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Aquaball bounces into Harris Teeter, signs Northeast distribution agreement

BY Jason Owen

IRVINE, Calif. — True Drinks, a healthy beverage supplier, announced this week the expansion of its distribution network for the vitamin-enriched Aquaball kids drink into major retail markets.

On Wednesday, True Drinks announced that the Aquaball would now be available in all Harris Teeter locations. Harris Teeter operates over 200 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Deleware and the District of Columbia.

"AquaBall is a great addition to our stores, giving parents a healthier choice in beverages for their children," stated Harris Teeter’s Steve Kravitz. "With the alarming increase in childhood obesity, we launched our yourwellness program in 2006, and our yourwellness for families program is a tool to help families optimize their children’s health and well-being. AquaBall fits perfectly with our focus on providing healthy alternatives for kids."

Then, on Thursday, True Drinks announced the company has entered into a five-year distribution agreement with Polar Beverages, which will sell and distribute the Aquaball to grocery, mass, drug and convenience stores. The Polar Beverages agreement covers much of the Northeast region, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and parts of New York.

"We are pleased to expand our relationship with Polar Beverages beyond the production of AquaBall at their Adirondack facility," said Jason Dorfman, national director of sales for True Drinks. "This strategic partnership will enable True Drinks to rapidly expand AquaBall’s distribution across the over 25,000 locations they service in New England. As the healthiest beverage available for children, our goal is to make AquaBall available to families everywhere."

Aquaball Naturally Flavored Water contains no artificial colors or flavors and is vitamin-enhanced with B6, B12, B3 and vitamin C. AquaBall is calorie- and sugar-free and sweetened with stevia, an all-natural sweetener.


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Biosimilars should carry same generic names as branded biologics, GPhA says

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — A trade group for the generic pharmaceutical industry is hoping the Food and Drug Administration will allow biosimilars to share the same generic names as their branded biologic counterparts, saying that giving biosimilars their own generic names would not enhance safety.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association said Thursday that it had filed a petition with the FDA recommending that all biosimilars the agency approves carry the same international non-proprietary name, or INN, as the branded products they’re based upon because they are considered to have no clinically meaningful difference. For example, Hospira’s Inflectra, the autoimmune treatment recently approved by the European Medicines Agency, carries the generic name infliximab, the same name as reference product Remicade, sold by Johnson & Johnson and Merck.

"It is simple: biosimilars have no clinically meaningful difference from the reference product, so they should have the same name," GPhA president and CEO Ralph Neas said. "This approach works in Europe; it has worked in the United States for chemical drugs, and it should be the standard worldwide. To upset the naming system in place risks engendering confusion and would have a major negative impact throughout the global pharmaceutical supply chain, potentially jeopardizing patient access across the globe."


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Progresso adds new soup varieties to lineup

BY Jason Owen

MINNEAPOLIS — Progresso Soup announced on Thursday new varieties of ready-to-eat soups to the company’s product lineup, including in its Progresso Light and Progresso Heart Healthy lines.

Joining the Progresso Light line are Light Chicken Corn Chowder and Chicken and Cheese Enchilada.

Three new soups will join the Rich and Hearty line: Tomato Florentine with Italian Sausage, Lentil and Andouille Sausage, and Creamy Alfredo with Penne and Chicken.

The new line of Heart Healthy soups contains 120 calories or less per serving and features bold flavors to meet everyone’s taste preference including; Southwest Style Black Bean & Vegetable, Creamy Tomato with Basil, Homestyle Vegetable Beef, Savory Garden Vegetable, Italian-Style Wedding with Meatballs, Hearty Minestrone, Savory Chicken & Wild Rice, Creole Style Chicken Gumbo, Roasted Chicken Noodle and Tomato with Parmesan. Progresso Heart Healthy soups meet the U.S. Food & Drug Administration criteria for a low fat, low saturated fat and low-cholesterol food, as well as the FDA "healthy" criteria for sodium of 480 mg or less per label serving, and contain a good source of a beneficial nutrient.

All Progresso soups are available nationally and have a suggested retail price of $2.69 per 1 LB 2.5 oz-can.


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