PHARMACY

Sermo, Pfizer collaborate on doctors’ pharma website

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK Sermo and Pfizer have agreed on a collaboration whereby the pharmaceutical manufacturer will have its medical staff post on an online forum that had been used by doctors to swap medical observations without interference by the pharmaceutical industry, the Associated Press reported.

The forum started last September and has been used by 30,000 doctors. Pfizer’s medical staff will most likely be clearly identified when on the forum. Now, it seems as though the doctors want to have participation with pharmaceutical companies in a controlled fashion. Sermo took an online poll and received information from focus groups, which showed the desire to have the pharmaceutical industry take part, but still without the ads that accompany most websites.

“These doctors are saying, ‘We want to have a different type of relationship with the industry,”‘ said Daniel Palestrant, Sermo’s chief executive officer, a former surgical resident at a Boston hospital. “Doctors in our focus groups would say, ‘In many cases, the most timely and interesting information on drugs comes from the industry. But I want that information on my terms.’“

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PHARMACY

Wyeth hit with $134.5 million in Nevada lawsuit

BY Drew Buono

RENO, Nev. Wyeth has been ordered by a Washoe county court to pay more than $43 million each to three northern Nevada women who claimed that the company’s hormone replacement drugs, Prempro and Premarin caused their breast cancer, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The jury said the drugs were defective and found the company negligent for producing, manufacturing and selling them. The jurors awarded $7.5 million to each woman in past damages and $36 million-$40 million in future damages.

The jurors still have to decide whether the company is liable for punitive damages. Wyeth is also fighting about 5,300 similar lawsuits involving 7,800 women in state and federal courts across the country.

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Teva sues Apotex over Coreg infringement

BY Drew Buono

TRENTON, N.J. Teva has sued Apotex to prevent it from selling a generic version of the heart medication Coreg, according to Bloomberg.

The two companies, as well as other generic drug makers, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to sell a generic version on Sept. 5.  Teva says it owns four patents that cover various forms and processes to make the generic, carvedilol. The company also said that Apotex might have to buy the compound made using the patented process in order to sell the generic.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday in a federal court in New Jersey. Coreg had sales of $853.8 million in the first six months of 2007.

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