PHARMACY

Mylan launches generic Paxil CR

BY Drew Buono

PITTSBURGH Mylan today began launching its new drug, paroxetine hydrochloride extended-release tablets, the generic of GlaxoSmithKline’s Paxil CR.

The company now has 180 days of market exclusivity for the two of the drug’s strengths, 12.5 and 25 mgs. Mylan and GSK have also reached a supply and distribution deal that will allow Mylan to market the 37.5 strength as well.

“As another first-to-file opportunity, paroxetine HCl ER reflects Mylan’s continued dynamic speed-to-market capabilities,” says Robert Coury, Mylan’s vice chairman and chief executive officer. “Because this product also belongs in the ‘difficult- to-manufacture’ category, it is yet another example of our historically strong research and development process, through which we’re able to deliver affordable versions of important complex therapies. Our settlement with GSK is consistent with our commitment to monetize opportunities when it benefits both patients and our shareholders.”

Paxil CR had sales in the U.S. of about $301 million for the 12 months ending March 31, 2008, for all three strengths.

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Sanofi-Aventis, Debiopharm sue W.C. Heraeus over Eloxatin patent

BY Drew Buono

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. Sanofi-Aventis and Debiopharm have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against W.C. Heraeus, in which they accuse the company of helping generic drug makers infringe a patent on their active ingredient for the colorectal cancer drug Eloxatin.

In the suit, the plaintiffs claim that Heraeus manufactured the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Eloxatin for Mayne Pharma, Sandoz and Ebewe Pharma. The three companies independently submitted applications to sell generic versions of the drug before the 2013 expiration of the ‘874 patent.

Sanofi and Debiopharm have asked the court to issue a permanent injunction restraining Heraeus and its officers from selling and importing generic oxaliplatin products claimed in the patent into the U.S.

Currently, there are no FDA-approved generic versions of the drug, which had worldwide sales of $2.35 billion in 2007, according to Sanofi.

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FutureScripts launches new Web site

BY Drew Buono

PHILADELPHIA FutureScripts, a pharmacy benefit manager in Philadelphia, has unveiled a new website, www.futurescripts.com. The website is a tool for plan participants, health care professionals and benefit managers to help find key information about the drugs on FutureScripts’ formulary, how safe prescribing procedures work and much more.

“The new website allows our customers to find vital information about their medications—whether a drug is available as a generic and what that drug costs compared to similar medications,” said Paul Urick, senior vice president of FutureScripts. “Our website also provides health care professionals and plan participants the latest updates on the drugs on our formulary.”

Through the site, plan participants can find a participating pharmacy within the FutureScripts’ national network of more than 60,000 retail and specialty locations by ZIP code search or by entering a pharmacy name benefit managers can read about the latest pharmacy trends through the online FutureScripts InSight newsletter. The frequently asked questions section features the most common inquiries received by FutureScripts, ranging from ‘What is a 96-hour temporary supply?’ to ‘How do I request an exception to an age, gender, or quantity limit?’

“Overall, our new site was designed to service the needs of our customers and was developed in response to their suggestions,” said Urick. “We expect to further enhance and customize our website to fit the evolving needs of plan participants, employers, health care providers, and pharmacists.”

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