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New Meijer app helps consumers ‘Find-it’ in stores

BY Drug Store News Team

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Midwest grocery store chain Meijer on Wednesday unveiled a new mobile application called “Find-it,” which allows shoppers to quickly locate items in the store. Four Meijer supercenters have been enabled during the pilot phase of the program.

With “Find-it,” shoppers can locate more than 100,000 items in Meijer supercenters; browse weekly specials, promotions and sale items; and even find the location of their cars in the Meijer parking lot with the “Remember My Parking Spot” feature.

“We’re very pleased about the launch of the Find-it mobile app,” said Elizabeth Wilson, online/mobile marketing specialist for Meijer. “Meijer is always looking for ways to improve our customers’ shopping experience, so we are truly excited to introduce technology that not only continues our company’s tradition of innovation, but helps makes shopping more convenient and fun for our customers.”

The app was built by Seattle-based company Point Inside, which has been rolling out interactive mobile maps for airports and shopping malls. “As a retail thought leader, Meijer quickly understood the benefits of the Point Inside platform,” said Jon Croy, co-founder and VP business development at Point Inside. “Saving time, enabling self-service and making sure shoppers don’t leave the store without finding what they need is a win-win for both shoppers and retailers.”

The “Find-it” app is available for free on iPhone, iPod Touch and Droid devices.

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Impax Labs pursuing FDA approval for generic cholesterol-lowering drug

BY Alaric DeArment

HAYWARD, Calif. Generic drug maker Impax Labs is hoping to win approval for a generic cholesterol-lowering drug.

Impax said it had filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration for approval of a version of Merck & Co.’s Vytorin (ezetimibe and simvastatin) in the 10 mg/80 mg strength. Vytorin had sales of around $222 million during the 12-month period ended June 30, according to Wolters Kluwer Health.

Impax’s application contained a paragraph IV certification, a legal assertion that the patents covering Vytorin are invalid, unenforceable or won’t be infringed. In response, under the provisions of the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984, Merck subsidiaries Schering Corp. and MSP Singapore Co. filed suit for patent infringement against Impax in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The suit puts a stay on the FDA’s approval of the drug until Impax goes to trial and wins or until the companies resolve the matter before the court.

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Taro ups sales, profits in first half of 2010

BY Alaric DeArment

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. Taro Pharmaceutical Industries had increases in sales and profits during the first half of the year, the Israeli generic drug maker said.

Taro reported sales of $187.3 million, compared with $181.7 million during the first half of 2009. Profits increased by 24%, to $29.2 million, compared with $23.6 million in the first half of 2009.

For second quarter 2010, sales were $98 million, compared with $96.8 million in second quarter 2009. Profits for the quarter were $18.9 million, a 51% increase over second quarter 2009’s $12.5 million.

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