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FDA approves Watson asthma generic

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic drug designed to treat asthma in children.

Watson Pharmaceuticals announced Wednesday the approval of budesonide inhalation suspension in the 0.25-mg/2-mL and 0.5-mg/2-mL strengths. The drug is used to control and prevent asthma symptoms in children ages 12 months to 8 years.

The drug is a generic version of AstraZeneca’s Pulmicort Respules, which had sales of $1.1 billion during the 12-month period ended in May.


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Sales, comps rise for Fred’s in July

BY Allison Cerra

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s on Wednesday posted a 5% increase in total sales for the four-week period ended July 28 to $136.7 million, the discount retailer announced.

Comparable-store sales for the month increased 1.2%, versus a decrease of 0.5% in the same period last year.

"The increase for the month primarily reflected promotions aimed at driving customer traffic, which worked well for us and resulted in a significant improvement from recent months," Fred’s CEO Bruce Efird said. Pharmacy was a standout in July, Efird added, with continued growth in script counts. "The sales performance of our newer stores and pharmacies continued to exceed expectations, extending a trend we have seen throughout this year."

Fred’s total sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 increased 4% to $470.7 million. On a comparable-store basis, second quarter sales decreased 1%, compared with a decline of 0.4% in the same period last year.

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Pepperidge Farm gets new president

BY Allison Cerra

CAMDEN, N.J. — Campbell’s confirmed that a new leader will take over the company’s Pepperidge Farm business.

Irene Chang Britt, who has worked at Campbell’s since 2005, will replace Pat Callaghan as president of Pepperidge Farm. Britt is the first woman to lead Pepperidge Farm since company founder Margaret Rudkin presided over the business from 1937 to 1966. Pepperidge Farm was acquired by Campbell’s in 1961.

Britt will be based at Pepperidge Farm’s headquarters in Norwalk, Conn., and will report to Campbell’s president and CEO Denise Morrison.

"I am thrilled to step into my new role as the leader of such a beloved brand," Britt said. "Pepperidge Farm’s success has been built on smart and successful innovation and by thinking in real consumer terms. Thanks to Pat’s leadership, Pepperidge Farm has become a leader in snacking, and I’m eager to hit the ground running and to help the team take the business to the next level."

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