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Company news

April 7, 2010

Eli Lilly and Co. can be certain of its exclusive rights to sell its cancer drug Gemzar for at least another seven months. After that, who knows? The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana last week upheld the validity of Lilly’s compound patent on Gemzar. But the court said Indianapolis-based Lilly could not enforce a second patent on the drug until a court challenge plays out. That patent, related to the particular way Gemzar is used, was declared invalid last year by a federal court in Michigan. Lilly's appeal of the Michigan ruling to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will be heard on May 7. At stake is another three years of exclusive sales of Gemzar, if Lilly’s second patent is upheld.

Indianapolis-based OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc. is edging further into the employee-benefits market. The company’s American United Life Insurance Co. will now offer vision and dental insurance to its employer customers. AUL won’t underwrite the insurance itself, instead hawking policies from Minnesota-based Security Life Insurance Company of America. AUL will act as the third-party administrator for the policies it sells. AUL already offers disability, medical stop-loss and group life insurance to employers.

Purdue University's Healthcare Technical Assistance Program has named Monica Arrowsmith director of a new center to help Indiana primary-care doctors adopt electronic record and e-prescribing technology. Arrowsmith is heading the Indiana Health Information Technology Extension Center (I-HITEC), funded by $12 million in stimulus funds via a federal grant. Purdue’s center, one 70 nationwide to receive stimulus funds, will help small practices of 10 or fewer health care providers select and implement new information technology. Arrowsmith was chief quality officer and legal counsel for Clarian Arnett Health in Lafayette.

IUPUI is offering a new online graduate certificate program in clinical informatics to help local health care providers use the information provided by electronic medical record systems to improve their practices. The certificate can be gained by taking six courses available in the evening and accessible through online distance education. Applicants must have clinical backgrounds, be licensed and hold a four-year degree from an accredited institution.

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