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Sagent launches neuromuscular disorder drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Generic drug maker Sagent Pharmaceuticals has launched a new drug for neuromuscular disorders, the company said.

Sagent announced the launch of vecuronium bromide, an injectable drug used to treat myasthenia gravis and Eaton-Lambert syndrome. The disorders cause muscle weakness and fatigue.

The market for vecuronium bromide is about $10 million in the United States, according to IMS Health.

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Express Scripts preparing for network without Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Express Scripts is readying for a pharmacy network without Walgreens, according to an analyst report published Thursday.

Credit Suisse analyst Edward Kelly reported that Express Scripts issued a letter to clients on Monday encouraging those clients to begin pushing prescriptions to alternative pharmacies. "While this is the next logical step in this very public negotiation, it supports our view that a near-term resolution is unlikely and suggests that the possibility of no deal (while still low) is increasing," Kelly wrote.

The crux of the issue may come down to regulatory approval of the Express Scripts/Medco merger. If approved, that provides Express Scripts significantly more scale, enough so that any migration of prescriptions out of Walgreens’ pharmacies could have a material impact, Kelly noted. "For now, Walgreens remains steadfast on its terms, but we believe the company will eventually be forced to make concessions as the loss of [Express Scripts] (before even considering Medco) could pressure Walgreens’ earnings by 20%."

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Fresh & Easy seeks to expand workforce

BY Allison Cerra

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Tesco’s U.S. subsidiary Fresh & Easy said it’s looking to fill more than 100 employee positions, including positions for four new California stores, the company announced Thursday.

Over the next several weeks, Fresh & Easy will open four new stores, which will be located in Los Angeles, Anaheim Hills, Calif., and Sunnyvale, Calif.

“We are pleased to continue to bring good jobs with affordable and comprehensive benefits to even more neighborhoods throughout California,” Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason said. “We pride ourselves in being a great place to work and we are consistently striving to create a culture in which people look forward to coming into work each day.”

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