PHARMACY

Amneal taps former Teva CEO to head up commercial ops

BY Michael Johnsen

Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Impax Laboratories on Tuesday announced that Andrew Boyer, 52, has joined Amneal as executive vice president, commercial operations and is expected to serve in the same capacity for the new Amneal following the consummation of the combination of Amneal with Impax. Boyer most recently served as president and CEO of North America Generics, Teva Pharmaceuticals.

“We are pleased that Andy has joined Amneal and will be leading our commercial organization,” Chirag Patel, co-CEO and chairman, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, said. “Andy is an accomplished executive with more than 20 years of pharmaceutical experience architecting commercial strategies designed to capitalize on changing customer needs and market opportunities. His addition further enhances our current leadership team as well as the proposed leadership team for the new Amneal.”

Boyer will work closely with Chirag and Chintu Patel, Amneal’s current co-CEOs, and Rob Stewart, president of Amneal and the future CEO of the new Amneal, headquartered in Bridgewater, N.J., to further enhance its business in preparation for the pending combination with Impax, which is currently expected to occur in the first half of 2018.

Prior to joining Teva, Boyer was senior vice president sales and marketing for the U.S. Generics Division at Allergan since September of 2006. Boyer joined Allergan in 1998 as associate director marketing in generics. Before joining Allergan, Boyer served as national accounts manager for Lederle/American Cyanamid as well as marketing manager for Barr Laboratories.

Boyer received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from State University of New York at Albany.

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amneal generic concerta
PHARMACY

Amneal launches generic Concerta

BY David Salazar

Amneal Pharmaceuticals has introduced its generic Concerta (methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release) tablets. The drug is indicated to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder as part of a total treatment program.

“We are extremely pleased to add our methylphenidate to the list of therapeutically equivalent generics for Concerta,” Jim Luce, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Brdigewater, N.J.-based Amneal, said. “The entrance of another AB-rated option adds to the choices provided to patients, prescribers and payers beyond non-substitutable BX-rated products and the brand.”

Amneal’s generic Concerta has begun shipping and is available in 18-, 27-, 36- and 54-mg dosage strengths, all of which are available in 90-count bottles, with 30-count bottles also available.

The product had a U.S. market size of $1.5 billion for the 12 months ended December 2017, according to IQVIA data.

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PHARMACY

Is billing chilling biosimilar adoption?

BY Jim Frederick

The biosimilars wave is here. The lower-cost versions of such pricy biologic drugs as Humira and Remicade are set to bring serious savings in the coming years, as long as they can clear hurdles that trade groups and manufacturers have identified.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores recently noted that branded biologic drugs could cost the U.S. healthcare system $120 billion by 2024, based on projections from Express Scripts. But a 2017 Rand report found $54 billion in potential savings from biosimilars in the next 10 years.

With the selling point of biosimilars being their lower price than an origin drug — they are roughly 10% to 15% less expensive than a biologic — a big part of biosimilar adoption is getting them reimbursed properly. The Association for Accessible Medicines and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores are lobbying Congress and the White House for a change in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ policy on reimbursement for biosimilar medicines. Such a change, AAM reported, also could yield significant savings to U.S. taxpayers.

“CMS currently groups all biosimilars of a reference biologic under a single billing code and payment rate,” the group noted recently. “A variety of stakeholders have raised concerns that this policy undermines patient access to affordable biosimilar medicines and stifles the creation of a robust biosimilars market.”

Sheila Frame, vice president and head of North American biopharmaceuticals at Sandoz, maker of the first FDA-approved biosimilar Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz) recently highlighted the need for proper reimbursement for biosimilars.

“Unique reimbursement codes are necessary to foster a competitive marketplace and support direct and indirect cost savings that will make our health system more sustainable,” she said.

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