PHARMACY

Taro shows strong results despite merger woes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Taro Pharmaceutical Industries has reported gross profits of $91.5 million for the first six months of 2008 and net sales of $166 million. This translates to a net income of approximately $20.6 million, nearly the same amount as the $21.1 million the company achieved during all of 2007

The numbers come despite a terminated merger agreement with Indian drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical and resulting legal costs and having to spend $10 million to keep operations in Ireland going, though it wants to sell the facility there over objections from Sun.

Sun offered to buy all outstanding ordinary shares of Taro June 30 for $454 million through Alkaloida Chemical Company Exclusive Group, its subsidiary in Hungary.

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GPhA re-emphasizes need for biogenerics legislation

BY Drew Buono

ARLINGTON, Va. In regards to the meeting of the Joint Economic Committee today on Capitol Hill about the skyrocketing prices of certain prescription drugs, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association released a statement again about the need for biogenerics in this country.

According to GPhA president and chief executive officer Kathleen Jaeger, “Countless patients in need of life-saving biopharmaceutical treatments are struggling to afford their high costs. For patients facing serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease, safe and affordable biogenerics would allow them to improve their lives while reducing their health care costs. With some biopharmaceuticals costing hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, patients must have timely access to life-saving biogeneric medicines.”

The statement also acknowledged a report from the biogeneric company Insmed, which stated that, $236 to $378 billion in savings, could be achieved over 20 years if generic versions of the top 12 categories of biologics with patents that either expired or will soon expire became available to patients.

Jaeger continued, noting that, “these are significant savings that we cannot afford to ignore.”

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BMS sees year-on-year earnings increase of nearly $60 million in Q2

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The anti-blood clot drug Plavix and the schizophrenia drug Abilify helped boost Bristol-Myers Squibb profits, Bristol announced Thursday.

The company earned $764 million in the second quarter of this year, compared with last year’s $706 million. Bristol expects to save $1.5 billion by 2010, hoping to offset the loss of sales when its patent for Plavix expires in 2012, opening it to generic competition.

Global sales of Plavix jumped to $1.39 billion—17 percent—in Q2, after generic supplies of the medicine that had competed with it for about a year in the United States became exhausted.

Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) had sales of $4.755 billion in 2007, according to Bristol financial data.

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