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Report: Google settles with federal government over illegal pharmacy ad allegations

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Google has settled with the federal government for $500 million over allegations that it displayed advertisements for black-market pharmacies, according to published reports.

The New York Times reported that Google would pay to settle an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice that it had displayed ads from online pharmacies that sell drugs without prescriptions and sometimes sell counterfeit drugs.

Google had said it was difficult to prevent the ads from appearing, as the pharmacies would find ways around preventive measures that it implemented, but websites are nevertheless responsible for advertisements that appear on them, the Times reported.

The news garnered praise from the drug retailing industry. In a statement released Wednesday, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores said that it was pleased that Google was taking steps to rectify the matter.

"NACDS is pleased that Google Inc. is taking steps to rectify the advertising activities of these illegal online drug sellers, and thanks the Department of Justice for its tenacity on this issue," NACDS said. "Illegitimate Internet drug sellers pose incredible risks to patients. These rogue websites operate in clear violation of U.S. state and federal laws and regulations. They sell drugs to consumers without the safety of precautions of a legitimate prescriber-patient relationship, a valid prescription, and a licensed U.S. pharmacy."

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Par to acquire Anchen

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Par Pharmaceutical Cos. will acquire Anchen Pharmaceuticals for $410 million, Par said Wednesday.

Based in Irvine, Calif., Anchen is a privately owned generic drug maker that expects to launch eight to 10 new generic drugs over the next two years. Par plans to finance the acquisition with a $350 million term loan and cash it already has.

"This transaction accelerates the expansion of Par’s research and development infrastructure and reinforces our strategy to provide long-term, sustainable growth," Par president, chairman and CEO Patrick LePore said. "Anchen has an excellent development track record and robust product pipeline, which, when combined with Par’s existing capabilities and pipeline, more than doubles our product opportunities."

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Shelf-sized freezer units enable impulse merchandising opportunities

BY Michael Johnsen

LEBANON, Pa. — The Frosty Paws freezer unit pictured here is located inline with pet care in this Giant supermarket located in central Pennsylvania. This makes for a much more intuitive impulse purchase opportunity that targets consumers with an intent to buy dog treats, as opposed to a placement adjacent to frozen people treats, aka the ice cream aisle, where Frosty Paws had traditionally been merchandised.

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