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Weis kicks off second Penn State Pet-of-the-Game Facebook contest

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — After a popular Facebook contest made Brandi, a 7-year-old German shepherd mix, Weis Markets’ Pet of the Game at a Penn State football game in 2010, the company’s second annual Pet of the Game Facebook Contest returns to Weis Markets’ official Facebook fan page, the grocer announced Thursday.

Beginning Sept. 2, there will be a weekly Pet of the Game Winner who will receive a $50 Weis gift card and an entry in the Grand Prize Contest for eight tickets to the Penn State-Nebraska game at Beaver Stadium on Nov. 12, VIP tailgating passes and a $250 Weis Markets gift card.

To enter, fans must like the official Weis Markets Facebook page and enter a photo of their favorite pet in Penn State gear or colors. Each entrant will receive a coupon for a free bag of Weis-brand Paws dog or cat treats.

The 2010 contest included 136 competitors, including dogs, cats, horses, gerbils and a rabbit.

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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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