Company news: AstraZeneca, Roche

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In a drive to preserve its Crestor market share, AstraZeneca said it is picking up the difference between the cost of the generic and its branded statin in Canada, where Mylan got the okay for a copycat launch in March. Although AZ rolled out a co-pay card in February, the effort garnered fresh attention today with Ontario's announcement that the generic and brand are interchangeable on that province's market. Canadian provinces individually determine formulary parity. The cards are supplied and processed by STI Technologies, which told MM&M that Ontario is its biggest prescription market.

In a sign that the deepening EU financial crisis is putting stress on hospital dispensaries, Roche is now demanding hospitals in Spain and Portugal pay down their debts if they want to receive more medications, reported Bloomberg. This latest move by the Swiss drugmaker is part of the larger debt crisis narrative. Several locations were already on the pay-to-play list as of last year, but the latest change is that the number of hospitals on this list has continued to grow. Roche now requires several Greek hospitals to pay for drugs before delivery, according to Bloomberg.
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