The Justice Department on Thursday filed a civil lawsuit against AmerisourceBergen Corp., one of the largest drug distributors in the country, alleging that it failed to report “at least hundreds of thousands” suspicious opioid orders to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Under the Controlled Substances Act, pharmaceutical distributors must monitor the orders they receive for controlled substances, and are required to flag any they deem suspicious to the DEA. According to the filing, AmerisourceBergen repeatedly failed to do so since 2014, despite being made aware of significant “red flags” at pharmacies across the country.
“In the midst of a catastrophic opioid epidemic AmerisourceBergen allegedly altered its internal systems in a way that reduced the number of orders that would be flagged as suspicious. And even up to the orders that AmerisourceBergen identified as suspicious, the company routinely failed to report those suspicious orders,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said during a call with members of the media on Thursday. “In short, the government’s complaint alleges that for years AmerisourceBergen prioritized profits over its legal obligations and over Americans’ well-being.”
Teva Pharmaceuticals’ big-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone is losing ground in the U.S. thanks to generics, but the medicine was once the company’s primary growth driver. Now, it’s at the center of a lawsuit filed by the state of Israel over alleged unpaid royalties.
Israel has sued Teva for $100 million in royalties on the longer-lasting version of the medicine, Globes reports. While Teva owns Copaxone marketing rights, scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science developed the medicine, the publication reports.
When the original daily version, first approved in the U.S. in 1996, neared its patent expiration, the company switched its efforts to a longer-acting version. In its lawsuit, Israel claims government scientists at the Weizmann Institute developed the long-acting version as well, so it’s owed royalties.
“The state has no alternative but to take legal action against Teva to ensure that it receives suitable remuneration for using public resources that brought Teva very large scale revenue,” the suit says, according to Globes.
Two small biotech firms filed a long-awaited lawsuit against Moderna, alleging that its Covid-19 vaccine infringes on a number of patents they control.
The companies, Arbutus Biopharma and Genevant Sciences, a subsidiary of Roivant Sciences, say that they hold patents covering the lipid nanoparticle wrappers used to carry the messenger RNA in Moderna‘s (ticker: MRNA) Covid-19 vaccine through the bloodstream and into the cells.
The giant will purchase a biotech company with cannabinoid-type therapeutics in the pipeline.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. is entering the cannabis space via the $6.7 billion acquisition of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The two publicly-traded companies confirmed Monday that they have signed a definitive agreement under which Pfizer will acquire all outstanding shares of Arena for $100 per share in an all-cash transaction.
Pfizer expects to finance the transaction with existing cash on hand upon obtaining all necessary approvals.
Arena Pharmaceuticals, based in San Diego, Cal., is a biotech company with one segment of its drug pipeline dedicated to cannabinoid-type therapeutics. The core of its cannabis biotech operations is the research and development of its investigational drug candidate called Olorinab (APD371). This is an oral full agonist of the cannabinoid receptor 2 that is being researched for the treatment of various symptoms, mainly concentrated on visceral pain connected with gastrointestinal illnesses.
Other parts of Arena’s drug pipeline are concentrated on non-cannabinoid drugs with the main focus on developing innovative potential therapies for the treatment of several immuno-inflammatory diseases. Arena’s portfolio includes diverse and promising development-stage therapeutic candidates in gastroenterology, dermatology and cardiology.
Undoing the ban is the linchpin of President Joe Biden’s healthcare agenda. It would mean lower costs, with savings put into things such as dental coverage for retirees.
As a participant in Medicare’s prescription drug program, Florida retiree Donna Weiner would like to pay less for her medicines, which cost her about $6,000 a year.
And as a retired accountant who spent 50 years handling the books for companies, she sees a way to get there.
“You know from working in a business that it makes no sense for an administrator of a plan or a company not to be involved in what they have to pay out,” said Weiner, who lives in Longwood, Florida, near Orlando.
For Medicare “to negotiate those prices down would be thousands of dollars back in my pocket every year,” she said.