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Generics of antibiotic Levaquin approved by FDA

The FDA has approved the first generic versions of Johnson and Johnson’s (J&J) blockbuster antibiotic Levaquin (levofloxacin), used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, sinuses, kidneys, bladder, and prostate caused by specific germs.

Record high drug shortages in the US

In 2010, there were 178 drugs that experienced shortages in the US, see Figure 1. This is a record high level and regulators blame quality and manufacturing problems for the crisis. Worse still, many of the drugs identified in 2010 remain unavailable or in short supply in 2011.

Watson buys Greek generic maker Specifar

Watson Pharmaceuticals announced on 25 May 2011 that it had bought the Greece-based generic manufacturer Specifar Pharmaceuticals for Euros 400 million with the intention of increasing its generics presence in Europe.

Pay-to-delay deals up by 60% in US

The number of deals struck between brand-name and generic pharmaceutical companies in the US are on the rise, despite efforts by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to restrict agreements that delay the introduction of lower-cost medicines, according to a report from the agency.

Generics and biosimilars to drive down drug spending

A report published by IMS Health on 18 May 2011 predicts a slowing down of the growth in annual spending on medicines, with generics being one of the main contributing factors for this reduction.

Teva expands in Japan – buying generic’s maker Taiyo

Teva is on the prowl again—grabbing yet another smaller generics manufacturer—and increasing its presence in the lucrative Japanese market. The Israeli generics giant announced on 16 May 2011 that it had agreed to buy a 57% stake in Japan-based Taiyo Pharmaceutical Industry for US$460 million.

Teva finally gets troubled Irvine plant back in action

Teva told the Wall Street Journal, on 3 May 2011 that its injectables facility in the US, which was shut down a year ago after quality control problems, has now received the green light from the FDA and has restarted production.

Teva – a moving target

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has grown rapidly since the forerunner of today’s firm was born in 1976. It has achieved its vision of becoming the world’s number one generics manufacturer, or as it puts it ‘its commitment to providing consumers with access to high-quality, affordable medicines’. It takes a great many legal wrangles and much forward planning to maintain this position.

China to power global generics development

Analysts estimate that China will overtake France and Germany as the world’s third-largest prescription medicines market in 2012, trailing only the US and Japan.

The latest on healthcare austerity in Greece

Greece is seeking to save approximately Euros 900 million a year and reduce the share of gross domestic product accounted for by healthcare spending from more than 10% in 2008 to under 6%. To help to achieve this, the maximum price of generic drugs will be set at no more than 60% of the originator product’s price, rather than 72% as originally proposed in September 2010.

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