PHARMACY

Sen. Kennedy proposes 13.5 years of exclusivity for biotech drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Long exclusivity periods for biotech drugs as part of legislation to allow a regulatory pathway for biosimilars got support from a key member of Congress this week.

Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., expressed support for 13.5 years of market exclusivity for biotech drugs before they face competition from biosimilars if a regulatory pathway is created, according to published reports. Kennedy favors nine years of exclusivity, plus four-and-a-half years if the Food and Drug Administration approves new uses of the drugs.

The biotech industry has pushed for 14 years of market exclusivity, while the generic drug industry has pushed for five years.

Earlier this year, Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California introduced a bill that would allow five years of market exclusivity for biotech drugs, while fellow California Democrat Rep. Anna Eshoo introduced a competing bill to allow 12 to 14 years. The White House has called for a seven-year exclusivity period.

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Bartell Drugs collects food for people in need

BY Alaric DeArment

SEATTLE A regional retail pharmacy chain has collected enough food for more than 15,000 meals for people in need.

Bartell Drugs announced Thursday that its “Stock the Pantry” food drive, which it had conducted with Northwest Harvest and Fisher Communications, had collected 16,767 pounds of food through the chain’s 55 stores in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

“Year-around hunger is an unfortunate reality for many children and their families, as well as many seniors,” Bartell chairman and CEO George Bartell said. “Through the generous contributions by our customers, we’re proud to support Northwest Harvest with this effort.

The food drive was launched in May as a way to help Northwest Harvest replenish its food stocks during the summer months.

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OSI Pharmaceuticals moving to Westchester Co., N.Y.

BY Alaric DeArment

MELVILLE, N.Y. Biotech company OSI Pharmaceuticals plans to move its U.S. operations to a single campus in upstate New York, the company announced this week.

OSI announced that it had purchased a 43-acre site in Ardsley, a community in the town of Greenburgh, N.Y., and would move 350 employees from Melville and Farmingdale, N.Y., Cedar Knolls, N.J., and Boulder, Colo., to the new campus in the second half of this year.

“The past 10 years has been a remarkable journey as the company has successfully brought its first oncology product, Tarceva, to market and taken the business profitable,” OSI CEO Colin Goddard said. “Nonetheless, we have recognized that we will only truly capture the full strategic value of our oncology franchise if we simplify our business by bringing together all the elements of our U.S. operations onto a single site.”

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