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FDA approves generic contraceptive pill

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of a popular contraceptive pill.

The FDA announced Wednesday that it had approved Watson Labs’ levonorgestrel tablets in the 0.75-mg strength, a generic version of Duramed Pharmaceuticals’ Plan B contraceptive pill. The generic version will be available by prescription only for girls ages 17 and younger.

The FDA approved Plan B in 2006 for women ages 18 and older without a prescription, but it remained available only by prescription for girls younger than 18. The FDA also is barred from approving a nonprescription generic version of Plan B for adult women until Aug. 24, when Duramed’s marketing exclusivity for the nonprescription use of Plan B expires.

The drug prevents pregnancy after unprotected sex, or if a contraceptive has failed.

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Hallmark announces e-card subscription plan

BY Allison Cerra

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Hallmark Cards announced its first e-card subscription plan, which offers consumers unlimited sending of exclusive e-cards for $9.99 per year.

The plan encompasses all of Hallmark’s premium e-cards, including those featuring hoops&yoyo and Maxine, as well as licensed e-cards with hit music and such TV shows and movies as “The Office,” “Madagascar” and “Star Wars.” Premium Hallmark e-cards sell individually for 99 cents each.

Consumers can personalize the e-cards when it is convenient, and Hallmark will send them anytime during the course of the subscription. Hallmark’s reminder service and address book make it easy to remember important dates and events.

“We know people enjoy connecting with their friends and family by using e-cards featuring their favorite characters, movies and music,” noted Hallmark product manager Shelley Mathews. “This plan makes it easy and convenient to send those e-cards when they’re needed. Consumers can select and address their e-cards ahead of time, and Hallmark will send them out right on time.”

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Wal-Mart names chief diversity officer

BY Allison Cerra

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Walmart has appointed L. Mecole “Cole” Brown to serve as chief diversity officer. Brown will be responsible for the oversight and coordination of the diversity strategy for the company’s U.S. business.

Brown joined Walmart’s legal team in 2002, and has held senior positions in Sam’s Club and Walmart’s office of diversity. Brown was appointed to VP employment practices in August 2007.

Brown succeeds Charlyn Jarrells Porter, who served as the company’s first chief diversity officer from 2004 to 2009. Porter announced her retirement in March, after more than 16 years with the company.

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