PHARMACY

L.A. Times article on Rx information draws response from NACDS

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. A group representing the drug retailing industry has responded to an article published in the Los Angeles Times regarding pharmacy’s role in providing patients with information on their prescription medications.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday utilized its Rapid Response program — which emphasizes pharmacy’s role as the face of neighborhood health care and clarifies inaccuracies or misperceptions in the media or in other sources —  to address the article’s implication that pharmacies do not always provide prescription-drug information to patients, citing a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine. NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson, however, addressed the newspaper in a letter to the editor, stating that pharmacy is working with the government to “provide enhanced user-friendly information to patients about their prescription drugs.”

The NACDS leader went on to say that its organization has worked closely with the Food and Drug Administration to develop a “one-document solution” that could “enhance communications with patients about their medications.”

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Sanofi, Scripps Genomic Medicine form partnership

BY Alaric DeArment

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis and a division of San Diego-based nonprofit community health system Scripps Health will work together in the field of personalized medicine.

The two companies announced Tuesday the partnership between Sanofi and Scripps Genomic Medicine, under which Sanofi-Aventis Research & Development will fund up to three grants per year for research proposals from Scripps investigators.

“Our alliance with Sanofi-Aventis exemplifies the ideal collaboration between the pharmaceutical industry and nonprofit research community,” Scripps Health chief academic officer Eric Topol said. “The partnership aims to foster an environment of open scientific exchange in genomic medicine that we hope will translate to new discoveries to benefit patients while establishing a collaborative approach to drug development.”

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Revenue, profit rise for Watson in Q2

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. Generic drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals posted strong sales for second quarter 2010, according to an earnings report.

Revenue for the quarter were $875.3 million, a 29% increase over second quarter 2009. Profit was $102.8 million, a 22% increase over last year.

“The second quarter was one of solid financial growth, consistent performance and continued progress against the strategies that will ensure growth of Watson’s global business,” Watson president and CEO Paul Bisaro said. “We continue to emphasize growing our businesses through product development and portfolio and market expansion.”

Generic drugs had global sales of $560.8 million, compared with $393.8 million in second quarter 2009. For the first six months of the year, generics sales were $1.09 billion, compared with $789 million during the same period last year.

Sales for Watson’s branded drugs segment were $76.9 million, compared with $97.6 million in second quarter 2009. The decrease was due mostly to Watson handing over marketing rights for the iron deficiency drug Ferrlecit (sodium ferric gluconate) to French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis in December.

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