PHARMACY

Prescription drug abuse up, illegal drug use down among young adults

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON While use of cocaine and methamphetamine among young adults has decreased, abuse of prescription drugs has increased, according to a Thursday report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

At the same time, illegal drug use by people in their late 50s has more than doubled, to 4.1 percent last year over 2006.

SAMHSA reported that 4.6 percent of adults aged 18 to 25 had used prescription painkillers illicitly last year—12 percent more than in 2006—while about 19.9 million people aged 12 and older had used illegal drugs during the month before the study, which surveyed 67,500 people around the country.

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Teva’s Azilect slows Parkinson’s disease in trials

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Results from a Phase III clinical trial have shown that Teva Pharmaceutical’s Azilect 1-mg tablets can slow the progression of the disease, the drug maker announced.

Researchers gave 1,176 Parkinson’s disease patients daily 1- to 2-mg doses of Azilect for 18 months or a placebo for the first nine months and the drug for the second nine months.

Patients who took the 1-mg dose of Azilect showed significant improvement compared with patients in the placebo group.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Azilect in May 2006 as a monotherapy for early-stage ParkinsonOs disease and as an adjunct therapy to levodopa in moderate-to-advanced stages of the disease.

The drug, known generically as rasagiline mesylate, is available in 30 countries. Danish drug maker Lundbeck markets it in Europe, and both companies plan to co-promote it in the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

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Taro to ask for extension on Sun Pharmaceuticals’ offer

BY Alaric DeArment

TEL AVIV,, Israel Taro Pharmaceutical Industries has said it will appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court to contest a ruling in the Tel Aviv District Court regarding India-based Sun Pharmaceuticals’ offer to acquire the Israeli generic drug maker.

The District Court judge had called Taro’s demand for a tender offer from Sun disingenuous, considering Taro’s acceptance of the offer a year ago.

Taro plans to ask the Supreme Court to extend the deadline for Sun’s offer, which was Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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