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Actavis sales up 24% in first quarter 2013

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Actavis’ had $1.9 billion in sales in first quarter 2013, the drug maker said.

The latest figure represented a 24% increase from first quarter 2012’s $1.52 billion. "The new Actavis is off to a strong start in 2013, and as a result, we are increasing our 2013 forecast based on the strong performance and execution against our objectives to date," president and CEO Paul Bisaro said.

The company touted several new products that launched during the quarter, including generic versions of Reckitt Benckiser’s opioid dependence drug Suboxone (buprenorphine) and an authorized generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s herpes drug Zovirax (aciclovir). Authorized generics are branded drugs marketed under their generic names at a discounted price, usually under a deal between the brand-name drug manufacturer and a third-party company.

The company has also settled patent-infringement lawsuits for generic versions of AstraZeneca’s cholesterol drug Crestor (rosuvastatin calcium); Mallinckrodt’s painkiller Exalgo (hydromorphone); Mediciss acne drug Ziana (clindamycin phosphate; tretinoin); Medicis’ warts, actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma drug Zyclara (imiquimod); Shire’s hypertension and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Intuniv (guanfacine); and an abuse-deterrent version of Purdue Pharma’s painkiller OxyContin (oxycodone).

Part of the company’s sales growth came from its branded drugs, such as the contraceptive Generess Fe (norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol tablets, ferrous fumarate chewable tablets), the enlarged prostate drug Rapaflo (silodosin), the menopause drug Crinone (progesterone) and the testosterone drug Androderm (testosterone).

 

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Retail industry showed significant job growth in April; unemployment falls by 0.1%

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The retail industry added nearly 30,000 jobs last month amid a general uptick in hiring that brought unemployment down to 7.5%, according to the Department of Labor.

The department’s monthly jobs report showed the economy added 165,000 jobs, including 29,000 in the retail industry, which accounts for the largest number of private sector jobs. In addition, the March jobs report, which initially showed that the economy added only 88,000 jobs, was revised upward to 138,000, while the February report was revised upward to 332,000.

"Today’s solid employment news, combined with positive March revisions, may bode well for the broader economy and portend steady retail sales in April," National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "Retailers are continuing to find innovative ways to engage shoppers with the right mix of products, inventory and employment to meet their customers’ demands. With the significant decrease in jobless claims — at the lowest level since the recession — and an uptick in personal discretionary spending and consumer confidence, today’s news is very promising."

Nevertheless, the NRF said concerns remained about the payroll tax increase, the sequester and the upcoming debt ceiling debate in Congress.


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Budweiser launches fundraising campaign to benefit military families

BY Jason Owen

ST. LOUIS — Starting this Sunday, May 5, for every Budweiser sold through July 4, the company will donate a portion of proceeds to the Folds of Honor Foundation to support military families.

Since 2010, Budweiser has raised more than $5 million for the Folds of Honor Foundation and provided more than 1,000 educational scholarships to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in service. In 2013, for every case of Budweiser sold from May 5 to July 4, the brand will make a donation up to $1 million to the Folds of Honor Foundation. To kick off the program, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation is donating an additional $500,000, with a total of $1.5 million possible for Folds of Honor.

"The Folds of Honor Foundation gives back, through scholarships and other assistance, to the families of soldiers wounded or fallen while serving their country," said Lori Shambro, director of Budweiser. "This is why Budweiser has supported this great organization for the last several years and why, once again, buying Budweiser will benefit military families through the Fourth of July holiday."

Each Budweiser — including draught — sold between May 5 and July 4 will trigger a donation, including some new items set to hit store shelves. These new items include:

  • Budweiser’s limited-edition red, white and blue packaging. This year’s patriotic packaging will start appearing in stores in late May and will be available in 12 oz bottles and a variety of can sizes (12 oz, 16 oz, 24 oz). The patriotic theme continues on secondary packaging for all of the top-selling configurations, including 6-packs, 12-packs, 24-packs and other popular sizes.
  • A unique bowtie-shaped can (available in a new, not-previously-offered 8 pack) that will be available in stores on May 6.

"No matter what the package color, shape or size: America’s beer supports America’s heroes because from May to July, buying Budweiser benefits military families," Shambro said. "Our partnership with Folds of Honor is helping to make a difference in the lives of families whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we all hold so dear."

This is one component in a series of activations Budweiser has in store for its 2013 "red, white and blue summer" initiative. As part of this program, the Budweiser Clydesdales will visit military bases across the United States during a series of barbecues to celebrate the men and women in the U.S. armed forces.


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