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Cholesterol drug flushes niacin symptom

BY DSN STAFF

DALLAS —The next big cholesterol drug to hit the market may contain vitamin B in the form of niacin. Merck is expected to receive Food and Drug Administration approval for Cordaptive, which combines an extended-release version of niacin with a chemical that prevents the redness and tingling to the face (called flushing) associated with a sudden surge of niacin in the blood stream.

Analysts project sales to reach as high as $3 billion.

Niacin traditionally has been used to treat high cholesterol. Abbott Laboratories sells an extended-release, prescription version of niacin called Niaspan. But flushing has forced many patients to stop using niacin.

However, there already may be a niacin product available without a prescription that addresses that issue. Slo-Niacin, a controlled-release niacin dietary supplement for heart health, helps reduce the incidence of flushing that often results from rapid increases of niacin in the blood, Upsher-Smith, which distributes the product, recently announced. According to the company, a number of studies have shown Slo-Niacin positively impacts total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and trigylcerides.

Upsher-Smith plans to leverage the extensive clinical experience with Slo-Niacin via advertising and direct-mail campaigns, and it will provide online and printed educational materials to physicians and pharmacists.

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Report says Tesco looking at expansion in Chicago

BY Doug Desjardins

CHICAGO Tesco is looking to roll out Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets in the Chicago area, according to a report in the Chicago Sun Times.

The newspaper attributed the report to a “knowledgeable source” and said Tesco could offer the Chicago area something “unique because of its strong offering of prepared foods, packaged perishables and selection of produce, meat and bakery.”

Tesco has not commented on the report and has said it plans to expand on the West Coast in 2008, opening stores in California, Nevada and Arizona. The chain opened its first store in December and plans to have up to 50 Fresh & Stores open by the end of February.

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Lubin promoted to Walgreens vp and new second position

BY DSN STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens today promoted Steven Lubin to divisional vice president and the new position of general manager of marketing for non-mainland operations. In his new role, Lubin will ensure the company’s marketing meets the needs of customers in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

As general manager of marketing for Puerto Rico, Lubin spent the past three years living on the island. He is relocating back to the company’s Deerfield, Ill., headquarters for his new duties.

“Steve was a huge asset in Puerto Rico as we worked to better meet the unique needs of our island customers,” said Walgreens chairman and chief executive officer Jeffrey Rein. “He also was invaluable as we opened our first Hawaii store last year, quickly grasping what Hawaiian customers want in a drug store and working with a Walgreens team to buy from many local vendors. Steve’s a big part of our early, strong success in Honolulu.”

Lubin joined the company in 1970 as a stock clerk in Chicago while attending college. He managed several Chicago-area stores before moving into Walgreens’ purchasing department in 1980. He was promoted to a divisional merchandise manager in 1988 and to general manager of marketing for Puerto Rico in 2004. 

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