PHARMACY

McKesson plans program to aid in pharmacy ownership

BY Drew Buono

LAS VEGAS McKesson has announced that it will launch a pharmacy ownership transfer program, for independent pharmacy owners. The McKesson RxOwnership program will provide independents with the information, business resources and confidential consulting services they need to buy or sell an independent pharmacy.

As part of this new program, McKesson will also offer an RxOwnership Web site, which will serve as resource for buyers, sellers and students interested in a career in independent pharmacy.

Through McKesson’s Rx Ownership program, independent pharmacy owners, regardless of whether they are a McKesson customer—can confidentially speak with an expert advisor to identify potential buyers or sellers, create a plan for buying or selling their pharmacy, access step-by-step ownership transfer guides, evaluate financing options and learn about additional business resources.

Additionally, McKesson announced the appointment of Bob Graul, a long-time independent pharmacy owner, to the newly created role of ownership consultant. In this role, Graul will be responsible for the overall strategy, coordination and implementation of McKesson’s RxOwnership program—a position in which he will work directly with independent pharmacists to identify and address their ownership transfer goals.

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Jerini acquired by Shire in $554 million deal

BY Drew Buono

BASINGSTOKE, England Shire has agreed to buy Jerini in a deal worth $554 million cash, according to published reports. The deal will add Jerini’s new drug aimed at treating hereditary angiodema.

The drug Firazyr will enter the European market this year and is expected to generate as much as $400 million annually. The Food and Drug Administration rejected the product back in April, because the agency questioned the efficacy of the medicine. Both companies will now work on answering the questions posed by the FDA.

“It is highly likely that this is reparable in the United States,” Sylvie Gregoire, head of Shire’s human-genetics unit, said on a conference call. “Based on the fact that the European Union found that the product already works, there has to be a path forward to find sufficient evidence and analysis to approve the product.”

A late-stage test of Firazyr that failed to show a clear benefit versus a placebo “went in the same direction” as another trial that met its main goals, Gregoire said. She declined to be more specific on the FDA’s requirements. A response will be filed with the FDA within four months, the companies said.

Shire is hoping this deal will help with sales as it trying to make up for losses it will encounter next year when its best-selling drug, the hyperactivity drug Adderall XR will lose patent protection. The drug had sales last year of $1.03 billion or just about half of Shire’s total sales for the year.

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Mylan gets tentative FDA approval for generic Zyvox tablets

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH The Food and Drug Administration has granted tentative approval to Mylan Pharmaceuticals’ application for 600 mg linezolid tablets.

The tablets are a generic version of Upjohn’s Zyvox antibiotic tablets, which had sales of about $422 million for the 12 months ended March 31, according to IMS Health data.

Mylan has 93 applications awaiting FDA approval, including 21 that may have first-to-file opportunities.

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