PHARMACY

Teva reports strong Q3 results

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM Generic drug maker Teva had profits of $649 million in third quarter 2009, compared with $631 million in third quarter 2008, the company said in an earnings report Tuesday.

Net sales were $3.55 billion for the quarter, which ended Sept. 30, a 25% increase over the same period last year.

“This was another very strong quarter for Teva, with record-breaking financial results across the board,” Teva CEO Shlomo Yanai said in a statement. “In fact, for the first time, we crossed the billion-dollar mark in quarter cash flow from operations.”

The injected multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) had sales of $776 million, a 38% increase over third quarter 2008, and it remains the leading MS therapy throughout the world. Total pharmaceutical sales in North America were $2.16 billion, 34% higher than the year before.

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CAORC to host press briefing on organized retail crime

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON When most people think of organized crime, they imagine gun battles in the streets of Chicago during the Prohibition era, but some of its biggest victims are retail pharmacies.

The Coalition Against Organized Retail Crime announced that it would have a press conference at noon on Wednesday to discuss the role of federal law enforcement in combating organized retail crime. The conference will take place before a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security on the subject.

Organized retail crime involves the theft of large quantities of goods from retailers and the sale of those goods through pawn shops, flea markets and online. It causes losses of tens of billions of dollars annually and puts consumers at risk of using mishandled and adulterated goods.

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FDA rejects expanded use of Pegintron

BY Alaric DeArment

KENILWORTH, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has rejected an approval application for an additional use for a hepatitis C drug.

Schering-Plough Corp. announced Friday that it had received a complete response letter – an FDA notice of rejection – for Pegintron (pegylated interferon alfa-2b) as a treatment for stage 3 malignant melanoma. The FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee had recommended approval of the drug for the disease by vote of 6 to 4 in October.

Schering-Plough said it would work with the FDA to respond to the agency’s concerns. The drug is already approved for treating chronic hepatitis C in combination with Schering-Plough’s Rebetol (ribavarin).

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