PHARMACY

Three H.D. Smith executives promoted

BY Alaric DeArment

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Pharmacy wholesaler H.D. Smith has promoted three of its executives.

The company announced Wednesday the promotion of Joseph Conda to SVP strategic planning and business development, Robert Appleby to corporate VP prescription products and Carolyn Webb to corporate VP marketing.

“The focus of these top performers enables the company to maximize growth potential and continue to raise the bar in providing exceptional service to customers,” H.D. Smith chairman and CEO Dale Smith said. “Combined, they bring more than 70 years of sales, product and industry leadership counsel and experience to serve our customers.”

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Victoza, NovoSeven drive Novo Nordisk’s sales

BY Alaric DeArment

BAGSVÆRD, Denmark — A collection of relatively new products helped drive up sales and profits at Novo Nordisk, the Danish drug maker said Wednesday. 

Sales increased by 22% in the North American markets when measured in local currencies, and by 29% when measured in Danish kroner, the company said. Operating profits were $3.5 billion, a 16% increase over 2009.

Strong performers included the Type 2 diabetes drug Victoza (liraglutide), which had sales of $429.4 million, while sales of the hemophilia treatment NovoSeven (coagulation factor VIIa [recombinant]) increased by 8%.

“2010 was a very good year for Novo Nordisk with strong organic sales growth driven by the modern insulins and Victoza,” Novo Nordisk president and CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen said. “We expect continued sales growth from these products and are encouraged by the results from the phase-3 program with our new generation insulins.”

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Eisai receives complete response letter for GERD treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration declined to approve a drug made by Eisai for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease, Eisai said Tuesday.

The drug maker announced its receipt of a complete response letter from the agency for its application for rabeprazole sodium extended-release capsules, a proton-pump inhibitor for GERD. The FDA delivers a complete response letter when it has finished reviewing a regulatory approval application, but issues remain that preclude final approval of the drug.

Eisai did not specify what issues the FDA brought up in the letter, but said it would work with the agency to address them.

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