PHARMACY

McKesson reports earnings increase for Q2 2008

BY Jenna Duncan

SAN FRANCISCO McKesson Co. reported Wednesday that its earnings for second quarter 2008 which ended Sept. 30 totaled $26.6 billion, up 9 percent from $24.5 billion at the same time last year.

“We had a solid quarter, with a particularly strong performance from Distribution Solutions despite industry concerns about lower prescription trends,” John H. Hammergren, chairman and chief executive officer said in a statement. “In Technology Solutions, our second quarter operating profit was up 8 percent year-over-year, although we did begin to see some customers delay their purchasing decisions.”

Second-quarter diluted earnings were $1.17 per share, up 41 percent from 83 cents per diluted share last year. That total included 27 cents per share from a $76 million tax reserve release and five cents per share after sale of the 42 percent holdings of Verispan, the company reported. McKesson benefited from the sale of its specialty pharmacy business Distribution Solutions, a business within McKesson Specialty Care Solutions.

McKesson also said that its second-quarter earnings totals included $25 million in pre-tax share-based compensation expense, versus its pre-tax expense of $28 million one year ago.

The company said that projections for 2009 earnings were reported at $4.00 to $4.15 per diluted share.

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Medimetriks announces agreement to market treatments for impetigo

BY Alaric DeArment

FAIRFIELD, N.J. Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals has entered into a licensing agreement with Perrigo for U.S. Marketing rights to Centany Ointment and two prescription keratolytic brands, Medimetriks announced Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson’s OrthoNeutrogena professional division previously marketed Centany, which is used for treating impetigo caused by Straphylococcus aureas and Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration approved it in 2002.

The two keratolytic brands are urea-based therapies for treating severe dry skin.

“We are happy to have a partner that brings such a record of success in the branded pharmaceutical business,” Perrigo executive vice president Sharon Kochan said in a statement. “We believe the licensed products are in good hands, given Medimetriks management’s proven abilities in building a successful business in the dermatology and podiatry markets.”

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Few healthcare providers receive adequate training, tools to help patients quit smoking

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A new study suggests that few healthcare workers have sufficient training in smoking cessation to help patients quit.

The study, presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Philadelphia, found that 87 to 93 percent of healthcare providers receive less than five hours of smoking cessation training, while less than 6 percent know the governmental Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s guidelines for treating people with tobacco dependence.

The study surveyed 600 people working in health care, including physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, social workers and students, and divided them into prescribers and non-prescribers.

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