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Lindt expands portfolio with Russell Stover deal

BY Ryan Chavis

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lindt & Sprüngli Group announced on Monday that it has reached an agreement to purchase Russell Stover Candies. The Russel Stover and Whitman's brands will complement Lindt & Sprüngli's existing portfolio of premium chocolates, making it the No. 3 North American chocolate manufacturer, the company said.

"This biggest and most important strategic acquisition to date in Lindt & Sprüngli's history is a unique opportunity for us to expand our North American chocolate business and will greatly enhance the group's status in the world's biggest overall chocolate marketplace," said Ernst Tanner, chairman of the Lindt & Sprüngli board of directors and group CEO.

Russell Stover reports annual sales of close to $500 million and has been headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., for more than 80 years. In addition to four chocolate factories, the company runs a chain of 35 retail outlets, most of which are located in the central United States. The company will continue to maintain headquarters in Kansas City. Financial terms of the deal were not released by the company, but Reuters reported that it's around one billion dollars.

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Walgreens expands vaccine availability across Florida store base

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Monday expanded vaccine availability at all of its more than 800 locations across Florida as new state legislation takes effect to help bring greater patient access to vaccines.
 
Pharmacists in the Sunshine state are now authorized to provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended meningococcal (meningitis) vaccines for patients 18 years and older, and zoster (shingles) vaccines for patients 60 years and older, in addition to influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations available to eligible patients ages 18 and older.
 
“As some of the most trusted healthcare professionals in communities across Florida, this is an excellent opportunity for our pharmacists to help educate residents about the importance of adult vaccinations and to improve immunization rates through greater access,” said Terry Gubbins, Florida market pharmacy director for Walgreens. “We’ve demonstrated through flu seasons and other health initiatives the important role Walgreens is playing in health care today, providing high quality, affordable care to help more people get, stay and live well.”
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Sandoz launches generic Tobi

BY Ryan Chavis

PRINCETON, N.J. — Sandoz on Monday announced the introduction of tobramycin inhalation solution, USP into the U.S. market. The drug is an authorized generic version of Tobi from Novartis.

The drug is used for the management of cystic fibrosis in patients whose lungs contain bacteria called P. aeruginosa, the company said. Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. It's estimated that 30,000 children and adults in the United States suffer from the disease.

"We are proud to bring the authorized generic of Tobi to the patients with cystic fibrosis,” said Peter Goldschmidt, president of Sandoz US. “As part of the Novartis Group, we work together to increase patient access to leading treatments in the most efficient and effective way possible.”

Sales for the the branded version of tobramycin inhalation solution, USP were approximately $241 million for the 12 months ended April 2014, according to IMS Health. Sandoz will be marketing the drug in 300-mg single-dose ampules, the same size and strength that is currently being marketed by the brand.

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