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Generic OxyContin can be launched by Actavis in January 2014 under settlement with Purdue

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Generic drug maker Actavis is settling a patent-infringement suit with Purdue Pharma concerning the opioid painkiller OxyContin, Actavis said Friday, saying it expected to make more than $100 million in the deal between 2014 and 2015.

Under the settlement, Actavis will be able to market a limited quantity of its version of the drug, known generically as oxycodone extended-release tablets, starting on Jan. 1, 2014, pending Food and Drug Administration approval. If Actavis is unable to get approval from the FDA, it will be allowed to market an authorized generic version of the drug starting in October 2014; an authorized generic is a branded drug marketed under its generic name at a discount.

Actavis' generic, like the branded version marketed by Purdue, includes abuse-deterrent properties designed to make the drug less useful if it is crushed or dissolved. The announcement comes less than two weeks after the FDA announced that it would not approve any generic of the old version of OxyContin, which did not include abuse-deterrent features. Purdue withdrew that version of the drug in 2010.

"The agreement provides a date-certain launch that eliminates the risk of current and future litigation related to all versions of OxyContin," Actavis president and CEO Paul Bisaro said. "It also eliminates the uncertainty surrounding FDA review and approval of generic versions of abuse-deterrent products."

The FDA made its announcement amid fears expressed by public health officials, politicians and others that generic versions of OxyContin without abuse-deterrent features would encourage abuse. The drug has long been a target of drug abusers who crush the pills in order to snort or inject them. Still, it also raised concerns about whether a cheaper, generic version of OxyContin would become available to consumers.

OxyContin had sales of $2.8 billion during the 12-month period that ended in January, according to IMS Health.

"Today's agreement will promote competition and allow for availability of generic formulations of reformulated OxyContin," Purdue president and CEO John Stewart said. "At the same time, this resolution relieves us of the risks, distractions and costs of continued litigation. We are pleased that this matter has been resolved in a manner that respects the inventions we have incorporated into the reformulated OxyContin tablets."


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Dollar General and P&G team up to honor moms

BY Jason Owen

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General is partnering with Procter & Gamble to honor a Florida mom as its official Every Day Hero for the month of May, the companies announced Thursday.

As part of its Every Day Heroes program, Dollar General will feature Maria Segura in a campaign thanking moms in Dollar General communities across the country. Segura will be featured in a national marketing campaign, including a spotlight in May on Oxygen’s “Live Out Loud” on-air vignette and in People magazine.

Segura came to Florida from a family of immigrant farmworkers and with the help of the Family Literacy Academy of Immokalee, a Barbara Bush Foundation program, she has pursued her education. She received her G.E.D and Associate’s Degree and is now pursuing her bachelor’s degree in education, and she also put two children through college.

“The Family Literacy Academy encouraged me to study hard and push myself. I gained the confidence to change my life and now I have the opportunity to help others change theirs,” Segura said. “If I can help one person rise above their circumstances and get ahead through literacy and education then hopefully I have given back part of what I have been given through the Family Literacy Program.”

Segura received her Child Development Associate Degree while she was working as a Child Assistant at the Family Literacy Academy, and is now the Lead Preschool Instructor for the program.

“Dollar General is pleased to honor moms everywhere through the Every Day Heroes program,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. “Maria truly embodies the Dollar General Every Day Hero through her perseverance in the face of adversity and her enduring commitment to family, education and volunteerism.”

Dollar General has a strong commitment to schools, after-school programs and other literacy programs around the nation through its Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The Foundation supports programs that help others improve their lives through literacy and education.

In honor of Maria Segura and literacy volunteers everywhere, Dollar General is making a $10,000 donation to the Family Literacy Academy to help the organization fulfill its mission of providing full-service literacy to farmworker families with young children.


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American Vintage Beverage introduces Hard Tea, partners with History Channel

BY Jason Owen

CHICAGO — American Vintage Beverage Co. on Thursday announced the launch of new American Vintage Hard Tea, a combination of traditional iced tea and 5% alcohol.

In celebration of the launch, American Vintage is partnering with the History Channel’s Mike Wolfe, creator and star of "American Pickers," with a chance to win a trip to Atlanta in August for the world’s largest monthly antique show. More information and details can be found on www.PickwithMike.com.

American Vintage Hard Tea is available nationwide in two flavors: Tea with Lemon and Half n’ Half, a blend of tea and lemonade. Hard Tea is available in both cans and 6-pack bottles.


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