PHARMACY

Valeant CEO named chairman of the board

BY Allison Cerra

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — J. Michael Pearson has been appointed to chairman of the board at Valeant Pharmaceuticals, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Pearson, who is Valeant’s CEO, will extend his contract with Valeant through February 2017, the company said.

Pearson replaces current chairman Robert Ingram, who remains on the board as an independent board director and lead director.

"I am honored that the board has shown its confidence in me with this appointment and that by extending my contract, [it] allows me the privilege of leading this organization for the next six years," Pearson stated. "I continue to believe in Valeant’s long-term potential, and I look forward to working with our team to execute on our strategy to become a leading specialty pharmaceutical company."

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PHARMACY

Watson introduces generic Famvir

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A subsidiary of Watson Pharmaceuticals has launched a treatment for herpes infections, the company said Monday.

Watson Labs launched famciclovir tablets in the 125-mg, 250-mg and 500-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of Novartis’ Famvir and is used to treat cold sores and genital herpes in patients with and without HIV.

Famvir and generic versions had sales of about $197 million in 2010, according to IMS Health.

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PHARMACY

Coinstar ‘eyes’ SoloHealth

BY Allison Cerra

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Coinstar will help boost the retail presence of a self-service kiosks provider through a new deal.

Coinstar, known for its automated retail solutions, including its self-service coin counting machines and DVD kiosks branded under the namesake and Redbox, respectively, will invest in SoloHealth, a developer of such self-service kiosks as EyeSite, which provide users with free health screenings and information. SoloHealth currently is in the midst of developing its next-generation, comprehensive SoloHealth station, which will screen vision, blood pressure, weight and body mass index, as well as provide an overall health assessment free of charge. It also gives consumers access to a database of local doctors, the company said.

Investment details were not disclosed.

“As a leader in automated retail, Coinstar is continually looking for kiosk concepts that are innovative and compelling,” said Gregg Kaplan, Coinstar president and COO. “We believe that SoloHealth will address the changing market dynamics in the healthcare space by bringing free health-and-wellness screening to individuals who may not have accessed it otherwise.”

Added SoloHealth founder and CEO Bart Foster, “We are thrilled to have the support of Coinstar, a leader in automated retail. We live in a self-service society, and with the current environment, we believe SoloHealth’s platforms will provide a tremendous resource for consumers and the entire healthcare system by reducing healthcare costs, increasing access and empowering people to take action to improve their lives.”

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