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Coming out of summer, Alli returns to store shelves

BY Michael Johnsen

LEBANON, Pa. — Alli, pictured here at a CVS, is back on shelf. Supply issues earlier this year took many facings of GlaxoSmithKline’s Alli nonprescription weight loss solution out of play, but no longer, as of earlier this summer. With Alli’s absence, the hefty weight-loss solution fell behind Hydroxycut Advanced in number of units sold but still led all diet aids in sales with an 18.2% dollar share (to Hydroxycut Advanced’s 9.6%). Sales of diet aid tablets dropped 5.5%, to $218.9 million for the 52 weeks ending April 15 across food, drug and mass outlets (excluding Walmart), so you can expect those comp numbers to show a marked improvement in January with the 2013 spate of New Year’s Resolutions.

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FDA creates antibiotic development task force

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration is creating a new task force to support the development of new drugs for bacterial infections, the agency said Monday.

The FDA said the Antibacterial Drug Development Task Force would assist in developing and revising guidance related to development of antibiotics, as required by the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now Title of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act, which president Barack Obama signed into law on July 9.

"The creation of this new task force comes at a critical time," FDA Office of Antimicrobial Products director Edward Cox said. "Establishing new ways of developing safe and effective new antibacterial drugs is an enormous challenge and not an effort that can be accomplished alone."

According to the agency, research and development for new antibacterial drugs has been in decline in recent decades, as has the number of new antibiotics approved by the FDA, which has been falling since the 1980s. At the same time, overuse of antibiotics has reduced their effectiveness and resulted in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

More than 70% of the bacteria that cause hospital-associated infections are resistant to at least one type of commonly used antibiotic. Nearly 2 million people in the United States developed such infections in 2002, and 99,000 died.


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Safeway Foundation gives $2 million to community health programs, hospitals

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — The Safeway Foundation on Monday announced it is giving $2 million to community health programs and hospitals to launch grassroots projects for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

The "Innovative Approaches to Preventing Childhood Obesity" grants are a part of an overall outreach and commitment to community health.

"Our commitment is to strengthen communities, create pioneering programs, expand services and implement new strategies to support the health of children and teens," stated Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chairwoman of the Safeway Foundation. "These funds will allow doctors, researchers and others in the medical and healthcare communities to launch effective new programs and evaluate the effectiveness of existing ones with the goal of helping children live happier, healthier lives."

The Safeway Foundation’s partner in this effort is Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland in northern California. In early 2012, the partners invited organizations to apply for grants of up to $100,000 for grassroots childhood obesity projects in the geographic areas served by Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Carrs and Dominick’s stores. Specifically, they looked to promote collaborations between the medical community and local community-based agencies to help children become more physically active, improve food choices and create better access to healthy foods. More than 150 organizations applied for funding.

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