After months of controversy, Pfizer (PFE) has reached a deal to sell a decades-old eye drug that it recently discontinued over long-running manufacturing concerns, a move that prompted patients to complain they were left in the lurch.
In a brief statement, the drug maker disclosed that it had transferred the rights to the eye drop — which is called phospholine iodide and is used to treat a rare form of glaucoma — to Fera Pharmaceuticals, a small privately held company run by a former executive at Sandoz, the generic unit at Novartis (NVS). Terms and a closing date for the sale were not disclosed.
The move comes amid ongoing uncertainty for the small number of people with aphakic glaucoma, which causes intraocular pressure to rise dramatically. Pfizer was the only supplier of the medicine, but halted distribution after encountering intermittent supply chain problems. Unfortunately, other glaucoma treatments are often ineffective for this condition, according to ophthalmologists.
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