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NPD: Last-minute BTS spending on the rise

BY Gail Hoffer

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Once again, consumers are putting off back-to-school shopping until the last minute, but retailers can take solace in the fact that they intend to spend more this year, NPD reported.

According to NPD’s survey, 31% of respondents said they plan to spend more this year, compared with 22% who made that claim in 2011. The number of consumers who plan to spend less went from 38% in 2011 to 24% this year, while those who plan to spend the same rose from 40% to 46%.

When it comes to when they plan to shop, the numbers were essentially the same from 2011 to 2012. This year, 37% shoppers said they will finish their back-to-school shopping by Aug. 1 compared with 38% from the year before. This year, 58% of consumers plan to have their shopping done by Sept. 1, compared with 57% for the prior year.

“Retailers should plan to see a rise in sales when the temperature drops,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD. “The summer heat wave in much of the country is a possible contributor to the delay in back-to-school shopping.”

Where consumers spend their money this year has shifted, with the bulk of the spending to be done at department stores (26% of those surveyed), followed by footwear specialty stores (25%) and online (16%).

“There will be waves of sales growth — in the early stages, school supplies and electronics will do well," said Cohen. "And when school is back in session apparel and footwear will show some true promise, driving shoppers to department, sporting goods, and specialty stores."

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Court rules in favor of Pfizer, Northwestern University in Lyrica patent case

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — A district court ruled in favor of Pfizer and Northwestern University in a patent infringement case relating to Lyrica (pregabalin).

The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware upheld the drug maker’s composition of matter patent and pain and seizure use patents covering the drug. With this, Pfizer will exclusively provide pregabalin as Lyrica to patients through Dec. 30, 2018 in the United States, pending generic company appeal and further litigation. Pfizer and Northwestern University, which owns the patents covering the active ingredient pregabalin and the use for treating seizure disorders, filed suit in 2009 against the generic companies that applied to the FDA to market a generic version of Lyrica prior to the expiration of the patents covering pregabalin and its use. Litigation on the same patents remains pending against other generic companies, but no trials have been scheduled in these later cases.

"The court’s decision recognizes the infringement and validity of our Lyrica patents and affirms the value of Lyrica as a distinct and important innovation for patients," said Amy Schulman, EVP and general counsel for Pfizer. "Protecting our intellectual property is vital to our ability to develop new medicines that save and enhance patient lives."

Three separate patents are at issue in this case: U.S. Patent No. 6,197,819 covers the active ingredient pregabalin and expires Dec. 30, 2018; U.S. Patent No. 5,563,175 covers a method for using pregabalin to treat seizure disorders and expires Oct. 8, 2013; U.S. Patent No. RE 41,920 covers methods for using pregabalin to treat pain and expires Dec. 30, 2018.

As previously reported, the Food and Drug Administration approved Lupin Pharmaceuticals’ generic version of a drug earlier this month.


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FDA approves new COPD drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug made by Forest Labs for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the agency said.

The FDA announced the approval of Tudorza Pressair (aclidinium bromide) for the long-term maintenance of COPD-related narrowing of the airways in the lung, also known as bronchospasm. The drug is an inhaled dry powder used twice per day.

"COPD is a serious disease that gets worse over time," FDA Office of Drug Evaluation II director Curtis Rosebraugh said. "The availability of long-term maintenance drugs for COPD provides additional treatment options for the millions of people who suffer with this debilitating disease."


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