PHARMACY

Pfizer plans to grow business through partnerships

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer’s head of research and development told drug company executives at a conference in San Francisco Tuesday that the drug maker hopes to bolster its drug pipeline through partnerships with other companies, particularly in biotechnology and vaccines, according to published reports.

Martin MacKay said the company is looking to invest in drug-development platform technologies.

Earlier this month, Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler told The Financial Times the company would also seek to buy other drug companies, which some speculated to mean a big competitor such as Bristol-Myers Squibb or Gilead Sciences.

Like other large drug companies, Pfizer has had to adapt to competition from generic drug makers as many of its drugs lose patent protection.

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Assurant Health announces benefits partnership with Take Care

BY Antoinette Alexander

MILWAUKEE Assurant Health has announced that its health plan members can now receive in-network benefits at all Take Care Clinics.

With the addition of the 322 Take Care Clinics, which are located within Walgreens stores, Assurant Health customers with Individual Medical, Short Term Medical and Real Choices Small Group plans have access to more than 800 retail health clinics throughout the United States.

“This agreement is part of our continuing commitment to give our customers more choices and convenient access to affordable health care options,” said Scott Krienke, SVP of product lines for Assurant Health.

Added Peter Miller, president and CEO of Take Care Health Systems, “Our goal is to provide access to care to as many individuals as possible. Partnering with companies like Assurant Health allows us to offer our model of care to more individuals across the country, and this national contract sets the stage for continued coverage as we expand our model to new markets and states.”

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FDA approves generic version of Medicis’ Loprox

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of Medicis’ Loprox, FDA records show.

The agency approved Paddock’s ciclopirox gel in the 0.77 percent strength on Jan. 7. The gel is used to treat seborrheic dermatitis.

Medicis’ non-acne skin medicines had sales of $173 million in 2007, according to Medicis financial data, which did not list separate figures for Loprox. Nycomed also makes a generic version of the 0.77 formulation, while Medicis continues to market the 1 percent formulation.

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