PHARMACY

Walgreens taps Hertz leader for board

BY Jim Frederick

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has nominated Mark Frissora, chairman and chief executive of Hertz Global Holdings, to its board of directors as an independent director. Shareholders will vote on his appointment at Walgreens’ annual meeting Jan. 14, 2009.

The move comes in the midst of a nationwide search by the drug store giant for a new chairman and chief executive, following the abrupt retirement of former chief executive officer Jeff Rein in mid-October. Frissora has no drug store or pharmacy experience, but acting Walgreens chairman and chief executive Alan McNally noted that his “expertise in sales, marketing and distribution will be a valuable asset to Walgreens.

“We look forward to welcoming to the board Mark’s experience leading two large international companies that have grown and profited during his tenure,” McNally said.

Frissora brings to Walgreens’ board more than 31 years experience in consumer and automotive related businesses. He became top manager of Hertz, an $8.7 billion global car and equipment rental company, in July 2006, after leading Tenneco, Inc., the $6.2 billion global supplier of automotive emissions control and ride control products, where he served as chairman and chief executive from 2000 to 2006.

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PHARMACY

King announces acquisition of Alpharma

BY Alaric DeArment

BRISTOL, Tenn. King Pharmaceuticals will acquire Alpharma in a deal worth $1.6 billion, King said Monday.

Alpharma had rejected a $33-per-share bid King made earlier, but accepted the most recent $37-per-share bid.

Alpharma, based in Bridgewater, N.J., has lately sought regulatory approval for painkillers designed to thwart abuse, such as Remoxy, a liquid capsule-based formulation of oxycodone.

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Viagra under investigation for effect on athletes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The World Anti-Doping Agency is investigating whether the drug Viagra gives athletes a competitive advantage on the playing field.

The drug, known generically as sildenafil citrate and made by Pfizer, works by opening the blood vessels. According to published reports, some experts have said this could give athletes more endurance by increasing the bloodstreams ability to deliver oxygen.

If studies indicate that Viagra does give athletes an advantage, WADA will consider listing it as a performance-enhancing drug.

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