The completion of two major deals involving pharmaceutical companies was announced this month. The deals shuffle around several vaccine and companion animal pharmaceutical lines, but the companies say veterinarians won’t see any changes right away.

New Pfizer Animal Health

Pfizer Inc. will add more than two dozen new companion animal pharmaceutical products to its inventory, as part of its approximately $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth and its subsidiary Fort Dodge Animal Health.

Pfizer now has the Lyme disease vaccine Lymevax, topical flea and tick control product Promeris, and anesthetic Ketaset. Pfizer will retain a total of 28 Fort Dodge over-the-counter and prescription companion animal products (See the full list below). Pfizer will also retain several of Fort Dodge’s devices: The balance of Fort Dodge’s companion animal products went to pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim under that company’s agreement with Pfizer, according to Pfizer Associate Marketing Manager Deirdre O’Brien. ...more
A familiar name in the veterinary drug world could fall by the wayside, if a planned buyout goes forward.

Pharmaceutical group Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) and its U.S. animal health division, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., announced Sept. 22 that it has entered into an agreement with Pfizer, Inc., to acquire “certain assets” of Wyeth Pharmaceutical’s Fort Dodge Animal Health. The deal will take place after the closing of Pfizer’s merger with Wyeth, which is expected in the fourth quarter of this year. Financial terms of the BI-Fort Dodge deal were not disclosed.

Under the proposed agreement, BI will take ownership of a “significant portion of the Fort Dodge product portfolio,” including part of its pet vaccine product line in the U.S. and Canada. The company was not specific about which products they would be acquiring.

“If approved, Boehringer Ingelheim will acquire several, but not all, of the pet vaccines currently manufactured and sold by Fort Dodge Animal Health in the U.S., Canada, and Australia,” said BI spokeswoman Amy Kunkel. “In addition, we will acquire a portfolio of pet pharmaceutical products current sold by Fort Dodge Animal Health in the U.S.” ...more
A planned drug company buyout will open the door for the creation of a massive animal-pharmaceuticals joint venture in the near future.

French drug-maker sanofi-aventis agreed last week to purchase 50 percent of Merial Limited for $4 billion in cash from Merck and Co., Inc. The deal would make sanofi-aventis the sole owner of Merial, which until now has been a 50-50 joint venture between Merck and sanofi-aventis. Merial’s best-known products include flea and tick control product Frontline and dog heartworm preventative Heartgard.

According to one analyst, veterinarians will most likely not see much change in terms of products or service, though the high price of the deal could potentially affect spending on research and development. ...more
A room used to perform annual inspections of pharmaceutical products for visual signs of deterioration was so dark that federal investigators had to use flashlights to inspect the drugs. Samples of Thiamine Hydrochloride, Lidocaine Hydrochloride, and Phenylbutazone were found by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspectors to contain particles, because the drug company employees originally charged with the inspections had no training.

Missouri-based veterinary drug company Teva Animal Health Inc., has been shut down by the federal government due to these and other alleged “significant” violations of current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP), according to legal documents obtained by NEWStat.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in an announcement that it has filed a consent decree of permanent injunction against Teva Animal Health Inc. The injunction prevents Teva Animal Health, its president, and two principals from its parent company from manufacturing and distributing adulterated veterinary drugs, the FDA said.

According to the agency, three separate FDA inspections between 2007 and 2009 “found significant cGMP violations at Teva Animal Healths facilities, located in St. Joseph, Mo.” The violations are detailed in the lawsuit and an observation report, copies of which were obtained by NEWStat. ...more
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two new drugs this week that are the first of their kind for treating specific conditions in animals. On June 3, the FDA approved the first cancer drug therapy for dogs, and on June 9, the agency gave the green light to a hyperthyroidism drug for cats.

The feline hyperthyroidism drug, Felimazole (methimazole), is manufactured by U.K.-based drug maker Dechra, and is the first drug approved by the FDA for treating this condition in cats. Methimazole is an antithyroid drug that blocks the creation of thyroid hormones.

According to an FDA news release, Felimazole was tested in field studies in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is administered orally in initial doses of 2.5 mg per animal every 12 hours. ...more
Authors of several AAHA Press publications turned up in the bookstore during the AAHA Yearly Conference in Phoenix last month to meet with and answer questions from readers. The authors were: Marsha L Heinke, DVM, CPA, CVPM; Philip Seibert, CVT; Linda White; Rebecca Rose, CVT; and Carin Smith, DVM.

The books cover a wide range of topics, from practice management to behavior issues to career options for technicians ...more
The head of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI) had some sobering advice for veterinarians this year. Presenting at the AAHA Yearly Conference’s Trends Executive Edge session “Crunch and Grow Your Numbers,” NCVEI CEO Karen E. Felsted, CPA, DVM, CVPM, told the audience that practices can no longer count on raising fees alone to deal with the tough economic times.

"We are passing along our lack of productivity and efficiency to clients in the form of fee increases, and that is not sustainable," Felsted said.

The session was attended by close to 200 people, or nearly 10 percent of registered attendees at the Phoenix conference. ...more
You probably don’t have time to read through the 407-page, $787 billion “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.” But the economic stimulus package, signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, contains some important information for individuals, as well as small businesses such as veterinary practices.

If you are looking to secure a loan from the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), or purchase some new equipment, now might be the time to do so.

The package includes $730 million for the SBA, and makes changes to the SBA’s lending and investment programs. The Obama Administration also announced this week a series of measures directed at making more credit available to small businesses, and several small-business-friendly tax initiatives. ...more
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