PHARMACY

Teva, Barr merger results in release of drugs to Watson

BY Alaric DeArment

CORONA, Calif. The merger between Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Barr Pharmaceuticals will result in the companies divesting several drugs, and Watson Pharmaceuticals has agreed to acquire them, the Corona, Calif.-based drug maker announced Tuesday.

The portfolio comprises 17 drugs, including 15 that have Food and Drug Administration approval and two in development.

“These products represent a sound complement to our extensive generics portfolio,” Watson president and chief executive Paul Bisaro said in a statement. “We anticipate these new generics will have immediate value that we will begin to realize in early 2009.”

Key drugs include desmopressin acetate, a diabetes insipidus treatment, glipizide and metformin hydrochloride tablets, for treating Type 2 diabetes, and metoclopramide hydrochloride tablets, a treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disorder.

Watson said that it will pay $36 million upfront for the portfolio of 17 drugs from Teva.

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PHARMACY

King announces acquisition of Alpharma

BY Alaric DeArment

BRISTOL, Tenn. King Pharmaceuticals will acquire Alpharma in a deal worth $1.6 billion, King said Monday.

Alpharma had rejected a $33-per-share bid King made earlier, but accepted the most recent $37-per-share bid.

Alpharma, based in Bridgewater, N.J., has lately sought regulatory approval for painkillers designed to thwart abuse, such as Remoxy, a liquid capsule-based formulation of oxycodone.

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Viagra under investigation for effect on athletes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The World Anti-Doping Agency is investigating whether the drug Viagra gives athletes a competitive advantage on the playing field.

The drug, known generically as sildenafil citrate and made by Pfizer, works by opening the blood vessels. According to published reports, some experts have said this could give athletes more endurance by increasing the bloodstreams ability to deliver oxygen.

If studies indicate that Viagra does give athletes an advantage, WADA will consider listing it as a performance-enhancing drug.

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