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Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders greenlight Loblaw Cos. deal

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart announced on Thursday its shareholders voted in favor of the proposed acquisition by Loblaw Cos.

The transaction was approved by approximately 99.89% of the votes cast by all of the Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders eligible to vote.

As previously reported, Loblaw Cos. and Shoppers Drug Mart announced on July 15 a definitive agreement under which Loblaw will acquire Shoppers Drug Mart for C$12.4 billion in cash and stock.

Completion of the deal remains conditional on approval by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, compliance with the Competition Act and certain other closing conditions.

Subject to obtaining such court approvals, and the satisfaction or waiver of all other conditions, the transaction is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2014.

 

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Eisai introduces support program for Belviq

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Drug maker Eisai has launched a new support and savings program for patients using a weight-loss drug that it makes.

The drug maker announced Thursday the availability of Believe Everyday Support for patients using Belviq (lorcaserin hydrochloride), which includes a customizable online portal designed to help patients reach their weight loss goals and sustain their efforts.

"The Believe Everyday Support program is an extension of Eisai’s human healthcare commitment to put patiens and their families first," Eisai VP specialty marketing and sales business unit Michael O’Brien said. "Through a Belviq savings card, diet and exercise tips, calorie and activity tracking and offering nutritious recipes that meet patients’ specific dietary needs, the program is designed to support efforts with Belviq treatment to help patients lead a healthy lifestyle in a way that works for them."

 

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GPhA heralds FDA hiring milestone

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The news that the Food and Drug Administration exceeded its hiring goals for a push that began last year to speed up review of generic drug approval applications is music to the ears of a trade group representing the industry.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association heralded the news Thursday. "Making these hiring decisions is an important step to achieve the goal of [the Generic Drug User Fee Amendments] and address the delays that reduce Americans’ access to affordable medicines," GPhA president and CEO Ralph Neas said. "The FDA has a critical task at hand: reducing the backlog in applications for new generic medicines and speeding the average [abbreviated new drug application] approval time."

As DSN reported Wednesday, FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director Janet Woodcock sent a memo to employees announcing that the agency had hired 234 people as part of its GDUFA Human Capital Team, in excess of the 231 it had intended to hire.

 

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