PHARMACY

Watson acquires Specifar

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals has acquired Greek drug maker Specifar Pharmaceuticals for $562 million, the two companies said Wednesday.

Watson said that through the acquisition, it had gained a leading generic product development company that develops and out-licenses products throughout the world, while also enhancing its commercial presence in Europe.

In addition, Watson said, acquiring Specifar would give it a branded-generic presence in Greece’s pharmaceutical market. Specifar is among the top five companies in the Greek branded-generic market.

“We are very pleased that Specifar has become part of our global organization,” Watson president and CEO Paul Bisaro said. “We look forward to working with the management team to continue Specifar’s growth and to expand the opportunities for success within Watson.”

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FDA issues warnings to online retailers making ‘unsubstantiated claims’ about tobacco products

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration sent 11 warning letters last week to online retailers selling tobacco products that claimed to reduce the harm and risk of tobacco-related disease.

The FDA said Wednesday that the retailers had illegally marketed tobacco products that used such terms as “light,” “low,” “mild,” “less toxic” and “safer” — terms that the agency deems misleading and unsubstantiated.

“There is no known safe tobacco product,” FDA Center for Tobacco Products director Lawrence Deyton said. “It is illegal for tobacco companies or retailers, including Internet sellers, to make unsubstantiated claims or statements that imply tobacco products reduce health risks.”

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UCB expands executive committee

BY Allison Cerra

BRUSSELS — UCB announced that it will add two members to its executive committee, effective July 1.

The drug maker said that Greg Duncan, currently SVP and president of UCB’s North American operations, and Jean-Christophe Tellier, who is joining the company from Ipsen, now are the heads of the U.S. and European commercial operations, respectively.

These additions will allow Mark McDade, UCB’s EVP global operations and COO, to focus on UCB’s future growth markets outside the United States and Europe, while driving UCB’s commercial growth strategy across all markets, the company said.

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