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Georgia-Pacific Professional launches Spread Wellness campaign

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA As the cold and flu season approaches, a paper company is launching a campaign to combat bad habits that contribute to the illnesses’ spread.

Georgia-Pacific Professional announced Wednesday the launch of its Spread Wellness campaign, designed to teach people proper techniques of washing and drying hands when away from home, especially after coughing and sneezing; according to a 2009 study by the Soap and Detergent Association, 39% of people seldom do so.

The campaign’s website, Spread-Wellness.com, includes links, tips and education materials. People also can sign up to become “Wellness Ambassadors” and receive a kit with a Spread Wellness wristband.

“With the easy transfer of germs and diseases, we all need to be more aware of our surroundings,” Georgia-Pacific Professional president Bill Sleeper stated. “We need to practice good hygiene habits ourselves and share these tips with those we interact with.”

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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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