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Perrigo hires former FDA staffer to head regulatory review

BY Alaric DeArment

ALLEGAN, Mich. — Perrigo Co. has hired a former Food and Drug Administration official for its regulatory department, the drug maker said Friday.

The Allegan, Mich.-based drug maker announced the appointment of Keith Webber as head of regulatory review, a position in which he will start on Oct. 21. Webber previously served as acting director of the FDA’s Office of Pharmaceutical Science, part of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, which regulates prescription and OTC drugs. He also served as director of the Office of Generic Drugs.

"He brings us a wealth of strategic, scientific and regulatory experience from his years of working with the FDA," Perrigo chairman, president and CEO Joseph Papa said. "Keith will work closely with regulatory leadership to support new product selection and develop strategies and processes to achieve high-quality applications and timely approvals, enabling us to bring quality, affordable products to the market."


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Fortune: Clif Bar sports one of the best workplaces across medium-sized companies

BY Michael Johnsen

EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Clif Bar & Co. has been named one of the best workplaces in the United States by Great Place to Work. The 2013 annual list recognizing exceptional workplace cultures at small- and medium-size companies was published Thursday in Fortune magazine.

“We strive for a workplace that sustains our people — one of the five aspirations, or bottom lines, that defines our business,” stated Clif Bar CEO Kevin Cleary. “Happy, healthy people create good food. We’re honored to be recognized for building a company culture that supports and inspires our employees to grow and succeed, have fun and contribute to a more sustainable future.”

Ranked ninth on the list of 25 best medium workplaces (251-999 employees), Clif Bar made the 2013 list in its first year of applying. Great Place to Work evaluated each company in a selection process that included an employee survey and detailed questionnaire about benefits programs and company practices.

Taking a holistic approach to employee well-being, Clif Bar supports its people physically, fiscally and emotionally. Employees have access to an onsite gym, personal trainers and fitness classes as well as nutritional counseling and an annual athletic competition stipend.

In addition to 401(k) and annual incentive plans, employees also own 20% of Clif Bar through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. In keeping with the company’s focus on environmental sustainability, employees are helped to reduce their own carbon footprint through such incentives as fiscal help to purchase low emission vehicles or leave their cars at home entirely.

An onsite childcare center, dog-friendly workplace, employee-run kitchen, flexible work week, telecommute options, tuition reimbursement, community service opportunities, life coaching and a paid sabbatical every seven years provide employees with emotional support, comfort and personal growth.


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Aquaball bounces into Harris Teeter, signs Northeast distribution agreement

BY Jason Owen

IRVINE, Calif. — True Drinks, a healthy beverage supplier, announced this week the expansion of its distribution network for the vitamin-enriched Aquaball kids drink into major retail markets.

On Wednesday, True Drinks announced that the Aquaball would now be available in all Harris Teeter locations. Harris Teeter operates over 200 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Deleware and the District of Columbia.

"AquaBall is a great addition to our stores, giving parents a healthier choice in beverages for their children," stated Harris Teeter’s Steve Kravitz. "With the alarming increase in childhood obesity, we launched our yourwellness program in 2006, and our yourwellness for families program is a tool to help families optimize their children’s health and well-being. AquaBall fits perfectly with our focus on providing healthy alternatives for kids."

Then, on Thursday, True Drinks announced the company has entered into a five-year distribution agreement with Polar Beverages, which will sell and distribute the Aquaball to grocery, mass, drug and convenience stores. The Polar Beverages agreement covers much of the Northeast region, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and parts of New York.

"We are pleased to expand our relationship with Polar Beverages beyond the production of AquaBall at their Adirondack facility," said Jason Dorfman, national director of sales for True Drinks. "This strategic partnership will enable True Drinks to rapidly expand AquaBall’s distribution across the over 25,000 locations they service in New England. As the healthiest beverage available for children, our goal is to make AquaBall available to families everywhere."

Aquaball Naturally Flavored Water contains no artificial colors or flavors and is vitamin-enhanced with B6, B12, B3 and vitamin C. AquaBall is calorie- and sugar-free and sweetened with stevia, an all-natural sweetener.


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