Reports: Novartis launches new ad campaign aimed at young adults
NEW YORK — Novartis is promoting the multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya to young people with a new ad campaign in several national magazine’s and websites, according to published reports.
The New York Times reported that the Swiss drug maker had placed ads for its "Hey MS, Take This!" campaign in People, Shape and Self, as well as the website of women’s magazines, in addition to online videos. The generic name of Gilenya is fingolimod.
The ads feature images of several young people in their 20s and 30s sticking their tongues out to show white pills. The newspaper quoted a Novartis executive as saying that many people are now being diagnosed with the disease in their 20s and 30s and that early treatment has the strongest effect.
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Valeant earnings per share could take hit in 2013 from herpes ointment generic
MONTREAL — The Food and Drug Administration approval this week of a generic genital herpes ointment made by Mylan could make a slight dent in the stock price of the company that makes the branded version.
Canada-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said that while it expected Mylan to receive approval for a generic version of Zovirax (acyclovir) ointment, it did not include the approval in its original budget expectations and thus expected its earnings per share in fiscal year 2013 to be reduced by 30 to 40 cents.
"But there are other actions, such as several product acquisitions, the replacing of our term loan debt and continued operational performance that have occurred since we provided financial guidance in January, and we believe that these activities will mitigate the impact of the generalization of Zovirax ointment," Valeant chairman and CEO J. Michael Pearson said. "We continue to expect once again to deliver outstanding performance in 2013, and we will provide an update to our 2013 guidance on our first quarter financial results conference call in May."
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Florida Senate committee passes biosimilar bill
WASHINGTON — A committee of Florida’s state Senate has passed a bill that could limit the use of biosimilars in the state.
The Florida Senate Committee on Health Policy passed S.B. 732, sending it to the full state senate. The legislation would require pharmacists to inform doctors when a follow-on biologic was substituted for a brand-name biotech drug. The bill is similar to one signed into law last month by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Like the Virginia law, the bill in Florida has a five-year sunset clause stating it will expire in July of the fifth year after the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a follow-on biologic as interchangeable with a branded biologic.
The legislation received support from the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a Washington-based trade group representing biotech companies.
"Biosimilars are not generics. Even slight changes to a biologic drug can change its properties entirely. Unlike conventional generic medicines, biosimilars are not the same as the drugs they seek to substitute. In fact, two biologics made using different cell lines and different manufacturing processes will rarely, if ever, be exactly the same, hence the name ‘biosimilar,’" a statement from BIO in response to the legislation read.