Archive for the 'Products' Category

Drug Shortages Rise, but No Requirement to Report Them

Angie Drakulich PharmTech editorIn 2008, a shortage of pig intestines, used in the manufacture of the blood anticoagulant heparin, was associated with the drug product’s contamination in China and led to many deaths around the globe. This event demonstrated the significance of a shortage of supplies needed to manufacture a particular drug and its effect on public health. Read more »

Congress Probes Pricing of URL Pharma Gout Medication

KV-Pharma’s ill-advised pricing of its FDA-approved synthetic progesterone has caused Congress to scrutinize the pricing of other newly-approved versions of old drugs. In an effort to bring such legacy medications into compliance with modern requirements for drug safety and efficacy, FDA offers incentives in the form of patent protection to companies that run older drugs through the appropriate clinical trials and seek FDA approval. URL Pharma markets an FDA-approved gout medication called Colcrys, the active ingredient of which is colchicine, a medication so old that it predated the FDA’s drug safety laws. URL Pharma won approval for their drug in July 2009 and set the price at almost $5 a pill compared with pennies a pill for unapproved versions of colchicine, which FDA ordered be removed from the market once the approved drug became available. URL Pharma vigorously defended their patent after approval and also defended their pricing, saying that it was in line with other approved gout medications and that running the clinical trials provided important safety and dosage information.

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The Baffling Pricing of Prescription Drugs

This blog post was written by Amy Ritter.

Drug maker KV Pharmaceuticals has been in the news concerning pricing of its newly approved drug, Makena.  Makena, while newly approved, is a version of a very old drug, synthetic progesterone, which had previously been available to consumers for as little $10-$15 a treatment through specialty pharmacies that compounded the drug on site.   Read more »

Positive Steps Toward the Next Obesity Drug Approval

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorAfter rejecting two obesity-drug candidates in recent months, FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee recommended two weeks ago that the agency approve a third drug, Contrave (naltrexone sustained release [SR]/bupropion SR) by Orexigen Therapeutics (San Diego). Members of the expert panel voted 13–7 to approve the drug, but recommended that additional studies be conducted to investigate potential heart risks. Read more »

J&J’s Fort Washington Plant Cited for Quality Problems; Two Vice-Chairmen Appointed

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorMcNeil Consumer Healthcare, a business unit of Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, NJ), failed to ensure the quality of over-the-counter consumer products, according to the Form 483 report released by the US Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday. Read more »

China and India Beef Up Anticounterfeiting Initiatives

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorChina said it will work to crack down on counterfeit products such as software, music, organic corn, and pharmaceuticals, according to an article from the Associated Press. The government will launch a six-month campaign focused on eradicating sales of illegally copied and fake goods, said Jiang Zengwei, a deputy commerce minister, at a news conference earlier this week. Read more »

Safety Concerns Prompted FDA’s Rejection of Qnexa and Lorcaserin

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorThe wait for the release of a new weight-loss drug got longer recently as regulatory decisions were not in favor of fat-fighting treatments. The US Food and Drug Administration decided in October not to approve two anti-obesity treatments, sending complete response letters (CRLs) to the drugs’ sponsors.  Read more »

Illegitimate Online Pharmacies Drive Counterfeiting, Says Report

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorA new report, Phony Drugs, Real Solutions: Practical Anti-counterfeiting Considerations, by technology product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants, gives an update of the problem of counterfeiting and diversion of pharmaceuticals and offers solutions to manufacturers for protecting their brands and consumers. The report’s authors conducted in-depth interviews with leaders from pharmaceutical and biotech sectors, as well as technology developers and industry bodies. Read more »

New Report Addresses Pharma Execs’ Top Supply-Chain Concerns

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorIndustry executives revealed their biggest worries for global supply-chain management in a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the analyst firm Axendia that focused on major areas of concern in the pharmaceutical supply chain. The report, titled Achieving Global Supply Chain Visibility, Control & Collaboration in Life Sciences: Business Imperative, Regulatory Necessity, surveyed 112 executives from the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology sectors. Read more »

Massive Brand Recalls Widen Doors for Generic Drugs

Angie Drakulich PharmTech editorDriving to work yesterday, I listened to a story on National Public Radio about the effect of Johnson & Johnson’s massive recalls on consumer choices. The news wires and blogosphere have been hyping up a major shift in consumer purchasing in the US from over-the-counter brand-name drugs to generic drugs ever since J&J had to remove from the market millions of bottles of its most popular allergy and fever-reducing medications, including Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl. Read more »

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