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July 2, 2013

BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy has been added to the limited-distribution network for a Genentech drug used to treat lung and pancreatic cancers.

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy has been added to the limited-distribution network for a Genentech drug used to treat lung and pancreatic cancers.

BioPlus announced that it had become a distributor for the drug Tarceva (erlotinib) starting Monday, when the drug, made by Genentech and Astellas, ceased to be available in retail pharmacies.

July 2, 2013

Covidien has finished spinning off its pharmaceuticals division, the medical products maker said.

DUBLIN — Covidien has finished spinning off its pharmaceuticals division, the medical products maker said.

St. Louis-based Covidien announced that it had separated Mallinckrodt as an independent company that has started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "MNK," a move that it announced in December 2011. Shares in the newly public company were trading at $43.52 at noon Tuesday, down by 48 cents from the start of the day.

July 2, 2013

A cancer drug made by Genentech and Astellas is no longer available through ordinary retail channels and is now available only through a limited-distribution network.

NEW YORK — A cancer drug made by Genentech and Astellas is no longer available through ordinary retail channels and is now available only through a limited-distribution network.

Cancer-focused specialty pharmacy Onco360 said that effective Monday, the drug Tarceva (erlotinib) would no longer be available through retail pharmacies and that had joined a limited-distribution network that the drug makers had set up for the drug. Tarceva is used for treating advanced non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.

July 2, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a gel formulation of a foot fungus drug made by Merz Pharmaceuticals, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a gel formulation of a foot fungus drug made by Merz Pharmaceuticals, according to published reports.

According to reports, the FDA approved a gel formulation of Merz's Naftin (naftifine), used to treat athlete's foot, known medically as tinea pedis.

A cream version of the drug is already approved, and the latest approval was based on two clinical trials of more than 1,700 patients, according to reports.

 

July 2, 2013

Rite Aid has finished a buyback program for more than $800 million worth of debt using proceeds from a sale of notes that allow the company to borrow at a lower interest rate, the retail pharmacy chain said Tuesday.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has finished a buyback program for more than $800 million worth of debt using proceeds from a sale of notes that allow the company to borrow at a lower interest rate, the retail pharmacy chain said Tuesday.

Rite Aid said it has finished a cash offer for $810 million in senior notes with a 9.5% interest rate due 2017, funded with proceeds from a previous sale of $810 million worth of 6.75% senior notes due 2021.

July 2, 2013

Sandoz, the generics division of Swiss drug maker Novartis, announced the launch of metronidazole 1% topical gel, calling it the first generic version of Galderma Labs' Metrogel.

PRINCETON, N.J. — Sandoz has launched a generic topical drug for rosacea, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Sandoz, the generics division of Swiss drug maker Novartis, announced the launch of metronidazole 1% topical gel, calling it the first generic version of Galderma Labs' Metrogel. The drug is indicated for treating inflammatory lesions of rosacea, estimated to affect about 16 million Americans.

Metrogel had sales of about $110 million during the 12-month period that ended in April, according to IMS Health.

July 2, 2013

Sandoz has started a late-stage clinical trial of a biosimilar version of a drug used to treat autoimmune disorders, hoping the results will support its efforts to win regulatory approval in the United States and Europe.

HOLZKIRCHEN, Germany — Sandoz has started a late-stage clinical trial of a biosimilar version of a drug used to treat autoimmune disorders, hoping the results will support its efforts to win regulatory approval in the United States and Europe.

Sandoz, the generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis, said it had started a phase-3 trial of biosimilar etanercept, a knock-off version of Amgen's Enbrel, used to treat chronic plaque-type psoriasis.

July 1, 2013

The American Pharmacists Association is accepting nominations for 15 awards to be given at its annual program, the pharmacy professional group said Monday.

WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association is accepting nominations for 15 awards to be given at its annual program, the pharmacy professional group said Monday.

The APhA said the awards would be presented at its Annual Meeting and Exposition in Orlando, Fla., in March 2014, calling the most comprehensive recognition program in the profession of pharmacy.

July 1, 2013

Dr. Reddy's Labs has launched a generic drug for treating epilepsy, the company said.

HYDERABAD, India — Dr. Reddy's Labs has launched a generic drug for treating epilepsy, the company said.

The Indian generic drug maker announced the launch of lamotrigine extended-release tablets in the 25-mg, 50-mg, 100-mg, 200-mg and 300-mg strengths. The drug is being distributed in bottle sizes of 30.

Lamotrigine extended-release tablets are a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's Lamictal XR, branded and generic versions of which had sales of $300.5 million during the 12-month period that ended in April, according to IMS Health.

 

July 1, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Sunovion and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. for bipolar disorder, Sunovion said.

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Sunovion and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. for bipolar disorder, Sunovion said Monday.

The FDA has approved Latuda (lurasidone hydrochloride) for use either alone or combined with lithium or valproate in patients with bipolar depression. The drug was already approved for treating schizophrenia.

July 1, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has declined to approve a sleeping pill made by Merck & Co., citing issues with dosage.

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has declined to approve a sleeping pill made by Merck & Co., citing issues with dosage.

The drug maker said Monday that it received a complete response letter from the FDA concerning the drug suvorexant, for which it is seeking regulatory approval. A complete response letter means that the agency has finished reviewing its approval application, but questions remain that preclude final approval.

July 1, 2013

At a time when more and more retailers are embracing mobile technology, North America is set to account for one of the highest percentages of tablet sales, according to a new study.

OYSTER BAY, N.Y. — At a time when more and more retailers are embracing mobile technology, North America is set to account for one of the highest percentages of tablet sales, according to a new study.

July 1, 2013

A new law in Maine will allow residents of the state to buy drugs through mail-order from licensed pharmacies in other countries, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — A new law in Maine will allow residents of the state to buy drugs through mail-order from licensed pharmacies in other countries, according to published reports.

The Associated Press reported that the law, an amendment to the Maine Pharmacy Act, will allow Mainers to buy drugs through a Canadian mail-order program called CanaRx and licensed programs in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

The AP reported that the bill became law without the signature of Gov. Paul LePage and will go into effect in 90 days.

 

July 1, 2013

Drug store chain Rite Aid has picked Payment Alliance International to provide ATM services at about 1,500 of its stores, the ATM network said.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Drug store chain Rite Aid has picked Payment Alliance International to provide ATM services at about 1,500 of its stores, the ATM network said Monday.

PAI runs ATMs at more than 60,000 retail locations around the country and said that it would offer state-of-the-art equipment, domestic and international transaction processing, and branding opportunities.

July 1, 2013

Target is opening two more stores next year, the mass merchandise retail chain said.

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is opening two more stores next year, the mass merchandise retail chain said.

The company announced Friday that it would open a store in San Jose, Calif., in March 2014, and also announced Monday it would open a store in Spokane, Wash., in July 2014.

The announcement of the store openings follows the announcement last week of two additional March 2014 store openings, in Fresno and Rocklin, Calif. The Fresno and San Jose stores will be 140,000 sq. ft., while the Rocklin store will be 136,000 sq. ft, and the Spokane store will be 135,000 sq. ft.

July 1, 2013

A drug for treating obesity has become available through a network of about 8,000 retail pharmacies around the country, the drug's manufacturer said.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — A drug for treating obesity has become available through a network of about 8,000 retail pharmacies around the country, the drug's manufacturer said Monday.

Vivus said the drug, Qsymia (phentermine; topiramate) extended-release capsules would be available at Costco and Walgreens stores, including Duane Reade stores. The launch is happening ahead of the previously announced mid-July launch date.

June 28, 2013

Beginning August 1, more than 2.4 million Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia members will have access to SoloHealth Stations, located in more than 125 select Walmart and Sam's Club stores in Georgia, the companies announced on Friday.

ATLANTA — Beginning August 1, more than 2.4 million Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia members will have access to SoloHealth Stations, located in more than 125 select Walmart and Sam's Club stores in Georgia, the companies announced on Friday.

The new partnership will allow BCBSGa members access to the free health and wellness services, biometric screenings, health risk assessments and other information provided by SoloHealth's bilingual health-and-wellness consumer kiosks.

June 28, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has declined to approve a drug made by Johnson & Johnson for patients who have received coronary stent implants.

RARITAN, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has declined to approve a drug made by Johnson & Johnson for patients who have received coronary stent implants.

J&J subsidiary Janssen Research & Development said Friday that the FDA issued a complete response letter for Xarelto (rivaroxaban) to reduce the risk of stent thrombosis in patients with acute coronary syndrome. Stent thrombosis is when blood pools at the site of a stent in the patient's coronary artery and, while uncommon, is serious and can cause a heart attack and death.

June 28, 2013

Selecting an appropriate wine for a dinner party or a romantic evening could get easier with a new app for customers at Harris Teeter supermarkets.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Selecting an appropriate wine for a dinner party or a romantic evening could get easier with a new app for customers at Harris Teeter supermarkets.

June 28, 2013

Fresh produce and packaged meats will be a feature at two new Target stores in California, the mass-merchandisder said.

MINNEAPOLIS — Fresh produce and packaged meats will be a feature at two new Target stores in California, the mass-merchandisder said.

Target said it would open a 140,000-sq.-ft. store in Fresno and a 136,000-sq.-ft. store in Rocklin in March 2014.

"Target is thrilled to announce two new store locations in Fresno and Rocklin," Target SVP of stores for the western region Cary Strouse said. "These stores will provide guests with the one-stop shopping convenience they have come to expect from Target."

 

June 28, 2013

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June 27, 2013

Ahold repurchased 3.3 million shares as part of a share-buyback program announced earlier this year, the Dutch supermarket operator said.

ZAANDAM, Netherlands — Ahold repurchased 3.3 million shares as part of a share-buyback program announced earlier this year, the Dutch supermarket operator said.

Ahold said it repurchased the shares at a price of $15.25 per share for a total of $50.2 million. The company operates the Stop & Shop, Giant Food of Landover, Md., and Giant Food Stores of Carlisle, Pa., supermarket chains and the Peapod grocery-delivery service in the United States, as well as several retail chains in Europe.

June 27, 2013

An organization formed with the goal of reducing healthcare costs and improving health in the United States has launched a new diabetes-management program for pharmacists.

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — An organization formed with the goal of reducing healthcare costs and improving health in the United States has launched a new diabetes-management program for pharmacists.

June 27, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has approved what's being called the first therapy of its kind to prevent bleeding episodes.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved what's being called the first therapy of its kind to prevent bleeding episodes.

The FDA announced Thursday the approval of Westlake Village, Calif.-based Baxter Healthcare Corp.'s Rixubis (coagulation factor IX [recombinant]) for patients with hemophilia B age 16 years and older. The treatment is used for controlling and preventing bleeding episodes, management of patients after surgery and routine use to prevent or reduce the frequency of bleeding episodes.

June 27, 2013

Canadian retail pharmacy chain the Jean Coutu Group continued offloading its shares in Rite Aid as it announced Wednesday the sale of 72.5 million shares in the Camp Hill, Pa.-based drug store chain.

LONGUEUIL, Quebec — Canadian retail pharmacy chain the Jean Coutu Group continued offloading its shares in Rite Aid as it announced Wednesday the sale of 72.5 million shares in the Camp Hill, Pa.-based drug store chain.

At $2.75 per share, the sale is valued at about $199.4 million. The company also said it had filed a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell another 40.5 million shares for $110.8 million.

Jean Coutu holds about 105.9 million shares of Rite Aid, and the sale brings its share in the U.S. retailer down to 7.2%.