PHARMACY

Price of Provigil increases greatly, patients encouraged to go to generic Nuvigil

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The price of Cephalon’s narcolepsy treatment Provigil has increased significantly over the past four years and is likely to keep increasing, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The price of the drug, which has increased by 28 percent in the last eight months and 74 percent in the last four years, is now $8.71 per tablet.

The drug will lose patent protection in 2012 and become open to competition by generic forms. To increase its profits, Cephalon is raising Provigil’s price while also planning to encourage patients to use Nuvigil, a cheaper formulation of the drug that lasts longer.

Provigil is known generically as modafinil.

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FDA grants conditional approval to generic version of Wyeth’s Effexor

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH The Food and Drug Administration has given tentative approval to a generic version of Wyeth Pharmaceutical’s Effexor XR, an antidepressant.

Mylan announced the FDA decision Monday for its version of the drug, known generically as venlafaxine hydrochloride. Mylan plans to sell the extended-release capsules in 37.5 mg, 75 mg and 150 mg formulations.

The branded version of the drug had sales of $3 billion during the 12 months ending Sept. 30, according to IMS Health.

 

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Interpol seizes more than $6 million in counterfeit prescription drugs in Asia

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK More than $6 million in counterfeit drugs were seized in an international Interpol sting as part of an investigation lasting five months.

The bust, called Operation Storm, netted $6.65 million in counterfeits of drugs for malaria, HIV and tuberculosis in Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and China.

The international law-enforcement agency arrested 27 people in the sting.

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