Some analysts called it a cheap trick when Forest Laboratories said it would stop making the Alzheimer's drug Namenda this fall so it could push patients to switch to their new long-acting version as generic rivals to the original loom. New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman calls the tactic something else: illegal.
Actavis' plan to discontinue production of the original version of its Alzheimer's treatment Namenda and move patients to the extended-release version depended on patient and payer buy-in and being able to produce adequate supplies. The company has achieved the first two goals but has run into a shortage because production has been unable to keep up with demand.
Is it possible to be just too clever when it comes to marketing? That is something that Actavis CEO Brent Saunders will find out now that his decision to stop making the original version of the Alzheimer's treatment Namenda has turned into a production pileup for the company.
Pfizer may not get a great shot at buying AstraZeneca this fall--but it's preparing to give it a try. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports, the U.S.-based drug giant is looking at Actavis, the generics maker with a new home address in Ireland, among other targets.
On Tuesday, Depomed announced that it won its patent lawsuit against Actavis, which wanted to market a generic version of Depomed's shingles pain drug Gralise. Depomed's shares surged more than 13% in after-hours trading to $14.94.
A couple of things happened this past week to set off new chatter about a Pfizer megadeal. First, GlaxoSmithKline posted disappointing earnings and cut its full-year forecast, sending its stock into the dumpster--and its market cap tumbling. Then, Berenberg analysts issued an investor note extolling the potential virtues of a Pfizer-GlaxoSmithKline combo. Let the speculation continue.
Talk about peer pressure. First, a couple of U.S. drugmakers pull off trans-Atlantic deals that shift their official HQs and lower their tax rates. Next, some bigger names go for the same tax-inversion strategy. Now, investors want to know why every drugmaker isn't jumping in.
There are winners and losers in mergers, and as a general rule, executives win and at least some workers lose. That certainly is the case with Actavis and Forest Laboratories. While nearly 200 Forest employees in the St. Louis, MO, area got pink slips this week, top execs will receive up to $186 million in "merger success awards" for closing the $25 billion deal.
After serving as Bausch & Lomb's chief exec for just 5 months, incoming Actavis CEO Brent Saunders wants to keep his new job for awhile. So forget selling the company, fast-growing and attractive as it may be, Saunders is more interested in buying.
Actavis has seen significant production increases at a manufacturing facility in Malta in recent years and so needed more storage space to handle it. This week it opened a new 4,800-square-meter warehouse in Bulebel, that uses new technology to tread lightly on the environment.