Swedish drugmaker Meda could be hit by Valeant's pharmacy woes

Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:26pm EST
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By Carl O'Donnell and Sven Nordenstam

NEW YORK/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Future royalty levels for one of Swedish drugmaker Meda's most important drugs are uncertain after Meda confirmed to Reuters on Friday that its eczema cream Elidel was sold in the United States by pharmacy Philidor, which is due to cease operations by the end of January.

The licensing rights for Elidel in North America are held by Canada's Valeant, which is cutting its ties with Philidor after scrutiny of its business practices and now faces disruption to its dermatology business.

Meda executives initially said at an earnings call last week that they were not aware of Meda products being sold through Philidor. However, a Philidor training manual reviewed by Reuters shows that Elidel and cold sore cream Xerese were sold through the speciality pharmacy.

A former Philidor employee who declined to be identified told Reuters that Elidel was one of its biggest products.

"Valeant has informed us that less than 20 percent of sales of those products licensed to them have been distributed by Philidor in the United States," Meda spokeswoman Paula Treutiger told Reuters in response to questions over Philidor sales of its products but declined to comment on any potential impact on Meda from Valeant's break with Philidor.

Representatives of Valeant and Philidor were not immediately available for comment.

Valeant does not report sales figures for Elidel and Xerese separately but has said that Philidor has accounted for about 7 percent of its total sales and that it was almost entirely focused on dermatology products.

Meda has received a guaranteed level of royalties from Valeant for its products but only until the end of this year, after which it will receive a percentage of actual sales, the company said at last week's earnings call.   Continued...