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Merck announces EC approval of Schering-Plough Corp.

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Just days after Pfizer completed its acquisition of Wyeth, another major drug company merger that began earlier this year reached a milestone.

Merck & Co. announced Friday that the European Commission — the European Union’s counterpart to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission — had approved its acquisition of Schering-Plough Corp.

“Approval from the European Commission marks a key milestone for the completion of our transaction with Schering-Plough,” Merck CEO Richard Clark said in a statement. “We’re making good progress towards our closing and look forward to creating a strong, global leader that will make a substantial difference to patients and health care around the world.”

Merck said that integration planning teams from the two companies were planning for the combined company to start business as soon as the merger was completed, which they expect to happen in fourth quarter 2009.

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Schnuck exec honored by produce pub

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS A weekly newspaper serving the produce industry has given a top award to a Schnuck Markets executive.

The Packer named Schnucks VP produce and floral Michael O’Brien the 2009 “Marketer of the Year,” Schnucks announced, presenting him with the award at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit earlier this month.

 

O’Brien has worked in the supermarket industry for 37 years, starting at Schnucks as a bagger in 1972, becoming a store manager in 1983 and division manager in 1990. He has served in his current position since 2001.

Schnucks said O’Brien had taken an “active role” in promoting produce consumption and was a member of a number of industry organizations. He is chairman-elect of the PMA’s board of directors and served as chairman of the Produce for Better Health Foundation in 2007, promoting that organizations “5 a day, Fruits & Veggies – More Matters” campaign to promote the eating of fruits and vegetables. Produce Merchandising magazine also named him “Retailer of the Year” in 2004.

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AACE introduces diabetes algorithm

BY Alaric DeArment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. A new algorithm designed to help Type 2 diabetes patients achieve glycemic control has appeared online in the September/October edition of the journal Endocrine Practice.

The algorithm, released as a consensus statement by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Endocrinology is a one-page resource designed to assist primary care doctors, endocrinologists and others in the management of Type 2 diabetes.

 

“Depending on a patient’s current A1C level, a physician will use the algorithm to determine whether a mono-, dual- or triple-combination therapy should be considered,” former AACE president and co-chairwoman of the Algorithm Task Force Helena Rodbard said in a statement. “To minimize the risk of diabetic complications, the algorithm will help achieve a hemoglobin A1C value of 6.5 or less when appropriate.”

 

The task force said it was the first such algorithm that considers currently approved classes of medications emphasizing safety and efficacy while also considering factors such as the overall cost of care.

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