INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Makovsky will bring new drug to Europe

WARREN, NJ: Makovsky & Company will spearhead a new campaign by

pharmaceutical company Celgene to expand its controversial drug

Thalidomide to European and Australian markets.



Once banned in the US, the drug was given limited FDA approval in 1998

as a treatment for leprosy. More recently, however, it has become known

as an experimental treatment for cancer.



However, the drug faces a tough market in Europe, where during the 1950s

and early 1960s, Thalidomide was prescribed to pregnant women for

morning sickness and as a sleep aid. Over 10,000 "Thalidomide children"

were born, often with extreme deformities.



Makovksy, Thalidomide's US agency, will manage the international

expansion of the drug through its Australia and London outposts. The

international offices will report directly to Donna Ramer, MD of

healthcare for Makovsky's New York office.



The agency's first task will be to make sure that the public understands

Thalidomide and its uses. US manufacturer Celgene has licensed its drugs

for production to UK pharmaceutical corporations Pharmion and Penn

Pharmaceutical.



Makovsky will also provide counsel to Pharmion.



"We're taking our efforts one day at a time," said Ramer. "Our

international offices are certainly aware of the drug's history in

Europe, and they are sure to be sensitive in the way that it is to be

presented."



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