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Reports: Sun to buy Meda for up to $6 billion

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — India-based Sun Pharmaceutical Industries may buy Sweden-based Meda for $5 billion to $6 billion, according to published reports.

Reuters reported that the two companies were in talks for Sun to buy Meda in order to boost its generics business in developed markets.

The news comes months after Sun and Taro terminated a merger agreement, a deal that Sun had been trying to secure since 2007. Several high-profile mergers among drug companies have occurred in the last few weeks, however, including Actavis’ announcement that it would buy Ireland-based Warner Chilcott for $8.5 billion and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International’s plans to buy Bausch & Lomb for $8.7 billion.

 

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Consumers share how they shop wellness

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN ANTONIO — A panel of six consumers of varying backgrounds dished out real insights as to how — and more importantly, why — they shop health and wellness to a packed auditorium of supermarket executives on the opening day of the Health & Wellness @Retail 2013 jointly hosted by the Food Marketing Institute and the Global Market Development Center. Across the panel several common themes were identified. Nutrition labels ought to be simplified, for example, but also be specific. A generalized health claim does as much to turn shoppers seeking healthy solutions away.

Steve Roden of LearnSomething with Diane Oshin of Cooking Light

Shoppers who are striving to eat healthy are fast becoming avid label readers and are willing to pay more for better health-quality items. “I have real issues with packaging,” noted panelist Beth Wolpman. “Because I’m a label reader, I cannot stand these labels that are so difficult to read,” she said. “Label readers are going to stick with those products that meet their [wellness] needs even if they have to pay more,” added Lydia Jones.

Local supermarket retailer H-E-B earned high praise from all panelists, but Whole Foods was identified as the one food retailer that supplied a sought-after shopping “experience.” An experience, incidentally, for which each of the panelists were willing to occasionally splurge. “I look at Whole Foods as being like a treat,” explained panelist Phyllis Goodson. “I go there on a date with my daughter.”


Consumer panelists Beth Wolpman, Amy Sokol, Lydia Jones, Maria Carmona-Alonso, Phyllis Goodson and Cassidy Holdsworth

And though supermarkets have an inside track on identifying health opportunities by pairing their pharmacists and registered dieticians as part of a powerful wellness solution, pureplay drug stores still captured most of the panelists’ prescription business. Many times, noted Amy Sokol, it’s because pharmacy hours don’t correspond to her food-shopping occasions.


Consumer panelists Cassidy Holdsworth and Phyllis Goodson

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Creating effective health-and-wellness programs

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN ANTONIO — During Thursday’s education breakout sessions, Jeremy Doak, director of reward and wellness solutions for Edenred North America, shared with attendees the building blocks to create a strategy for delivering effective programs that impact consumer health-and-wellness outcomes during his presentation titled, “How to encourage consumer participation in health and wellness programs.”

“You want to develop a strategy that encompasses all of the consumers in the ecosystem. It is a very important notion, this ecosystem. … Always make sure you are putting your best foot forward,” Doak said. “Second, you all have very large and diverse populations, so using multiple ways to communicate is very important whether it is in-store communication, Web, mobile [or] direct mail. The third, it has to bring health and [value] to the consumer.”

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