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Valeant buys eye drug for $112.5 million

BY Alaric DeArment

MONTREAL — Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has acquired rights to a drug used to treat a symptom of age-related macular degeneration, the drug maker said.

Valeant announced that it acquired the injected drug Visudyne (verteporfin) from QLT, a company based in Vancouver, Canada.

Valeant said it paid $62.5 million upfront for all U.S. rights and available inventories for the drug, which had U.S. sales of about $21 million in 2011, and another $50 million upfront for rights to non-U.S. sales, which were about $14 million.


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Kroger’s Giving Hope a Hand campaign commits $3 million toward breast cancer awareness

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — For the sixth consecutive year, Kroger has committed $3 million in donations for local breast cancer initiatives across the country to support National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October as part of its Giving Hope a Hand initiative. 

Kroger received a 2012 Gold HALO award from the Cause Marketing Forum for the company’s annual Giving Hope a Hand campaign. The effort kicked off in stores on Sept. 23 and features 48 Kroger associates who are breast cancer survivors on marketing materials and custom packages of national and Kroger corporate brand products. These women share their survivor stories on the packaging of select items sold exclusively in Kroger’s family of stores. Kroger associate Janie Weber, who works as a front end/floral clerk for Dillons Division in Newton, Kansas, is featured this year on Kroger bottled water.

"The Kroger family applauds the willingness of our associates to share their personal stories as breast cancer survivors," stated David Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. "Their participation in this unique campaign inspires, educates and offers courage to our customers and other associates who are affected by this disease."

At the end of this year, Kroger will have donated more than $21 million to support breast cancer research, education and services since Giving Hope a Hand began in 2006.

Kroger’s campaign features a storewide sales promotion of popular items, many of which will feature exclusive, specially marked pink packaging. This year, 1,600 items — including Kroger’s own products and popular items from Kroger partners, such as Energizer, Freschetta, General Mills, Greenlite, Kellogg’s, Kimberly Clark, Kraft, Pepsi, Purina, Sargento and SC Johnson — will be marked with special shelf tags to highlight participation. The full list of partners can be viewed at SharingCourage.com/Our-Partners.aspx.

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Watson recalls two lots of opioid painkiller

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Generic drug maker Watson Labs recalled two lots of a prescription painkiller due to the potential for oversized and overly potent tablets, the company said.

The drug maker announced the recall of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets in the 10 mg/500 mg strengths based on a customer complaint of tablets that were thicker and darker-colored than the others.

The recalled lots are 519406A and 521759A, and the company said some tablets from the lots may exceed the weight specification and contain higher doses of hydrocodone or acetaminophen.


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