PHARMACY

Vertex Pharmaceuticals to acquire ViroChem Pharma

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. A company developing a drug for treating hepatitis C will add two more drugs for the disease to its portfolio by acquiring a company based in Quebec.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced Tuesday that it would acquire ViroChem Pharma, a privately held company, for $100 million in cash and 9.9 million shares of Vertex common stock.

Vertex is developing telaprevir, a protease inhibitor for fighting the hepatitis C virus in phase 3 development, while ViroChem is developing two polymerase inhibitors.

“This acquisition significantly strengthens our pipeline in hepatitis C by bringing together Vertex’s telaprevir, our HCV protease inhibitor in registration studies, with the HCV non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitors being developed by ViroChem,” Vertex CEO Joshua Boger said in a statement. “Through this acquisition, we’re well-positioned as a leader in the development of HCV therapies.”

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McKesson Canada withdraws acquisition offer

BY Alaric DeArment

MONTREAL McKesson Canada has withdrawn its offer to take over Uniprix, the company has announced.

McKesson Canada said the number of shares tendered was not enough to meet the Jan. 19 acquisition offer’s conditions.

“Despite withdrawing our offer, McKesson Canada will continue to support the independent pharmacy business model,” McKesson Canada president Domenic Pilla said in a statement. “As such, our desire to help the Uniprix Group succeed and to see further growth among its banners remains strong, and we wish to pursue our longstanding business relationship.”

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D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare and VG’s Expand Discounted Generic Drug Program

BY Drug Store News Team

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. On March 1, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare and VG’s pharmacies expanded their generic drug program to 90-day prescriptions for $10, the companies announced.

D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare and VG’s Pharmacies are also increasing the number of women’s health medications they offer at the discounted price. These include prescription drugs such as tamoxifen to treat breast cancer and pre-natal vitamins.

Presently, there are two programs offering lower prices on over 300 generic drugs to meet the healthcare needs and healthcare budgets of our customers. These pharmacies are also increasing the number of women’s health medications as part of the generic drug program offer.

This new initiative expands the program introduced in November 2008 that provides a $4 price for more than 300 generic drugs prescribed in 30-day supplies. It also complements several other programs these stores are offering customers to help them stretch their food, fuel, healthcare and household budgets cross promotions, bonus savings and other initiatives.

“Our expanded generic drug program is another example of the many ways we are making it easier for customers to stretch their food, healthcare, and household dollars,” said Alan Hartline, EVP mechandising. “Our customers can continue to rely on the expert health counsel and friendly service our team of professional pharmacists consistently offer.”

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