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Viagra patent upheld

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Pfizer announced that the patent for its popular erectile dysfunction treatment was upheld in court.

The drug maker said that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia concluded that Pfizer’s patent for Viagra was valid and enforceable and prevents generic drug maker Teva from marketing its version of the drug until October 2019. Pfizer noted that litigation on the same patent remains pending against other generic companies, but no trials are scheduled in those other cases.

The court’s decision, however, is subject to appeal by Teva.

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ECRM CEO and founder Charlie Bowlus leaves behind important legacy

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — There’s no doubt that the industry is still coming to terms with the unexpected passing of ECRM CEO and founder Charlie Bowlus — a longtime industry veteran whose passion and humility touched so many lives.

(THE NEWS: ECRM founder, CEO Charlie Bowlus passes away. For the full story, click here)

Commenting on the news, Pepsom Group president John Brown III wrote on DrugStoreNews.com: “Charlie was a first-class person, in every sense of the word. Ever since I first met him, he has always been innovative, positive-minded and generous with heart and soul. I was blessed to have known him for many years, when ECRM was not even a blip on the radar. We send our sincerest condolences to his family, and to the entire ECRM staff. I know he will always remain a legend in the retail industry and beyond, but more importantly, everyone will always keep fond memories of Charlie, the friend, father, mentor, in our hearts. Thanks for spending time with all of us, Charlie, we will miss you.”

“… Charlie, you were a true friend and a comrade in arms and I only hope that you have the opportunity to have as many parties in Heaven as you held here. You were a pioneer and you never forgot where you came from. You touched the bottom and you went to the top and everything you got, you earned and then some. You never forgot your friends wherever you met them …” wrote Gregory Rubin, Garcoa Labs CEO.

“… I often think of Charlie as the reason I am blessed to have my three boys and wonderful wife who I met at an ECRM show. I always thanked Charlie every time I saw him as if it wasn’t for him our family wouldn’t exist. Charlie, you will be extremely missed and we are thankful for the lives you have touched. I will continue to think of you as my children grow, remembering you are who helped put them in my life,” wrote Jeff Stice, Olympic Mountain Products president.

These are just a few of the many comments. Clearly, the number of people who commented just within 24 hours of the sad news is a reflection of the important legacy Bowlus leaves behind.

Those who would like to share their thoughts and express their condolences are encouraged to comment via Facebook, post a comment on DrugStoreNews.com or send an email to reder@lf.com.

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Report: Appellate court strikes down insurance mandate in health law

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK—The healthcare-reform law took a hit Friday when a federal court in Atlanta ruled one of its key provisions unconstitutional, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported that in a 2-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit found the law’s mandate for individuals to buy health insurance or face penalties to violate the Constitution because it represented a "wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority." Judges Frank Hull, a Clinton administration appointee, and Joel Dubina, appointed by George H.W. Bush, wrote the 207-page opinion.

Twenty-six mostly Republican governors and attorneys general, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and two individuals had filed the suit. The appeals court upheld the portion of an earlier ruling by U.S. district judge Roger Vinson of Florida that overturned the insurance mandate, but kept the rest of law. Vinson had ruled the entire law unconstitutional.

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