PHARMACY

Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim agree to asset swap

BY Gina Acosta

PARIS and INGELHEIM, Germany — Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim have agreed to a $25.1 billion asset swap, in which Sanofi will trade its Merial animal-health business for Boehringer’s consumer-health operation.

The agreement marks a major milestone before closing of the transaction, which is expected by year end and remains subject to approval by all regulatory authorities in different territories. The integration of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Consumer Healthcare business into Sanofi and Merial into Boehringer Ingelheim would start after closing.

“This is a win for Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi alike. Moreover, it is one of the most significant steps in our corporate history," said Andreas Barner, chairman of the board of Boehringer Ingelheim. "It demonstrates the consistent orientation of our business towards innovation-driven sectors. As a research based pharmaceutical company, we will substantially enhance our position in the future market for Animal Health and will prospectively be one of the largest global players in this segment. The similarity in culture and approaches of BI and Sanofi will ensure that the businesses acquired by the other partner will develop well in the future.”

The swap lays the foundation for both companies to reach size and scale in two highly attractive pharmaceutical activities. Combining Merial and Boehringer Ingelheim’s complementary portfolios and technology platforms in anti-parasitics, vaccines and pharmaceutical specialties would put the combined company into a more competitive position in the key growth segments of the industry and bring more value and innovation to customers globally.

 

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PHARMACY

AMCP launches biosimilars resource center online

BY Gina Acosta

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy is launching a new resource for pharmacists, physicians, nurses and other health care providers.

The Biosimilars Resource Center is a policy-neutral repository of educational resources and information on biosimilars that was developed in partnership with leading national pharmacy organizations and can be accessed at biosimilarsresourcecenter.org.

"Biosimilars are new to the U.S. market, and many health care professionals are still unfamiliar with their potential to improve patient care and lower costs," says AMCP CEO Susan A. Cantrell, RPh, CAE. "We understand that providers will have many questions about biosimilars, so we are committed to making BRC a comprehensive, one-stop resource for unbiased, up-to-date information on these products."

The BRC website will provide a comprehensive range of educational and resource materials aimed at pharmacists, physicians and other providers, including frequently asked questions, whitepapers, web-based educational seminars, continuing education programs and journal articles. The site will be continually updated as the latest information, laws and regulations become available.

Biosimilars are less expensive versions of originator biological therapies that have made remarkable progress in treating debilitating diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Biosimilars have been available in Europe for more than 10 years and only recently introduced in the U.S. market.

"Our initiative to educate U.S. health care providers about the benefits of biosimilars will be critical in ensuring that the therapies become widely adopted and utilized in a safe and effective manner," Cantrell says. "AMCP is proud to take the lead in this effort."

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CHPA case study explores teen abuse of dextromethorphan

BY Gina Acosta

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association has published a case study regarding efforts to curb teen abuse of over-the-counter cough medicine containing dextromethorphan. 

The paper, “Dextromethorphan: a case study on addressing abuse of a safe and effective drug,” was published in Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, an open access, peer-reviewed journal that encompasses research concerning substance abuse, with a focus on policy issues.

The case study provides an overview of the targeted abuse mitigation plan CHPA launched in 2010 to address levers influencing teen decisions. As noted in the case study, the annual prevalence of OTC cough medicine abuse has sharply decreased since 2010 and remains at an all-time low of approximately 3 percent of U.S. teens. The case study examines the development, implementation, and outcomes of CHPA’s efforts to raise parental awareness of the behavior, increase teen perception of risk and social disapproval, and to limit teen access to the products.

“While we cannot point to one specific effort and say, ‘This is the action that drove down abuse,’ CHPA and our member companies have been disciplined in executing a program that is grounded in research and utilizes tools to ensure our strategies and specific messages were effective,” CHPA Senior Vice President, Policy, and General Counsel & Secretary David Spangler said. “We hope that this case study demonstrates how targeted and less disruptive interventions can be effective when trying to reach teens on niche issues such as dextromethorphan abuse and that the learnings we gained will be beneficial for other groups who are working to positively influence teen behavior.”

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