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Weis extends saving program

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets last week announced it has lowered the prices on 2,400 staple items, effective Jan. 2, and that it will freeze the prices of these products for 90 days through April 2.

It is the company’s sixth round of its 90-day Price Freeze program over the past two years.

“Our 90-day Price Freeze program continues to make sense in a slow-growth economy impacted by high unemployment in most of the markets we serve,” stated David Hepfinger, Weis Markets president and CEO. “It has been a great program for our customers. Over the past two years, our Price Freeze program has helped our customers save more than $6 million and we hope to save them more money in 2011.”

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FDA declines to approve Iluvien

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA — The Food and Drug Administration declined to approve a treatment for diabetic eye disease made by Alimera Sciences, the drug maker said Dec. 23.

In its complete response letter, the FDA requested additional safety and efficacy data for the drug, Iluvien (fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal insert), a treatment for diabetic macular edema, a problem that commonly affects people with diabetes.

The agency also reported that it had found problems with current good manufacturing practices during inspections in August and September 2010 of plants operated by two of Alimera’s third-party manufacturers. According to Alimera, the manufacturers are in the process of resolving the problems.

A complete response letter means that the FDA has finished reviewing an approval application for a drug but issues remain that preclude final approval.

“We appreciate the FDA’s efforts to complete a priority review of our NDA and look forward to working closely with the FDA toward approval of Iluvien for the treatment of DME,” said Dan Myers, Alimera president and CEO. “To expedite the process, we have requested a meeting with the FDA to clarify the path to regulatory approval.”

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Giant Food gives customers Healthy Ideas

BY Allison Cerra

LANDOVER, Md. — Giant Food is helping customers stick to their New Year’s resolutions by emphasizing its product labeling system.

Healthy Ideas, which initially launched in January 2009, identifies healthy options for customers as they shop the aisles, and includes both perishable and nonperishable items, as well as private-label and national brands.

"Losing weight and eating better regularly rank as among the most common New Year’s resolutions," said Andrea Astrachan, consumer adviser for Giant Food. "There is no better place to make healthy choices than at the supermarket, and Giant is committed to helping our customers stay on track with their healthy-eating goals throughout the year."

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