PHARMACY

AmerisourceBergen reports steady holdings for Q4

BY Jenna Duncan

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. AmerisourceBergen Co. has reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008.

The company has reported that its total revenue increased to $17.2 billion, up 5 percent from $16.3 billion in the fourth quarter 2007. The total reported revenue was $70.2 billion, up 7 percent from 2007.

“Our results from continuing operations in the September quarter and fiscal year 2008 reflect exceptional performance and resiliency across our businesses,” David Yost, president and chief executive officer of AmerisourceBergen said. “In a pharmaceutical market where growth was soft by historical standards [but] … Our balance sheet remains very strong.”

Earnings per share were up 18 percent to $0.73 in the fourth quarter 2008, compared with $0.62 per share in fourth quarter 2007. Diluted earnings for continuing operations were $2.89 per share, up 14 percent from last year’s $2.53 per share, the company said.

The company also reported that the total operating income for the fourth quarter 2008 increased to $202.7 million from $177.0 million, or 15 percent, from fourth quarter 2007.

Projections for expected diluted earnings for fiscal year 2009 are estimated to be between $3.08 to $3.25 per share, a calculated rate of 7 percent to 12 percent over the $2.89 from continuing operations in fiscal 2008. Free cash flow is expected to grow to $460 million to $535 million including about $140 million in capital. And following approval from the board of directors, about $350 million is expected to be put towards repurchasing common shares, company officials said.

AmerisourceBergen is the employer of approximately 11,000.

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Walgreens announces promotions of several execs

BY Alaric DeArment

DEERFIELD, Ill. Seven Walgreens executives received promotions Wednesday.

Carlo Baldan, a category manager for the sleep, pain and incontinence categories, was promoted to divisional merchandising manager for personal care in the retail pharmacy chain’s beauty and fashion division.

Robert Tompkins, the divisional merchandising manager for OTC drugs, was promoted to general merchandising manager of the health and wellness purchasing group, succeeding Chong Bang, who is now vice president of customer-centric retailing. Bob Cinq-Mars will replace Tompkins as divisional merchandise manager for OTC categories including medications for pain, sleep, incontinence, nutrition, diet and smoking cessation.

Robert Bobber, the divisional merchandise manager for consumables, will be in charge of OTC categories that Cinq-Mars previously managed. Robin Randolph, divisional merchandise manager for electronics, will take over for Bobber while maintaining her current position.

Scott Minger, associate category manager for vitamins, has been promoted to category manager for vitamins.

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Lannett Co. announces patent approval for generic pain drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA Generic drug maker Lannett Company announced earlier this month that the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent to subsidiary Cody Laboratories for a method for preparing hydromorphone and hydrocodone.

“Our patented method for preparing hydromorphone and hydrocodone will greatly enhance our ability to manufacture these products quickly and efficiently,” Lannett president and chief executive Arthur Bedrosian said. “Importantly, with minimal incremental investment, the faster manufacturing time appreciably expands our manufacturing capacity, allowing us to maximize our production assets.”

Hydromorphone and hydrocodone are opiate-derived drugs used for treating pain.

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