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FDA approves Watson arthritis drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic drug for arthritis made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, the company said.

Watson announced that the FDA approved a subsidiary’s application for diclofenac sodium and misoprostol delayed-release tablets. The drug is a generic version of G.D. Searle’s Arthrotec, used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in patients who have high risk of developing ulcers related to the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, a class that includes the painkiller ibuprofen.

Arthrotec had sales of about $130 million during the 12-month period ended in May, according to IMS Health data.


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Rubbermaid simplifies packing lunch with LunchBlox containers

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA — Newell Rubbermaid has introduced its collection of customizable, modular food storage containers.

New Rubbermaid LunchBlox containers snap together to save space and stay organized in lunch bags, helping eliminate consumer frustrations with packing lunch, Rubbermaid said. Rubbermaid LunchBlox containers are designed for the lunch foods most commonly carried on the go: sandwiches, salads, left over entrees and sides or snacks, such as fruit, chips and nuts. Once packed, LunchBlox containers stack together in many configurations, allowing them to fit neatly into any lunch box or bag for a perfectly packed lunch. The line now is available at Target, select Walmart stores, Kmart, Meijer, national grocery retailers and Rubbermaid.com.

"Our insights show families remain budget conscious in the challenging economy and value products that make it easy to save money and eat healthier on the go," Rubbermaid VP marketing Steve Pawl said. "Rubbermaid LunchBlox containers provide a unique solution making it simple to pack a healthy lunch in reusable, environmentally friendly containers that fit in any lunch bag."

Rubbermaid LunchBlox suggested retail prices range from $3.69 to $19.99. Coordinating insulated lunch bags also are available with suggested retail prices ranging from $8.99 to $12.99.

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Walgreens taps former McDonald’s CEO to be nonexecutive chairman

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday named James Skinner, Walgreens board member since 2005 and recently retired McDonald’s CEO, as the new nonexecutive chairman of the board of Walgreens. Skinner will succeed Al McNally, who has served on the Walgreens board since 1999 and as nonexecutive chairman since 2009. McNally will continue serving on the Walgreens board.

“Al McNally’s extraordinary leadership as our board’s first lead director and first nonexecutive chairman of the board was instrumental and indispensable as Walgreens advanced its transformation … to become America’s most trusted and convenient provider of consumer goods and services, and pharmacy, health and wellness solutions," stated Bill Foote, Walgreens board director and chairman of the nominating and governance committee. "We are grateful that Walgreens will continue to benefit from Al’s leadership and vision on the board,” he said. “As Walgreens moves forward with its strategy to become a U.S. and world leader in pharmacy-led health and wellbeing, Jim Skinner’s long experience on the Walgreens board, and decades of global success with McDonald’s in expanding to Europe and emerging markets, make him an exceptional choice to lead our board into the future on behalf of shareholders and stakeholders.”

As McDonald’s CEO, Skinner led the world’s largest food service company with more than 33,000 restaurants in 119 countries. He served as McDonald’s CEO beginning in November 2004, and prior to that in a variety of other leadership positions for the company, both U.S. and globally. In addition to Walgreens, Skinner serves on the board of directors of Illinois Tool Works, Inc. He retired as McDonald’s CEO earlier this year.
   
“Jim Skinner’s long and successful record in retail and customer experience, both across the nation and around the world, will be enormously helpful at a time when Walgreens is launching with Alliance Boots the first global pharmacy-led health and wellbeing enterprise,” noted Greg Wasson, Walgreens president and CEO.

McNally served as the Walgreens board’s first lead director, beginning in January 2008. He subsequently served as chairman and acting CEO, and as nonexecutive chairman since 2009. He previously served as CEO of Harris Bank from 1993 to 2002 and chairman of the board of Harris Financial Corp. from 1998 to 2006.

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