HEALTH

Valeant pays $285 million for derm drug maker

BY Rob Eder

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. Valeant Pharmaceuticals has agreed to buy Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences—which makes drugs to treat acne and other skin conditions, primarily for other pharmaceutical companies—for $285 million, according to several reports.

The deal, set to close in the next few weeks, considerably expands Valeant’s presence in the dermatological space.

The privately held Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences—no connection to Dow Chemical—recently received FDA approval for a new prescription topical acne medication, Acanya, which is expected to hit the market early next year and is projected to reach sales of $70 million.

Valeant also will inherit the rest of Dow’s considerable new product development pipeline, including several other drugs for treating rosacea, fungal infections and warts.

The Dow acquisition comes close on the heels of Valeant’s November purchase of Australian skin care remedy maker DermaTech Pty Ltd., for a little more than $12 million. DermaTech makes drugs for treating acne, psoriasis, warts, head lice and nits, both prescription and OTC.

Analysts are regarding the recent moves as a bit of a “turnaround story,” for the northern California-based company formerly known as ICN Pharmaceuticals, which last year reemerged as Valeant Pharmaceuticals following a considerable restructuring.

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FDA issues injunction against Wilderness Family Naturals for efficacy claims

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has issued a permanent injunction against a distributor of dietary supplements, salves and conventional foods, alleging that it made false claims of its products’ ability to treat, cure, mitigate and prevent diseases, the FDA said Tuesday.

The agency alleges that Silver Bay, Minn.-based Wilderness Family Naturals claimed benefits for its products against diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, hyperthyroidism, HIV and AIDS.

The company has signed a consent decree prohibiting it from manufacturing or distributing any products with unapproved claims of benefits against disease. The company has agreed to remove disease claims from its products? labels, labeling and Web sites, as well as references to other Web sites that contain such claims.

“The FDA is acting to product the American public from companies making unapproved disease treatment claims for their products,” FDA acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs Michael Chappell said in a statement. “Claims made by Wilderness Family might distract consumers from seeking products that have been shown to be safe and effective in treating disease.”

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Tylenol Warming Taxis provide free rides around Capitol Hill

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON After visiting New York, Boston and Philadelphia, McNeil Consumer Healthcare is relocating its Tylenol Warming Taxis to the nation’s capital this week, and will offer complimentary cab rides within city limits to Washington residents.

The taxis will be positioned outside select CVS/pharmacy locations from noon through 8 p.m. Dec. 15 through Dec. 21.

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