PHARMACY

Taro elects directors in shareholders meeting; Sun disapproves

BY Allison Cerra

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. An Israeli drug maker said that its shareholders voted to elect all of the directors who were up for election, with the exception of the statutory external directors, at its annual shareholders meeting held Dec. 31.

The shareholders also approved the ratification of indemnification for non-executive directors and the appointment of the Taro’s independent auditors.

The company said that it stands behind its nominees for statutory external directors and their qualifications, and further stated that it would continue its efforts to elect statutory external directors as required by Israeli law, despite the efforts of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries to block their election. Sun has claimed that Barrie Levitt, Taro’s chairman, signed contractual obligation to sell Taro’s shares to Sun at a pre-defined price in June 2008. Sun said, however, that Levitt and the company “have prevented the close of this transaction through improper use of Taro resources.”

Sun has sought to acquire Taro for some time. In August 2008, Sun’s tender offer to acquire the company expired, but said that it would once again seek to acquire Taro. In late September, Taro sued Sun in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that Sun failed to disclose information to Taro shareholders, and misappropriating confidential information about Taro as part of its efforts to acquire the company – which it has sought to do since June 2008 – and illegally using it to undermine Taro’s relationships with customers and revenues.

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Walgreens offering H1N1 vaccinations at all pharmacies, Take Care Clinics nationwide

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. The once-scarce H1N1 vaccine now is available daily at all of the more than 7,100 Walgreens pharmacies and 350 Take Care Clinics throughout the country, Walgreens announced Monday.

With nearly all states lifting priority group vaccination restrictions, Walgreens is able to offer H1N1 vaccine to anyone in those states who wants a vaccination and who meets state age requirements. Priority group vaccination restrictions are still in effect in Hawaii only.

H1N1 vaccinations are available at Walgreens pharmacies on a walk-in basis when an immunizing pharmacist is on staff and also may be available by appointment. Additionally, Take Care Clinics at select Walgreens stores in 19 states have board-certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants who will provide vaccinations on a walk-in basis daily, pending vaccine availability. Age restrictions for pharmacist-administered vaccinations vary by state, while Take Care Clinics can immunize children ages 2 years and above.

“We share with government and health officials nationwide the goal of protecting as many people as possible from the H1N1 virus, while also helping to lessen the impact or prevent a third wave of H1N1 activity,” said Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. “Soon, anyone in the country who wants an H1N1 vaccination will be able to get one. And by offering convenient, affordable access to the vaccine, as well as other health and wellness resources, Walgreens continues to play an integral role in helping people stay well throughout the flu season.”

The cost for the administration of H1N1 vaccine at Walgreens and Take Care Clinics is $18. Vaccinations are covered by Medicare and may be covered by Medicaid and other insurance plans. Consumers are encouraged to check with their insurance provider for coverage details.

For the nearest Walgreens pharmacy, consumers can call 1-800-Walgreens or visit www.walgreens.com/flu. For Take Care Clinic locations, consumers should visit www.takecarehealth.com or call 1-866-Take-Care.

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Teva announces availability of Parkinson’s disease generic

BY Allison Cerra

NORTH WALES, Pa. A generic drug maker has announced the availability of a treatment of the signs and symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.

Pramipexole diHCl tablets are available in a 0.125-mg strength, in a bottle size of 63; and in 0.25-mg, 0.5-mg, 1-mg and 1.5-mg strengths in bottle sizes of 90. The generic is equivalent to Mirapex, which was developed by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.

“Our customers count on Teva for a continuous supply of new generic products,” said Maureen Cavanaugh, VP customer operations and marketing. “With the launch of pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets, we add another quality product to our broad line of affordable generic pharmaceuticals.”

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