PHARMACY

Vernalis acquires U.S. rights to Moxatag

BY David Salazar

BERWYN, Pa. — Vernalis Therapeutics has added a new drug to its portfolio. The company announced Friday that its parent company had acquired the U.S. rights to Pragma Pharmaceuticals’ Moxatag (amoxicillin) extended-release tablets. The company will oversee the drug’s sale, marketing and distribution in the U.S.

“The addition of Moxatag … further underscores Vernalis Therapeutics' commitment to building a commercial presence in the U.S. market,” the company’s SVP commercial operations Tom Parker said. “We look forward to re-launching the product in early 2016, and believe it will be a natural complement to our recently launched 12-hour codeine-based prescription medication,  Tuzistra XR, as both products offer patients and physicians an extended-release alternative to existing treatments.”

Moxatag is meant to treat  tonsillitis or secondary pharyngitis in adults and children 12 years of age and older. 

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PHARMACY

Kaleo donates 50,000 naloxone auto-injectors

BY David Salazar

RICHMOND, Va. — Kaléo this week made a commitment to fighting opioid addiction. The company has pledged to donate 50,000 of its Evzio (naloxone) auto-injectors ahead of the UNITE to Face Addiction rally, which will take place on Oct. 4 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The company will donate the auto-injectors to local public health departments that it finds to have the greatest need.

"In the midst of a public health emergency surrounding addiction it is time for all of us to have improved resources,” said Greg Williams, co-founder of Facing Addiction, group organizing Sunday’s rally. “We are proud to be part of what we believe to be the largest donation of naloxone in history. It is time for all of us to collectively face addiction and this donation from kaléo will help save so many lives.”

The public health departments that receive the emergency overdose treatement will be determined based on research from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. HHS secretary Sylvia Burwell said the department is happy to work with the company on its kaléo Cares program, as it makes the only naloxone injector for caregivers and consumers.

“This unprecedented donation is designed to help make Evzio vailable to those without traditional insurance coverage who are being served by local public health departments determined to be in greatest need,” kaléo president and CEO Spencer Williamson said. “Since the launch of the kaléo Cares Product Donation Program last October, donated Evzio have contributed to more than 135 reported lives saved. We believe this latest donation will help save hundreds of people in the months ahead.”

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PHARMACY

SPJ founder, publisher Gary Cohen passes away

BY David Salazar

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Gary M. Cohen, founder and publisher of Specialty Pharma Journal,  has passed away, the publication announced Friday. Cohen founded the publication in 2010 and served as publisher until his unexpected death on Sept. 18. 

“It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Gary M. Cohen,” SPJ editor Nicole Watkins, Editor, Specialty Pharma Journal. “SPJ, and the pharmacy community as a whole, has lost an iconic leader and visionary. Cohen was a master of his craft. His passion and dedication to the Specialty Pharmacy industry was second to none, and his contributions will live on.”

Cohen had more than 30 years’ experience working in pharmacy- and specialty pharmacy-related organizations. He founded and served as CEO of pharmaceutical education and marketing company Pharmacy Power-Pak and was president of CEO of Synergy Healthcare Communications. Cohen also founded and served as CEO of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy, and was the founder and executive director of the Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board (SPCB).

“We are saddened by the sudden passing of Gary Cohen,” SPCB president Ray Tancredi said. “Gary was a tireless proponent of specialty pharmacy education and certification. The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board offers our condolences to Gary's family."

“Gary will be dearly missed. His energy and confidence in those around him was uplifting and encouraging. He had an ability to make every interaction meaningful,” Watkins said. “While Gary was a great leader and teacher, he was an even better friend. Our heart and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

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