PHARMACY

Teva’s patent for Seasonique upheld

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM The U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada has granted Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ motion for summary judgment concerning the validity of its patent on a birth-control pill, the drug maker announced Thursday.

Duramed, now Teva Women’s Health, brought a patent infringement case against Watson Pharmaceuticals in March 2008 when the latter sought to market its generic version of Seasonique (levonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol) ahead of the expiration of the patent covering the drug, U.S. Patent No. 7,320,969, which expires in January 2024.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision finding our patent to be valid and enforceable,” Teva North America president and CEO William Marth said in a statement. “Seasonique is an important part of our women’s health portfolio and offers women a safe and effective extended-regimen birth-control option.”

Separate patent litigation is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey over generic versions of Seasonique by Mylan, Famy Care and Lupin.

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After flooding, power outage in Rhode Island, CVS/pharmacy up and running

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has restored the pharmacy computer system in its stores after massive flooding in Rhode Island caused a national computer system outage that impacted all of the chain’s 7,000 pharmacies.

CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis told Drug Store News that service was restored to its pharmacies Tuesday evening between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

For the most part, stores were able to fill prescriptions, but they were unable to process the insurance claims. As a result, pharmacists were instructed to complete all prescription requests and keep records for insurance purposes.

The CVS headquarters in Woonsocket lost power mid afternoon. It was one of several office complexes affected by flooding problems at local power substations, according to a local news report. The power loss caused the widespread computer outage.

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FDA: Stalevo may increase male patients’ risk of cancer

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. Data from a long-term clinical trial may indicate a possible cancer risk in men taking a drug for treating Parkinson’s disease, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The agency notified healthcare professionals and patients that it was evaluating data from the STRIDE-PD trial indicating a possible risk of prostate cancer in patients taking the Novartis drug Stalevo (carbidopa, levodopa and entacapone). It cautioned, however, that it had not concluded that a risk existed and that other clinical trials evaluating Stalevo and a related drug, Comtan (entacapone), did not show an increased prostate cancer risk.

Novartis issued the following statement in response to the FDA report: “Novartis is coordinating with the FDA as it evaluates data from the STRIDE-PD study related to an unexpected imbalance in reports of prostate cancer cases. STRIDE-PD was conducted in patients with early Parkinson’s disease to investigate a potential new indication outside the terms of the current label. Previous controlled clinical trials have not found an increased risk of prostate cancer.”

Stalevo and Comtan had collective sales of $217 million in 2009, according to Novartis financial reports.

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