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J&J beats forecasts as sales of new drugs shine

By Ransdell Pierson (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson <JNJ.N> reported quarterly earnings well above expectations, as strong sales of new drugs offset weak demand for consumer products and medical devices, and the company slightly raised its full-year profit view. J&J on Tuesday said it earned $4.73 billion, or $1.64 per share, in the first quarter. That compared with $3.5 billion, or $1.22 per share, in the year-ago quarter, when the diversified healthcare company took a big litigation charge.

Aging baby boomers, generic launches to drive Rite Aid sales

By Shailaja Sharma (Reuters) - Rite Aid Corp <RAD.N>, the third-largest U.S. drugstore operator, forecast fiscal 2015 sales above analysts' estimates as it benefits from the launch of new generic drugs and enrolls more customers in its loyalty programs. Rite Aid's shares jumped as much as 15.5 percent to their highest in 13 years after the company also reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by a 3.5 percent rise in pharmacy sales.

France seizes record haul of counterfeit drugs from China

French customs have confiscated millions of counterfeit drugs imported from China in what they described as the biggest seizure of its kind within the European Union. A total of 2.4 million drugs for various ailments were seized at the end of February in the port of Le Havre in containers marked as Chinese tea, customs officials said Thursday. am/yad

Fake drugs labelled as Chinese tea: France in record haul

French customs have confiscated millions of counterfeit drugs imported from China in what they described as the biggest seizure of its kind within the European Union. A total of 2.4 million doses of drugs for ailments including diarrhoea, headaches and erectile dysfunction were seized at the end of February in the port of Le Havre in boxes labelled as containing Chinese tea, customs officials said Thursday. "Some of the drugs contain no active ingredient, which constitutes outright cheating of consumers," a statement from the customs executive said.

India's Sun Pharma to buy struggling Ranbaxy for $3.2 billion as Daiichi Sankyo retreats

By Chang-Ran Kim and Zeba Siddiqui TOKYO/MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd <SUN.NS> has agreed to buy generic drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd <RANB.NS> for $3.2 billion, betting it can fix factory quality glitches that plagued the current owner, Japan's Daiichi Sankyo Co <4568.T>, and got Ranbaxy India-made drugs barred from the United States.

Indian drug maker Sun to buy troubled peer Ranbaxy for $4.0 bln

Top Indian drug giant Sun Pharmaceutical Industries said Monday it had agreed to buy its troubled peer Ranbaxy for $4.0 billion in stock, ending its ill-fated six-year control by Japan's Daiichi Sankyo. The deal will create India's biggest drugs manufacturer by far and leave Daiichi Sankyo with a significant stake in the combined entity. The United States, one of Ranbaxy Laboratories' biggest markets, has slapped import bans on Ranbaxy's manufacturing plants for failing to meet "good manufacturing practices".

FDA defends generic drug label proposal at U.S. House hearing

(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday defended its proposal to require generic drugmakers to update the prescribing information on their products if they become aware of new safety information, a move the industry says will open them to product liability lawsuits and raise drug costs.

Sun Pharma shares slide after US import ban

Shares in Indian drugmaker Sun Pharmaceuticals sank more than six percent Thursday after US regulators banned the import of some of its products, dealing a fresh blow to the nation's troubled generics market. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced late Wednesday an "import alert" on drugs made by Sun at its plant in western India over failure to meet "good manufacturing practices".

Pfizer trading halted briefly over news court invalidated patent for arthritis drug Celebrex

TRENTON, N.J. - A federal court on Wednesday invalidated the key patent for one of Pfizer's most lucrative medicines, potentially opening the door for cheaper generic versions 18 months sooner than expected and cutting into the drugmaker's profit.

Bayer buys Dihon to add traditional Chinese medicine

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer said it would buy privately held Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co, a maker of traditional herbal Chinese medicines (TCM), as the German drugmaker pushes to become the world's largest non-prescription medicines group. With China's healthcare spending forecast to nearly triple to $1 trillion by 2020 from $357 billion in 2011, according to consulting firm McKinsey, the country is a magnet for makers of medicines and medical equipment.
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