneca and BMS said.

The data was presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 71st annual Scientific Sessions in San Diego.

“Type 2 diabetes is a chronic, progressive disease, and many patients who require insulin may need to increase their dosage over time to help control their blood-sugar levels,” said Bernard Charbonnel, professor of endocrinology and metabolic diseases at the University of Nantes, France, and principal investigator of the study. “The study showed that Onglyza 5 mg used with insulin helped improve HbA1C in these adult patients with Type 2 diabetes.”

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Report: Some branded diabetes drug prices at Walmart, Kmart rise at fast rate

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Prices for the top 10 most prescribed branded diabetes drugs have risen faster at Walmart and Kmart than at other retailers, according to a published report.

Citing a recent study by researchers at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, Reuters reported that Walmart raised prices for branded diabetes drugs by 32% between 2008 and 2010, compared with 21% for the industry as a whole — including independent and chain retail pharmacies and mail-order companies. Kmart raised prices by 35%.

Walmart has long been considered an innovator for its $4 generics program, introduced in 2006, which since has become almost standard practice for retailers around the country. The study also found that generic drug prices fell by 58% over the two-year period, while branded drug prices increased by 113%.

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