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FDA orders unapproved oxycodone drugs off market

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration is asking companies to stop manufacturing and distributing unapproved drugs containing the painkiller oxycodone, the agency said Thursday.

The FDA said it issued the Federal Register notice as part of the Unapproved Drugs Initiative, a program it started in June 2006 to remove drugs from the market that have largely avoided regulatory scrutiny generally because their availability predates the agency’s current regulatory standards; some drugs removed from the market under the initiative in the past date back to the 1800s. All the drugs in the current notice are single-ingredient, immediate-release products with oxycodone, an opioid analgesic that the government considers a controlled substance because it has been linked to overdoses and abuse.

"It’s a high public health priority for FDA to remove these unapproved products from the market to minimize consumer exposure to drugs that may be unsafe, ineffective and of poor quality," FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Compliance acting director Ilisa Bernstein said. "Since FDA-approved versions of these oral dosage forms are available by prescription, there should be no negative impact on consumers as a result of this action and no disruptions to the drug supply."


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Neutrogena kicks off annual Wave for Change campaign

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES — Skin care brand Neutrogena, through its annual Neutrogena Wave for Change campaign, is aiming to empower teens and encouraging them to make a difference by donating to educational charities to improve school programs and amenities for children of underserved communities.

From July 1 to Aug. 31, Neutrogena and GlobalGiving, a fundraising charity that benefits education, have teamed up to reach a goal of $250,000 via online initiatives.

Drawing on the campaign’s motto, "make change a reality," brand ambassadors Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts, Sandra Echeverria and Miranda Cosgrove have come together to inspire others to get involved and spread the word.

Teens all over the country can show their support for the cause in two ways:

  • For every Wave for Change video view on the Neutrogena Wave for Change website or Neutrogena’s Facebook page, $1 will be donated to GlobalGiving to support U.S. educational organizations: Knowledge is Power Program, Para Los Ninos, and Education Through Music; and

  • For each participating Neutrogena product purchased, another $1 will be donated to GlobalGiving. Users can visit Neutrogena Wave for Change webite or Neutrogena’s Facebook page to activate the purchased products.

In addition to the online incentives, brand ambassador Emma Roberts has designed an exclusive Neutrogena Wave for Change tote bag in tandem with the philanthropic campaign.  With the purchase of two Neutrogena facial skin care products at Target, customers will be gifted Roberts’ tote at checkout, while supplies last.

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Walgreens total sales, comps drop in June

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday posted June sales of about $5.6 billion, a decrease of 6.8% as compared with the same month in fiscal year 2011.

The negative impact on comparable-store prescriptions filled due to no longer being part of the Express Scripts pharmacy network was 10.7 percentage points. Prescriptions processed by Express Scripts comprised 12.6% of Walgreens prescriptions in June 2011. June pharmacy sales decreased 10.7%, while comparable-store pharmacy sales slid 15%. Calendar day shifts negatively impacted pharmacy sales in comparable stores by 2.3 percentage points. Comparable-store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 5.8 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, by 0.7 percentage points due to the product mix of cough, cold and flu drugs.

Pharmacy sales accounted for 62.9% of total sales for the month.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores tumbled 11.9% in June. Calendar day shifts during the month, which had one additional Friday and Saturday, and one fewer Wednesday and Thursday compared with June 2011, negatively impacted prescriptions filled in comparable stores by 2.3 percentage points. Additionally, lower incidence of flu also drove down comparable-prescription sales by 0.3 percentage points.

Walgreens did see a small positive gain in total front-end sales, which increased 0.5%, compared with the same month in 2011; however, comparable-store front-end sales decreased 1%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 2.3% while basket size increased 1.3%.

Sales in comparable stores decreased by 10%.

Calendar year-to-date sales were $35.04 billion, a decrease of 3% from nearly $36.11 billion in 2011.

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