HEALTH

Wal-Mart adds ReliOn diabetes supplies for $9

BY Michael Johnsen

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores on Tuesday announced that it would incorporate its ReliOn diabetes management products into the retailer’s affordable pharmacy program by selling all ReliOn diabetes supplies for $9, the ReliOn Ultima Blood Glucose Meter, a 20-count package of ReliOn Ultima Blood Glucose Test Strips and the ReliOn A1c test.

According to Wal-Mart, a customer with diabetes testing once per day can save more than $200 annually based on the retail price of competing test strips sold at the mass merchant.

“This latest expansion of our health care offering comes from our commitment to help people affected by diabetes save money so they can live better,” stated John Agwunobi, senior vice president and Wal-Mart’s president of its health and wellness division. “We are pleased to introduce $9 ReliOn testing products that address some of the unique health care needs of diabetes patients. By providing affordable, quality solutions we hope to positively impact the lives of the millions already living with the disease.”

Wal-Mart is helping to get the word out on its $9 diabetes supplies through the sponsorship of several American Diabetes Association events, including the recent ADA Diabetes EXPO events in Atlanta, Boston and Tampa.

To date, Wal-Mart’s affordable pharmacy program has saved customers more than $1 billion.

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Perrigo gets exclusive U.S. rights for generic Xyzal

BY Michael Johnsen

ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo last week acquired the exclusive U.S. rights to sell and distribute levocetirizine tablets, the generic version of UCB’s Xyzal tablets, from Synthon Pharmaceuticals.

“This is a prime example of Perrigo’s strategic focus on introducing new products which will make quality healthcare more affordable to American consumers,” stated Perrigo chairman and chief executive officer Joe Papa. “Given Perrigo’s unique model of leadership in both over-the-counter and generic prescription businesses, we can leverage this first to file opportunity whether the brand product stays behind the pharmacy counter or if it switches to an over-the-counter status, a likely scenario.”

Xycal is a prescription-only remedy for the treatment of indoor and outdoor allergies, with annualized sales of $200 million on growth of 15 percent per year, Perrigo stated, citing figures from Wolters, Kluwer.

Synthon and UCB are currently engaged in litigation over Synthon’s abbreviated-new-drug-application filing of levocetirizine, Perrigo noted in its press release.

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Commitment project commences for future children’s health

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition and the Council for Responsible Nutrition last week jointly launched the Commitment project, an initiative designed to encourage brides-to-be to make a vow of health to their future children by taking a daily multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid.

The Commitment project will include outreach to bridal publications and women’s media outlets, including a series of e-postcards, accessible at the web sites of CRN and HMHB.

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