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FMI names SVP industry relations

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. The Food Marketing Institute on Wednesday announced the promotion of Patrick Walsh to SVP industry relations, education and research. He leads collaborative industry initiatives for FMI, including the FMI/GMA Trading Partner Alliance, and is responsible for the development of the FMI Private Brands Group and the Rapid Recall Exchange.

“Patrick has been instrumental in developing valuable programs for our members,” stated Leslie Sarasin, FMI president and CEO. “The success of FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference and the Future Connect leadership conference are due in large part to Patrick’s dedication to ensure members find the content compelling and the experience worthwhile,” she said. “He has spent his entire career in the retail and fast-moving consumer goods industry. His experience has proven to be a great asset as Patrick has a wonderful ability to establish industry partnerships and implement new initiatives that benefit all of our members.”

Walsh has been with FMI for 11 years. He also oversees FMI’s education conferences and research studies, and supports those efforts through the FMI Associate Member Council. Previously, he was VP industry collaboration and education.

Prior to joining FMI, Walsh served as director of corporate electronic marketing at Safeway. He was responsible for launching and managing Safeway’s frequent shopper program in North America. He also served in a variety of sales, marketing and product management positions during his 17-year career at Kraft Foods.

Walsh holds a BA in political science and international affairs from George Washington University.

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Impax Labs pursuing FDA approval for generic cholesterol-lowering drug

BY Alaric DeArment

HAYWARD, Calif. Generic drug maker Impax Labs is hoping to win approval for a generic cholesterol-lowering drug.

Impax said it had filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration for approval of a version of Merck & Co.’s Vytorin (ezetimibe and simvastatin) in the 10 mg/80 mg strength. Vytorin had sales of around $222 million during the 12-month period ended June 30, according to Wolters Kluwer Health.

Impax’s application contained a paragraph IV certification, a legal assertion that the patents covering Vytorin are invalid, unenforceable or won’t be infringed. In response, under the provisions of the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984, Merck subsidiaries Schering Corp. and MSP Singapore Co. filed suit for patent infringement against Impax in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The suit puts a stay on the FDA’s approval of the drug until Impax goes to trial and wins or until the companies resolve the matter before the court.

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Taro ups sales, profits in first half of 2010

BY Alaric DeArment

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. Taro Pharmaceutical Industries had increases in sales and profits during the first half of the year, the Israeli generic drug maker said.

Taro reported sales of $187.3 million, compared with $181.7 million during the first half of 2009. Profits increased by 24%, to $29.2 million, compared with $23.6 million in the first half of 2009.

For second quarter 2010, sales were $98 million, compared with $96.8 million in second quarter 2009. Profits for the quarter were $18.9 million, a 51% increase over second quarter 2009’s $12.5 million.

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