—From wire reports

Petco to phase out artificial food

Pet retailer Petco pledged Tuesday to stop selling dog and cat food containing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives by May. The decision, spearheaded by new CEO Ron Coughlin, is indicative of a broader commitment to pet health.

Starting in January, Petco will discontinue dog and cat food and treats containing one of more than 50 artificial ingredients, including dyes and chemical substances. The list extends to substances that add color or flavor to foods through artificial means, and chemical preservatives.

Brands affected by the decision include Pedigree and Cat Chow. The pet retailer is working to encourage them to switch to natural ingredients. The exception is titanium dioxide in Pro Plan and Science Diet Urinary formulas for cats. The company says there is no suitable, artificial-free alternative.

Currently, products containing soon-to-be banned ingredients account for a “single digit” percentage of total sales, Coughlin said. Still, the business will take a substantial hit, estimated at as much as $100 million a year.

EpiPen competitor prepares for sales

Adamis Pharmaceuticals is readying emergency allergy medication for sale. Called Symjepi, the product is a syringe of epinephrine, used to counteract life-threatening allergic reactions.

It’s a lower-cost alternative to market leader EpiPen, which costs hundreds of dollars. Just how much less it will cost hasn’t been announced, nor has when the products will reach the market.

Adamis received approval for a low-dose and high-dose Symjepi formulations, formulations of naloxone, which reverses opioid overdose, and beclomethasone, for asthma.

EpiPen, sold by Mylan, can exceed $600 for a two-pack. When Mylan acquired rights to EpiPen in 2007, it sold for $57 per dose.