Jun 12, 2013

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Healthcare Review: AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)

Healthcare Review: AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) aggressively advanced its Niaspan cholesterol treatment, almost tripling US use of the medication, in the seven-year period ahead of studies in 2011 that found the drug ineffective, a study claimed.

From 2002 to 2009, niacin and its brand-name complement, Niaspan, now sold by Abbott’s spinoff firm, AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV), climbed up 191 percent in the US, to 696,000 prescriptions per month. A combination of assertive marketing and aggressive medical guidelines for decreasing cholesterol levels caused that hike, as per declared by research published on Tuesday in the journal, JAMA Internal Medicine.

Abbott and AbbVie enhanced Niaspan prices to nearly completely compensated prescription amounts that fell beginning in 2011, as per reported by sales data compiled the previous month by Bloomberg.

Two studies launched then and in 2012 discovered the medicine did not help patients and might have hurt them. Price hikes assisted AbbVie to hold on to revenue from the drug, even as proof against it augmented.

Niacin, a kind of vitamin B3, has been around since 1956 as a cure for patients whose bad cholesterol is too high. Side effects to the drug, mentioned on its label, included red skin rashes and itching. Abbott purchased the brand Niaspan in 2006, when it purchased Kos Pharmaceuticals for $3.4 billion.

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