PHARMACY

Nichi-Iko to acquire Sagent Pharmaceuticals

BY David Salazar
TOKYO AND SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Japanese generic drug giant Nichi-Iko will be acquiring Sagent Pharmaceuticals, the two companies announced Tuesday. The $736 million all-cash transaction will see Nichi-Iko paying about a 40% premium on the closing price of the company’s shares at closing on July 8. 
 
The move is aimed at Nichi-Iko becoming one of the top 10 global generics leaders, and the companies said acquiring Sagent will boost Nichi-Iko’s ability to commercialize its biosimilar pipeline and increase its presence in injectables. Sagent will gain access to Nicki-Iko’s manufacturing infrastructure and quality control systems. The companies said they don’t anticipate any changes to Sagent’s current  operations. 
 
“The U.S. market is a top priority for Nichi-Iko and we believe Sagent is an ideal partner to accelerate our international growth strategy,” Nichi-Iko president and CEO Yuichi Tamura said. “The company has a highly robust sales network, significant global relationships through its unique partner network, and an attractive portfolio of 55 products primarily in oncology, anti-infective, and critical care, of which 30% have a No. 1 or No. 2 market share. The combination will give us the opportunity to strengthen our international competitiveness, leverage our production capacity over a wider range of products, and accelerate development of our biosimilars business.”
 
The companies expect the deal to be complete in the second quarter of Nichi-Iko’s fiscal year, which ends in March 2017.  
 
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FDA makes big progress on GDUFA backlog

BY David Salazar
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research has achieved its goal of clearing some of the backlog under the Generic Drug User Fee Agreement, according to an email sent by CDER director Janet Woodcock. 
 
The agency has acted on more than 90% of backlogged applications for generics and prior approval supplements that were pewith FDA or industry as of Oct. 1, 2012. This puts the agency more than a year ahead of schedule, under the five-year funding period authorized by GDUFA, the FDA is required to clear the backlog by Sept. 30, 2017. 
 
“Most applications from the backlog will need to come back to FDA for additional review before approval is possible, so we still have a lot of work ahead of us,” Woodcock’s email said. “But this is a significant milestone. We are exceeding our negotiated GDUFA commitments.”
 
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Survey: Pharmacists lead pack when it comes to patient trust

BY David Salazar
WEST DES MOINE, Iowa — A new survey conducted by Meyocks has found that pharmacists are the most trusted group in the healthcare industry. According to the Meyocks Health Survey, 60% of patients trust pharmacists, 26% have a neutral opinion and 14% don’t trust them — both the highest trust rate and the lowest distrust rate among other groups in the survey. 
 
Doctors and dentists trailed pharmacists, with 56% and 51% of people saying they trusted them, respectively. Ranking lower were executives at insurance companies, who 55% of respondents said they distrust. Members of Congress fared worst in the survey, with only 9% of survey respondents saying they trusted them, with 72% expressing distrust. 
 
“In general, Americans trust the people who directly provide health care more than others in the system,” Meyocks president Doug Jeske said. “Still, these results should be another wake-up call to those in the health care industry. We live in a polarized, skeptical society, and the health industry isn’t immune to that. Americans are looking for transparency and positive actions in a time of economic and cultural uncertainty, and key members of the health care system are struggling to deliver – or to get credit for the good things they are doing.”
 
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