HEALTH

Perrigo may have advantage over patent cliff

BY Alaric DeArment

ALLEGAN, Mich. Most people know Perrigo Co. as a leading provider of OTC medications and nutritional products, but it also has a sizeable prescription drug business. With the approach of the patent cliff, when the number of blockbuster prescription drugs losing patent protection will decline, some factors may give Perrigo an advantage.

Because Perrigo focuses its prescription drug business on topical medications, vice president for investor relations and communication Arthur Shannon said the complexity of the business insulated it from the effects of the patent cliff.

“The impending patent cliff doesn’t really apply to our business,” he said.

IMS Health vice president for industry relations Doug Long said there could be a competitive advantage for companies that market topical medications.

“I don’t think there is much difference in patent expirations, but the topical market is less competitive than oral solids,” he said. “There are more generic players in oral solids than in topicals probably because topicals are harder to make.”

Shannon also said the company’s OTC business would help it adapt.

“As we look ahead to the foreseeable future, we see good opportunities present for new product opportunities in our OTC business,” he said.

Shannon said the $25 million purchase of Diba, which will add almost $15 million to Perrigo’s annual sales, would make it the leading manufacturer of private-label medicines in Mexico, though Diba also makes prescription drugs, including antibiotics, hormonal and ophthalmic drugs. Perrigo does not plan to market its products in Mexico through Diba, or vice versa.

Nevertheless, that might not be needed.

“We are very comfortable with the future of our generic business,” Shannon said. “Being focused on topicals, we believe we are well-positioned to continue our growth.”

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Olympian Michael Phelps launches PureSport athletic drinks

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO Michael Phelps, winner of eight gold medals during this year’s summer Olympics, officially launched his PureSport brand of performance beverages here on Saturday.

PureSport features an optimal carbohydrate-to-protein ratio of 2:67-to-1 that was created by University of Texas’ John Ivy. The two PureSport formulations include, PureSport Workout, which is used prior to and during exercise to improve endurance and reduce muscle tissue damage, and PureSport Recovery, which is used within 30 minutes of completing a workout to speed the storage of muscle and liver glycogen and promote muscle tissue repair.  

More than 1,500 fans turned out to meet Phelps and learn more about the sports beverage that was a big part of his success, according to Phelps.

Among the athletes who have incorporated PureSport into their training regimens are world-class swimmers Michael Phelps, Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker and Aaron Peirsol, as well as Gold medal gymnast, Nastia Liukin.

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FDA gives tentative approval for Perrigo OTC pain drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

ALLEGAN, Mich. The Food and Drug Administration has given Perrigo tentative approval for its OTC ibuprofen and diphenhydramine citrate tablets, Perrigo announced Wednesday.

The product, available in 200 mg and 38 mg doses, will be sold under private labels and is comparable to Wyeths Advil PM pain-relief tablets.

“This is another example of Perrigo’s investment in new products making quality healthcare more affordable to American consumers,” Perrigo chairman and chief executive officer Joseph Papa said in a statement. “This is an important addition to our portfolio of products that saves the consumer of our OTC healthcare products approximately $1 billion annually when compared to the higher priced national brands.”

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