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Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 12:01 am

Pfizer to pay $55 million in drug misbranding case

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department says Pfizer will pay $55 million to resolve allegations that Wyeth promoted the drug Protonix for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer acquired Wyeth in October 2009. Wyeth obtained FDA approval to promote Protonix only for short-term treatment of erosive esophagitis. The condition is associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Wyeth allegedly promoted Protonix for all forms of GERD from February 2000 to June 2001. GERD is a condition in which food or liquid leak backward from the stomach into the esophagus.

Avon to cut 4 percent of jobs in global restructuring

NEW YORK – Avon Products plans to cut about 1,500 jobs and exit two Asian markets, as the struggling beauty products seller starts on a broad restructuring plan in an effort to turn around results.

The job cuts amount to almost 4 percent of its work force and mark one of the first major moves by CEO Sheri McCoy. McCoy was brought on in April to replace longtime CEO Andrea Jung at New York-based Avon, a direct seller of beauty products like Skin So Soft lotion and Mark cosmetics.

Avon said the job cuts span all regions and functions. The 1,500 cuts include 100 employees in Vietnam and South Korea, which Avon will exit entirely. Avon said in November that it would embark on a plan to save $400 million in three years.

Gender-neutral campaigner to meet with Easy-Bake team

PROVIDENCE, R.I. –A New Jersey teen who started a campaign calling for an Easy-Bake Oven in gender-neutral colors is planning to meet with the people who design it.

Toy maker Hasbro says it has invited 13-year-old McKenna Pope and her family to meet with the Easy-Bake team Monday at its Pawtucket headquarters. Hasbro's Julie Duffy says they invited McKenna in to listen to her thoughts and ideas.

McKenna was prompted to start an online petition after she wanted to buy an Easy-Bake Oven for her 4-year-old brother and found them only in purple and pink. Several top chefs, including Bobby Flay, have since asked Hasbro to make them in more colors. Duffy says Hasbro has made the toy in gender-neutral colors in the past

Fewer CEOs expect hiring dip over next 6 months

WASHINGTON – A survey of U.S. chief executives shows the number of large companies that plan to add jobs or hire more workers is essentially unchanged versus three months ago, but fewer expect hiring to decrease. The Business Roundtable says that 29 percent of its member CEOs plan to increase hiring over the next six months, the same as in September, when the group last released its quarterly survey. But only 29 percent expect hiring to decrease versus 34 percent in the previous report.

–From wire reports