PHARMACY

Ranbaxy 3Q sales up 9 percent in North America

BY Alaric DeArment

GURGAON, India Ranbaxy Labs released its financial results for third quarter 2008 Friday, reporting growth in emerging and developing markets.

The Gurgaon, India-based generic drug maker reported consolidated net sales of $431 million for the quarter, with sales in developed countries growing by 9 percent over third quarter 2007, to $162 million, and accounting for 38 percent of total sales. Sales for North America grew by 9.2 percent, to $102.4 million.

Sales in emerging markets grew by 20 percent, accounting for 56 percent of total sales, at $243 million.

The report highlighted developments such as Daiichi SankyoIs purchase of a majority stake in the company and the Food and Drug AdministrationIs two warning letters and import alert concerning manufacturing problems at RanbaxyIs plants in Dewas and Poanta Sahib, India.

The company also said it had made ngood progressi in its research on development of branded drug compounds, including the Drug Controller General of IndiaIs approval of phase 3 clinical trials of arterolane maleate and piperaquine phosphate, a malaria treatment. Ranbaxy will conduct the trials in Africa and Asia, pending regulatory approval.

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FDA approves Treanda for treatment of Hodgkin’s disease

BY Alaric DeArment

FRAZER, Pa. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for treating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the drug’s manufacturer announced Monday.

Cephalon announced the agency’s approval of its drug Treanda (bendamustine hydrochloride), an injection for treating indolent B-cell NHL that has progressed up to six months following treatment with Rituxan (rituximab), made by Genentech and Biogen Idec, or a drug regimen that includes Rituxan.

Indolent NHL is a cancer of the lymphatic system that is not curable and often relapses after initial therapy. It affects about 30,000 people in the United States each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“Because most patients with indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma eventually become resistant to existing treatments, new treatment options like Treanda are needed to improve patient outcome,” Georgetown University medicine professor and Treanda clinical investigator Bruce Cheson said in a statement.

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PharmaSmart to grow its blood pressure management systems in U.S. market

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. PharmaSmart International announced last week its intent to penetrate the U.S. market with its blood-pressure management program that has already enjoyed acceptance in the Canadian marketplace, boasting 75 percent penetration.

“Our goal as a company is to change the paradigm in community blood pressure screening,” stated Ashton Maaraba, PharmaSmart’s global vice president of sales and marketing. “We have committed significant resources to ensuring our clients execute at every level, delivering a turnkey program that delivers on the massive blood pressure management opportunity.”

Unlike existing blood pressure programs, which may primarily act as vehicles for third party advertising, PharmaSmart proposes to convert the hypertensive patient into a revenue-generating opportunity, and retain that consumer with an exclusive, pharmacy-branded BP management program, the company stated.

PharmaSmart’s blood pressure management tools and programs allow pharmacies to capitalize on the hypertension opportunity. PharmaSmart’s branded Smart Card offers pharmacists a long-term management tool for their patients that has been found to improve hypertension discovery, consultation, and prescription compliance, all significant challenges in the fight against hypertension, Maaraba noted.   

PharmaSmart’s “pharmacy first/patient first” platform seeks to augment the patient-pharmacist relationship through an education program—both point-of-sale training and continuing education—for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians around hypertension. The program includes PharmaSmart’s patented blood-pressure cuff, patient Smart Card management tool, and a patient web portal.

In Canada, PharmaSmart is present in Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal-Mart Canada, Loblaws, Le Group Jean Coutu, Safeway Canada and Calgary Coop, among other pharmacies.

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