REX Awards 2019: Generics

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REX Awards 2019: Generics

By Sandra Levy - 04/23/2019
Who are the stars of the generics industry?

They are the companies that truly are making a difference in health care, helping consumers save money and giving retailers another option to offer their shoppers. According to the Association for Accessible Medicine’s 2018 Generic Drug Access & Savings Report, in 2017, generics generated a total of $265 billion in savings.

This month, Drug Store News recognizes the cream of the crop of the generics industry with our Retail Excellence, or REX, Awards. The winning companies were selected for their excellence in these highly competitive times. These are companies that go the extra mile for their customers and they also unquestionably are leaders in innovation.

Here are the 2019 REX Awards winners for the generics category:

Alembic Pharmaceuticals
Bridgewater, N.J.–based Alembic Pharmaceuticals is a subsidiary of the oldest pharmaceutical company in India. Established in 1907 and employing more than 8,000 people, Alembic’s parent company supplies products to more than 90 countries.

Armando Kellum, vice president of sales and marketing, described Alembic as “a vertically integrated organization with expertise spanning across the entire pharmaceuticals value chain, including research and development, manufacturing, and marketing of finished dosage formulations, and active pharmaceutical ingredients, or API, and intermediates.”

Alembic recently received its first approvals for drug dosage forms for dermatology and ophthalmic products. “The company invested over 13% of company-wide sales back into R&D, with 90% plus of that dedicated for the U.S. market,” Kellum said.

Since October 2015, Alembic has launched more than 45 product families and 200 SKUs in the United States. This year, it expects to launch more than 10 new domestic products. “Alembic is committed to differentiating itself in one key category: supply. Alembic strives to have 90-plus days of inventory in stock to cover current and potential needs of our customers. We strive to maintain very high service levels for committed customers, even if this means declining new business. Supply consistency and reliability form the basis of strong relationships with our customers, and consistency for healthcare providers and ultimately patients,” Kellum said.

Amneal Pharmaceuticals
In 2002, Bridgewater, N.J.-based Amneal was founded by Chirag and Chintu Patel, who continue to serve as co-chairmen of the company’s board. Since then, Amneal has grown organically and through mergers and acquisitions to become one of the leading U.S. generic pharmaceutical companies.

The company markets a portfolio of approximately 200 generic product families, including complex dosage forms in a broad range of therapeutic areas. The company also markets a portfolio of branded pharmaceutical products. Amneal recently launched generic Exelon Patch.

“The product is Amneal’s first transdermal product, and demonstrates the company’s commitment to develop and bring to market complex generic products. In its specialty business, IPX203 — an investigational drug being studied for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease — has advanced with the dosing of the first patients in a Phase III clinical trial,” said Andy Boyer, executive vice president of commercial operations.

Amneal has completed the renovation and expansion of its Brookhaven, N.Y. production facility, allowing for additional capacity. It also completed construction of a new 80,000-sq.-ft. distribution facility in Glasgow, Ky.

In 2018, Amneal had 62 abbreviated new drug application approvals, 10 tentative approvals and 42 new products launched. “Thirty-seven percent of the company’s new product launches were from injectable, topical or liquid products, further diversifying our portfolio of more than 200 generic products,” Boyer said.

Weston Fla.-based Anda was established more than 25 years ago as a niche distribution service of generic pharmaceuticals to U.S. retail independent pharmacies. Over the years, the company developed the product portfolio and distribution capabilities to support the needs of customers, ranging from small independent retail pharmacies in rural areas, long-term care pharmacies and regional chains to national chains.

Today, Anda is one of the leading pharmaceutical distributors within the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, servicing customers that span across all trade classes within health care. They carry items from nearly 400 manufacturers, including brand, generic and specialty pharmaceuticals; as well as vaccines, injectables, diagnostic tests, medical and surgical supplies, OTCs, vitamins and pet medications.

Anda president Chip Phillips pointed out that the company remains committed to being the trustworthy and flexible resource that customers can rely on to “get what they need, when they need it.”

“Our most recent solutions are capable of supporting the primary and secondary needs of our customers in this ever-changing
industry,” Phillips said. “Good examples of this include our new website, which recently launched, Automated Secondary program, and Customer Dedicated Inventory, or CDI, program. All of these solutions can be customized, which is what enables us to meet the unique needs of each customer.”

The company’s CDI program positions Anda as an extension of its customers’ distribution centers. “We systematically guarantee inventory, so that your product is for your use only,” he said. “At Anda, our people are what makes us unique. Our goal is to provide exceptional service to our customer and vendor partners. We hire remarkable people who are committed to exceed our customer’s expectations. We work closely with our customers and our vendors to understand their needs so together, we can develop meaningful, customizable solutions to support them.”

Ascend Labs
Ascend Labs, based in Parsippany, N.J., launched its label into the market in 2008 with three products. In 2010, Ascend sold a minority interest in itself to Alkem in exchange for marketing exclusivity on any U.S. approvals that Alkem obtained.

By 2012, Ascend sold its remaining shares, and today is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alkem, which is a $1 billion company with seven manufacturing campuses in India and several in the United States, including an API facility in California and a finished dose facility in St. Louis.

While originally targeting easy-to-manufacture molecules, Ascend targets more difficult molecules to distinguish itself from competitors. “Ascend markets over 40 molecules, which, when considering all strengths and sizes, accounts for about 150 SKUs,” Ascend’s executive vice president John Dillaway said.

Ascend has significant capacity with two existing manufacturing campuses in India dedicated to the U.S. market, and two facilities in the United States. The company’s research and development team are comprised of more than 500 scientists, of whom more than 100 have doctoral degrees.

Dillaway said Ascend has built a significant infrastructure between its manufacturing capabilities and its experienced team of account executives, becoming well known for its ability to supply, and the quality of information and partnership it brings to market.

Ascend has just completed a large physical expansion to its two existing Indian manufacturing campuses, doubling its current manufacturing capacity. It also has broken ground on the third manufacturing campus in India dedicated to the U.S. market — seventh overall for Alkem.

“When complete in 2020, this new facility will double again our capacity, leaving us in a good position to not only stay in our existing molecules, but to handle the over 50 more we have submitted to the FDA and [are] awaiting approval,” Dillaway said.

Aurobindo Pharma
Founded more than 30 years ago, East Windsor, N.J.-base