Product News and Recalls

Benicar maker dealing with challenges

The Wall Street Journal reports that Daiichi Sankyo Co., Japan’s third-largest pharmaceutical manufacturer, is hoping sales of new drugs will help the company offset lost revenue from patent expirations.

Although Daiichi Sankyo returned to profit in the fiscal fourth quarter and posted a six-fold jump in annual net profit, the story says, those gains were mainly due to the absence of a $3.9 billion one-time loss from settlement costs between its Indian unit, Ranbaxy Laboratories, and the U.S. Justice Department over manufacturing processes.

Another potential dark cloud on the horizon for the company comes in the form of two clinical drug trials for the blood pressure medication Benicar, which have prompted a U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation.

Benicar, the brand name for the drug known chemically as olmesartan, was given to some patients with Type 2 diabetes in both of the clinical trials to see whether it would slow the progression of kidney disease or diabetes. Other patients took a placebo. And in both of the clinical trials, diabetes patients who took the drug had a higher rate of death from heart-related causes than patients taking a placebo.

A recent Mayo Clinic report has also linked Benicar to stomach problems including chronic diarrhea, vomiting, intestinal inflammation and weight loss.

To offset revenue declines from the patent cliff, the Wall Street Journal reports, Daiichi Sankyo will focus on expanding sales of new products globally, with a particular emphasis on emerging markets in Asia and Latin America.

For the current fiscal year, the company expects a 2.1 percent rise in net profit to $6.8 billion.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns, and before making any changes in medication. You should also consult with a lawyer if you have injuries connected with Benicar.

See the story here: