PHARMACY

Shire, Teva settle litigation over ADHD drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA British drug maker Shire and generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceuticals have settled litigation over an authorized generic version of an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug, Shire announced Wednesday.

Shire has supplied Teva with an authorized generic of Adderall XR (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) since April, but Drug Enforcement Administration restrictions had limited Shire’s ability to supply the drug due to its containing amphetamine, a controlled substance.

Teva had filed a lawsuit against Shire, claiming it was in breach of contract, but the DEA expanded Shire’s quota of the drug for 2009 so that it could supply more of it to Teva. In response, Teva has dismissed the lawsuit.

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Study: Sugary cola drinks linked to higher risk of gestational diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Women that drink more than five servings of sugar-sweetened cola per week prior to pregnancy appear to have significantly elevated risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy, according to a new study.

Gestational diabetes mellitus, defined as glucose intolerance beginning during pregnancy, is one of the most common pregnancy complications. Women with GDM are at increased risk for complications and illness during pregnancy and delivery, as well as post-pregnancy Type 2 diabetes. Children of mothers with GDM are at increased risk for obesity, glucose intolerance, and early onset diabetes.

Researchers from LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, studied a group of 13,475 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II. During 10 years of follow-up, 860 incident GDM cases were identified. After adjustment for known risk factors for GDM including age, family history of diabetes, parity, physical activity, smoking status, sugar-sweetened beverage intake, alcohol intake, prepregnancy BMI, and Western dietary pattern, intake of sugar-sweetened cola was positively associated with the risk of GDM. No significant association was found for other sugar-sweetened beverages or diet beverages.

The research team “compared with women who consumed less than one serving per month, those who consumed more than 5 servings per week of sugar-sweetened cola had a 22% greater GDM risk,” noted Liwei Chen, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and assistant professor of Epidemiology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health. “We don’t know why significant association was only found in sugar-sweetened cola, but not other types of sugar-sweetened beverages — fruit drinks, other soft drinks, etc.,” Chen added. “One of the explanations could be the tremendous popularity of cola in the U.S.”

Chen said that the study was the first to examine the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages on gestational diabetes mellitus risk.

“This finding is important because sugar-sweetened beverages are the leading source of added sugars in the American diet, particularly in the age group most likely to conceive. Cutting down sugary drinks is clearly an important way to reduce this common pregnancy complication.”

The paper will published in the December 2009 issue of Diabetes Care.

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Report: Abbott, Teva reach deal over TriCor

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK A generic drug maker has agreed to postpone sales of its version of a branded cholesterol drug, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday Teva will postpone the sale of a generic version of TriCor until March 28, 2011. TriCor is a blockbuster drug produced by Abbott Labs. 

Kelly Morrison, an Abbott spokeswoman, called the deal a “pure licensing agreement” and said the company wasn’t paying Teva to delay selling a generic.

The settlement’s terms were not disclosed.

TriCor is designed to lower “bad” cholesterol (referred to as LDL) and triglyceride levels.

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