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New Jersey attorney general’s office releases anticrime best practices for pharmacy

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Retail pharmacies, drug makers and law enforcement have a variety of methods used to fight organized crime, and the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General has drawn up a list of best practices that pharmacies can use to keep stores, drugs, staff and customers safe.

The guidelines, released last week, offers such recommendations as keeping drugs that are controlled substances in a locked safe or locked refrigerator and only allowing the pharmacist to have access to them, as well as accompanying anybody who is not a staff member who enters the pharmacy, such as plumbers, accountants and building inspectors. Other methods include silent panic buttons and monitoring systems.

Pharmacy crime has become a growing problem across the country as drug addicts turn to prescription drugs to get high, and such drugs command high prices on the street and on underground online drug marketplaces. Popular targets for addicts include opioid painkillers and stimulants. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, armed robberies of pharmacies increased by 81% between 2006 and 2010, from 380 to 686.

 

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Sparkling Ice launches three new lemonade flavors

BY Jason Owen

SEATTLE —  Sparkling Ice, part of the TalkingRain portfolio of beverages, announced today the expansion of its lemonade brand with a new zero calorie lemonade product line. Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade and Lemonade with Tea now complement the Classic Lemonade flavor successfully launched in 2012, the company stated.

A sparkling twist on a summertime favorite, Sparkling Ice Lemonades offer consumers a new take on a popular summertime drink. Seeing an opportunity to meet consumer desires for sugar-free, full-flavored sparkling beverages, Sparkling Ice dedicated extensive time and resources to consumer research and product development for the expanded lemonade varieties. Ahead of the national launch, consumer feedback has been very positive, the company noted.

"Developing bold flavors specifically for our passionate customers has helped Sparkling Ice become the fastest growing nonalcoholic beverage brand in the nation," said Kevin Klock, CEO of TalkingRain Beverage Co. "Offering ideal flavor combinations for summer, we look forward to continued success with the introduction of our three new lemonade varieties."

TalkingRain, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, attributes the company’s recent unprecedented growth to an increased focus on its Sparkling Ice brand. Sparkling Ice was recognized in both the 2011 and 2012 IRI New Product Pacesetters reports, an industry-recognized benchmark analysis of exceptional CPG sales success for newly launched products. The brand also received the award for "Best Sparkling Beverage" for the Sparkling Ice Coconut Pineapple flavor at the 2012 InterBev Awards, and proudly continued setting industry standards by claiming "Best Enhanced Water" at the BevNET Best of 2012 Awards.

The Sparkling Ice line now features Classic Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, Lemonade with Tea, Crisp Apple, Peach Nectarine, Coconut Pineapple, Black Raspberry, Kiwi Strawberry, Orange Mango, Pomegranate Blueberry, Pink Grapefruit and Lemon Lime, with more flavor expansions on the horizon.

Sparkling Ice can be found in retailers nationwide for a SRP of $1.19-$1.29.


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FDA gives breakthrough therapy designation to experimental hepatitis C regimen

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. — An experimental drug regimen under development by AbbVie could change the way hepatitis C is treated, according to a special designation it received from the Food and Drug Administration.

AbbVie said the FDA granted breakthrough therapy designation to its direct-acting antiviral, or DAA combination drug therapy consisting of three drugs, which go under the code names ABT-450/r, ABT-267 and ABT-333, with or without the common antiviral drug ribavirin. The agency uses breakthrough therapy designation to promote expedited development and review of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions that have the potential to significantly improve treatment. The drug is part of a therapy regimen that would allow for elimination of interferons, biotech drugs for hepatitis C that, while effective, also carry harmful side effects.

The drug currently is in phase-3, or late-stage clinical development, and the FDA designation was granted on the basis of results from a phase-2b trial titled "Aviator," in 571 patients.

The drug maker said that after 12 weeks of treatment, a high rate of patients who had not received treatment for hepatitis C before or who had failed treatment with combination interferon and ribavirin therapies had shown high sustained viral response, or SVR rates, essentially meaning they were cured. This included 99% of those who had not received treatment and 93% of those who had failed interferon-ribavirin treatment, with only one relapse and four of the 247 patients treated for 12 and 24 weeks with triple DAA and ribavirin dropping out due to harmful side effects.

 

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