PHARMACY

Judge in Mircera case to consult expert

BY Drew Buono

BOSTON U.S. District Judge William Young has ordered Amgen and Roche to submit a list of names for an expert to be appointed to their trial regarding the release of Roche’s anemia drug, Mircera, in the U.S., according to published reports. The expert will recommend how to compare the dosing and pricing of both of the companies’ anemia drugs.

The companies will have 15 days to submit a list of names and then the expert will have 60 days afterward to draw a conclusion. This would push the judge’s decision back on whether or not Roche’s drug Mircera could be sold in the U.S. until at least mid-June.

Amgen is looking for a permanent injunction against Roche because it was already determined that Mircera violated patents of Amgen’s drugs Epogen and Aranesp. But Judge Young has said that it’s not in the public interest to block the drug because it can be given differently than the other drugs, and can be administered less frequently.

Both of Amgen’s drugs are expected to pull in a total of $2.9 billion next year, according to Bear Sterns.

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PHARMACY

ScriptPro robotic dispensing adopted in two Haggen locations

BY Drew Buono

BELLINGHAM, Washington Haggen Food & Pharmacy has added ScriptPro’s robotic dispensing devices to two of its stores, one in Ferndale and the other in Barkley Village, according to published reports.

The system automatically selects a prescription vial, counts tablets or capsules into the vial and labels it with patient, drug and dosing information.

“This system offers many advantages for our customers,” said Andrew Charter, vice president of pharmacy at Haggen Inc. “It is better than partially automated systems in providing accurately counted doses. Most importantly, it frees up our pharmacists to spend more time answering the questions of customers rather than counting pills or making labels.”

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Eli Lilly, Sanofi-Aventis partner to market Cialis

BY Drew Buono

BRDIGEWATER, N.J. Sanofi-Aventis has agreed to help Eli Lilly market its impotency drug Cialis, according to CNN. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Lilly gained full rights to the medicine at the beginning of 2007, when it bought the drug from ICOS for $2.3 billion.

Cialis had worldwide sales of $1.1 billion in 2007, compared with its main competitor Pfizer’s Viagra, which saw sales of $1.76 billion.

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