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FDA reorganizes Office of Generic Drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has reorganized the Office of Generic Drugs in an effort to improve efficiency, according to an internal memo.

The new organizational scheme will add a new division to the bioequivalence program called Division of Bioequivalence II and a new chemistry division, Division of Chemistry IV.

The microbiology and clinical review staffs also have been converted into the Division of Microbiology and the Division of Clinical Review. The Division of Labeling and Program Support remains the same. Meanwhile, the reorganization has formalized the position of deputy director for science and chemistry, currently held by Lawrence Yu.

"The reorganization is a major step in [the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research’s] efforts to advance the public health as the use of generic drugs continues to increase," read the memo, written by Office of Pharmaceutical Science director Helen Winkle.

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Big Quark signs with NSS, launches BeautySleep

BY Michael Johnsen

SAINT LOUIS — Big Quark has signed National Sales Solutions to handle all domestic sales, the company announced Thursday.

Big Quark will be launching its BeautySleep supplement into the mass market. BeautySleep is a 2-oz. dietary supplement that combines anti-aging compounds and antioxidants with sleep enhancers.

“With our early success with BeautySleep, we knew we needed help taking BeautySleep to the next level, and National Sales Solutions has proven highly effective,” stated Clark Wolfsberger,president of Big Quark. “They have been instrumental in getting BeautySleep in front of major chain-store buyers at the recent [National Association of Chain Drug Stores] convention in Boston and continuing the momentum with purchase orders.”

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MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse report reveals increase in online retail sales

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse revealed that online retail sales rose 14% over the year-ago period, marking the 24th straight month of year-over-year growth, as well as the ninth consecutive month of double-digit growth, with improvement in every subcategory except for electronics.

The macroeconomic report, which tracks national retail and services sales, noted that 14% year-over-year growth for the overall online retail category, however, was the smallest increase for e-commerce since February 2011, and is an expected seasonal slowing. Overall, various sectors in retail were sluggish for the month.

“Sector weaknesses are the result of a variety of drivers,” MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse VP research and analysis Michael McNamara said.

McNamara added that consumers paid about $1 more per gallon of gasoline in July 2011 that the year-ago period, which potentially could have put a damper on sales. “At about 10.9 billion gallons pumped this July, that price increase is redirecting almost $11 billion per month towards gasoline spending and away from other areas of consumer spending, or savings,” he said.

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