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Weis Markets increases 2013 capital commitment by 8%

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Thursday announced it would invest $135 million in its 2013 capital expenditure program, an 8% increase compared to the year prior. 

“To position our company for continued growth, we have made record investments in our store base,” Jonathan Weis, Weis Market’s vice chairman, told shareholders during the grocer’s annual meeting held here. In 2013, the company is planning 37 major projects, including four new stores, 15 major remodels and 17 remodels.

“By the end of 2013, we will have invested nearly half a billion dollars in our growth and will have completed more than 100 projects," commented David Hepfinger, Weis president and CEO. "Our capex program also includes record-level investments in our information technology infrastructure,” he said. “Improving our decision support and measurement capabilities is essential to our growth and future profitability.”

According to Hepfinger, supply chain and improving service also are key areas of focus. “Our organization has worked diligently to improve efficiencies throughout our supply chain — from distribution to the customer’s cart. We also are holding ourselves accountable to our customers in all that we do, which has resulted in better in-stock conditions, improved freshness and product rotation and better customer service.”

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Avella provided more than $7 million in financial assistance to patients last year

BY Alaric DeArment

PHOENIX — Avella Specialty Pharmacy provided more than $7.2 million in financial assistance to patients last year, the company said Thursday.

The Phoenix-based specialty pharmacy said its representatives work with patients to secure funding to cover specialty medication costs as specialty drugs can often be too expensive, even for patients with health insurance and monthly co-pays in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

"Our goal at Avella is for patients to avoid having to make a financial choice between their medications and other necessities," Avella VP clinical affairs Eric Sredzinski said. "Our team is uniquely skilled at securing funds to offset patient medication costs. Providing this unexpected service to patients helps lessen their stress and gives them peace of mind as they go through a difficult journey."

 

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Actavis to launch generic ADHD drug in December 2014

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSAPPANY, N.J. — Actavis can launch a generic version of an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug made by Shire next year under an agreement between the two companies announced Thursday.

The drug makers said they settled a patent-litigation suit concerning the drug Intuniv (guanfacine hydrochloride), allowing Actavis to launch in December 2014 and also settling outstanding litigation against a regulatory filing by Actavis predecessor Watson for Food and Drug Administration approval of a generic version of the drug. The FDA approved Actavis’ version of the drug in October 2012 and, as the first company to file a complete application with the agency, Actavis is entitled to 180 days of market exclusivity in which to compete directly with the branded version after launching it.

Under the deal with Shire, Shire will receive a 25% royalty on Actavis’ gross profits from the drug.

Intuniv had sales of about $475 million during the 12-month period that ended in January, according to IMS Health.

 

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