PHARMACY

Industry veteran Webb joins McKesson Specialty

BY Jim Frederick

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. McKesson Corp. has promoted e-commerce and health industry veteran Kenneth Webb to vice president of operations, reimbursement and access services at its McKesson Specialty division.

Webb, who previously served as vice president in charge of customer experience at McKesson Pharmaceutical, will oversee the 500-plus-seat solutions center and reimbursement operations. His chief mission, according to McKesson: “to further the company’s expansion in the specialty pharmaceuticals market, the fastest-growing pharmaceutical market segment.”

Over a 17-year career with such firms as McKesson and Baxter International, Webb has gained plaudits for developing processes to boost cash flow, work strategies and customer satisfaction, McKesson reported. As VP of global customer experience at Baxter, he led the development and rollout of global programs like “Voice of the Customer” and Baxter’s e-commerce infrastructure, netting a 36 percent increase in U.S. online ordering revenue for the health product manufacturing giant.

Long a champion of e-commerce, Webb also served on the product council of the Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX) and co-chaired the utilization task force.

“Ken’s ability to streamline operations and increase productivity is matched by his proven success in improving satisfaction levels among customers and employees alike,” said McKesson Specialty president Pat Blake. “As an innovative leader in customer service and management methodology, his addition to our team combined with the recent appointment of Heather Morel as the new vice president and general manager of the division, reinforces our commitment to growth and advances our efforts to continually improve our customers’ experience.”

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Celgene sees year-to-year revenue increase of more than 50 percent

BY Drew Buono

WARREN, N.J. Celgene’s revenue increased by more than 50 percent in 2007 as compared to 2006. The growth was due to sales of its cancer drug Revlimid.

Revlimid is used in combination with the corticosteroid dexamethasone to treat multiple myeloma patients who have received at least one prior therapy. Net sales of the drug increased more than 140 percent in 2007 to nearly $775 million.

The company also reported good sales results for its skin disease treatment drug Thalomid, the chemotherapy drug Alkeran and the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs Focalin XR and Ritalin and the Ritalin family of products.

The company expects revenue to increase more than 30 percent this year to approximately $1.8 billion and adjusted diluted earnings per share to increase approximately 45 percent up to $1.55.

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Valeant divests Infergen rights to Three Rivers

BY Drew Buono

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has completed its divestment of the rights to its hepatitis C drug Infergen in the U.S. and Canada to Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals.

Under the terms of the agreement, Valeant received from Three Rivers an initial payment of about $70.8 million in cash and will receive up to $20.5 million in two noncontingent payments over the next 18 months.

The company had been looking to sell the drug since the third quarter of 2007 due to poor sales.

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