PHARMACY

Teva purchases Bentley for $360 million

BY Diana Alickaj

NEW YORK Teva Pharmaceuticals announced on Monday its decision to pay Bentley Pharmaceuticals for $360 million in cash to expand its business to Spain.

According to published reports, Teva has been trying to break into Spain’s market since 2004 and has established itself as the fourth-largest genetic drug company in Spain. After the deal closes, Teva will be able to provide more than 170 products to the Spanish market, and will have 45 products awaiting generic product registrations. One hundred and thirty of those products were initially pharmaceutical products of Bentley’s but will now aid in the Israel-based company’s surge to take the Spanish market by storm.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2008, and upon the announcement, Teva’s shares rose 0.6 percent (29 cents) to $46.36. The Bentley shareholders will receive $15.02 per share in cash for the acquisition, according to published reports.

Teva’s president, Schlomo Yanai said of their new purchase, “Spain was identified as one of our target markets in the strategic review we conducted last year. We are extremely pleased that we will have Bentley’s strong management and work force, complementing our existing management team, to support our growth strategy.”

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PHARMACY

GMDC’s Blough passes away at 58

BY Michael Johnsen

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. GMDC on Thursday announced that Doug Blough, longtime director of communications for the association, passed away on March 22 at the age of 58 after a battle against pancreatic cancer.

“Doug made huge contributions to GMDC and its success over the years and he’ll be missed by all of us privileged to have worked with him,” stated David McConnell, GMDC president and chief executive officer. “He fought against this insidious disease and to the very end maintained the sense of dignity, kindness and caring for others that were at the core of who he was and how he’ll be remembered by all of us who were privileged to have known him.”

A resident of Colorado Springs since 1975, Blough’s relationship with GMDC spanned more than two decades as he served as an outside vendor providing visual communications services until he joined the staff management team in December of 1999. His tenure as a GMDC employee continued until the end of 2005 when he retired to spend more time with his wife Linda and pursue his passion for fine art digital imagery.

Even after his retirement from staff duty he was retained as a contractor who continued to manage GMDC’s creative and communication activities as well as serving as the Association’s liaison interfacing with the trade press and managing its public relations programs.

“Throughout his long tenure with GMDC Doug played a significant role in creating and managing the GMDC brand and was beloved in the industry as a person who always had a smile and a good word to say to anyone he ever encountered,” the association stated.

“Doug talked to me just a week ago about his anticipated passing with a sense of calm that amazed me and he actually played a big role in the planning of his funeral,” McConnell said. The funeral is being held Friday, March 28. McConnell is delivering the eulogy. “In these conversations and the planning process with [his wilfe] Linda he was consistent in stressing that it was very important that his passing be a celebration of his ife and who he was … not a time of sadness.”

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to:

The Blough Children Educational Fundc/o US Bank6 South Tejon StreetColorado Springs, Colorado 80903Attention: L. Specht

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Otsuka settles Abilify allegations for $4 million

BY Drew Buono

TOKYO Otsuka Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $4 million to resolve allegations that it marketed its schizophrenia drug Abilify for off-label uses with Bristol-Myers Squibb, according to published reports.

Squibb settled its issue with Abilify back in September by agreeing to pay $515 million to settle allegations that it overcharged the government for drugs and promoted medicine like Abilify for unapproved uses.

The accusations came from the Justice Department, which stated that the companies of promoting the drug for use in children, and as a remedy for dementia, without FDA approval. Now, the drug is required to carry a black-box warning for use in dementia-related psychosis.

Otsuka will pay the government about $2.3 million and the remainder to states’ Medicaid programs, the company said in a statement. It agreed to a corporate integrity agreement, without specifying the length of the compliance and monitoring pledged. The agreement requires the company to maintain compliance programs to monitor business practices.

Over 12.5 million prescriptions have been written as of June 2007 for Abilify, according to IMS.

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