PHARMACY

U.K. National Institute for Health authority advises conservative treatment of ADHD

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON The United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence issued guidelines Wednesday recommending that doctors prescribe drugs such as Ritalin sparingly for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

NICE said the drugs should only go to kids with severe ADHD, while kids with moderate cases should receive special help from parents and teachers. More than 2.5 million young people in the United States use drugs to treat ADHD.

Ritalin (methylphenidate) had sales of $375 million in 2007, according to financial data from maker Novartis.

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PHARMACY

Unapproved eye treatments get yanked by FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration has told companies to stop selling eye solutions for use during surgery and for treating lesions without regulatory approval, citing dangerous side effects.

The drugs include ophthalmic balanced salt solutions for the eyes and topical drugs containing the papaya-based compound papain.

A number of companies have sold the unapproved eye drugs, including Baxter International and Hospira.

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ImClone rejects bid from Bristol-Myers Squib

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Biotech ImClone has rejected an acquisition bid by Bristol-Myers Squibb, according to a letter that ImClone chairman Carl Icahn sent to Bristol chairman and chief executive officer James Cornelius Tuesday, calling the bid “absurd.”

On Monday, Bristol announced that it would increase its $60-per-share bid for the biotech to $62 a share, though this still fell short of the $70-per-share offer that ImClone has received from a thus-far undisclosed pharmaceutical company.

 

“Your letter of yesterday contains inaccuracies which are misleading to our shareholders,” Icahn wrote. “Your statements that there have not been any meaningful discussions concerning your proposal have no basis in fact. … I also told you a large Pharma company had offered $70 subject to due diligence and the diligence will be over on Sunday, September 28, 2008. In light of these facts, your hostile tender of $62, at this time, seems absurd.”

At the end of the letter, Icahn didn’t mince words.

“If you wish to make your attorneys wealthier, I can show you more productive ways to do so,” he wrote. “Or, if you simply want publicity, I can also help you in that regard without your having to make unnecessary expenditures.”

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