New River selects marketing VP to drive launch of new ADHD drug

New River Pharmaceuticals has hired James Shaffer as VP of sales and marketing to oversee the anticipated launch of the company’s attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Vyvanse. Shaffer joins New River from Prestwick Pharmaceuticals, where he has served since 2004 as senior director, commercial operations. Prior, he worked at Intermune as national sales director. Shaffer has also held various positions at GlaxoSmithKline and Merck. New River will co-market Vyvanse along with Shire. Vyvanse is expected to follow in the footsteps of Shires’ ADHD market-leading Adderall XR but is formulated to be harder to abuse. Adderall XR brought in nearly $975 million in sales for Shire in 2005, followed by McNeil Consumer and Specialty Pharmaceuticals’ Concerta, with sales of $838 million and Eli Lilly’s Strattera, with sales of $662 million. On Jan. 4, New River and Shire received a second approvable letter from the FDA for Vyvanse and no additional studies have been requested by the agency. However, regulators have proposed that Vyvanse be classified a controlled substance and both companies are still awaiting scheduling designation from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Scheduling assignment for Vyvanse is expected within three months, the companies said in a statement.

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