PHARMACY

Watson appoints new SVP, CFO

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. Watson Pharmaceuticals has appointed R. Todd Joyce as SVP and CFO, the generic drug maker announced Friday.

Joyce succeeds Mark Durand, who left the CFO post for unspecified personal reasons, though the company announced in July that Durand had taken a leave of absence for health reasons, naming Joyce as acting principal financial officer.

“I, the board of directors and the senior management team wish to thank Mark for his service to the company,” Watson CEO Paul Bisaro said in a statement. “We appreciate this was a difficult decision for him and wish him well in the future. We are fortunate that Todd, who has served in a variety of senior financial positions within the company over the past 12 years, has agreed to become our new CFO.”

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American Diabetes Association promotes skin care message for national diabetes awareness month

BY Alaric DeArment

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. Diabetes can cause a lot of complications, but the American Diabetes Association is focusing on an easily preventable one during American Diabetes Month: dry skin.

People with diabetes, which affects nearly 24 million Americans, carry the risk of dry skin due to nerve damage that diminishes the body’s ability to sweat. When the skin dries, it can crack and become itchy, increasing the risk of fungal and bacterial infections.

“There are many preventive steps people with diabetes should take to reduce the likelihood of complications from dry skin on the feet,” diabetes specialist Jacqueline Sutera said in a statement. “Regular visits with a podiatrist, who can examine your feet, along with meticulous daily foot care, are vital to helping feet stay healthy.”

Ways diabetics can keep their skin healthy include keeping glucose levels under control, applying talcum powder in areas where skin touches skin and limiting time in the shower to five to 10 minutes while using mild soaps, shampoos and conditioners and avoiding very hot water.

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AstraZeneca reports jump in Q3 profit

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON Profits for AstraZeneca were up by 27% for third quarter 2009 compared with third quarter 2008, the Anglo-Swedish drug maker announced in an earnings report Thursday.

The company reported an operating profit of $3.2 billion, compared with $2.5 billion a year ago, boosted by a 10% increase in revenue during the same period, from $7.8 billion in third quarter 2008 to $8.2 billion this quarter.

The companies A-H1N1 influenza vaccine had $152 million in U.S. sales, accounting for 2% of global revenue growth when exchange rates were taken into account. The withdrawal of generic versions of the hypertension drug Toprol-XL (metoprolol succinate) helped that drug account for 3% of global revenue growth. The Food and Drug Administraiton and European Medicines Agency also approved Onglyza (saxagliptin) as a treatment for diabetes.

Still, the company had some disappointments, notably its withdrawal of the regulatory approval application for the lung cancer drug Zactima (vandetanib).

“Our strong business performance is driven by good operating execution bolstered by revenue upsides from Toprol-XL and H1N1 vaccine sales,” CEO David Brennan said in a statement.

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