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After 132 years in market, Ivory gets a makeover

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble is celebrating its oldest brand.

P&G said that the lineup of bar soaps, body washes and liquid hand soap sold under Ivory, a 132-year-old brand, will feature new packaging that includes a vibrant new color scheme and redesign that complements the current Ivory product offerings, P&G said.

Additionally, P&G will unveil a new advertising campaign that will encompass television, print and online ads. The campaign, developed by Wieden+Kennedy, is called "Ivoryisms." These messages are designed to be both simple and straightforward, which reflect the brand’s makeover, P&G said.

Both the new packaging and advertising campaign will appear this month.

"Ivory is P&G’s oldest and most beloved brand, and while consumers relish in the nostalgia and heritage of the product, it’s time for a holistic reinvention of the brand as we work to touch and improve more consumers’ lives in more parts of the world more completely," Ivory brand manager Jay Sethi said. "We’ve answered the call for consumers wanting a ‘simple and clean’ solution and the most powerful aspect of Ivory still remains the simplicity of the product."

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Rite Aid lets customers vote for favorite pharmacists

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is asking customers to vote for their favorite pharmacist in recognition of American Pharmacists Month, the retail pharmacy chain said Wednesday.

Through Oct. 31, customers can vote for their favorite pharmacist at RiteAid.com, through a mail-in nomination available at the store or by "liking" Rite Aid’s Facebook page and using a special tab. Customers can share stories about the services their pharmacists provide and what makes them special.

"There’s no better time than American Pharmacists Month to thank our pharmacists for the superior customer service they provide to Rite Aid patients throughout the year," Rite Aid SVP pharmacy Dan Miller said. "Whether they are counseling a customer on new medication or helping a caregiver to understand and manage their loved one’s disease, our pharmacists play a critical role in the health and well-being of their customers and communities. This program lets our pharmacists know how proud we are of them and how thankful we and their customers are for all that they do."

Customers who vote and pharmacists who are nominated will be entered into a random drawing to receive $2,500 in Rite Aid gift cards. In addition, all "favorite" pharmacists will be notified by Rite Aid, receive a Favorite Pharmacist pin and a letter of commendation from president and CEO John Standley.


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NACDS expresses position on two drug safety bills

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — As Congress considers measures to protect the nation’s prescription drug distribution system, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday voiced its strong opposition to a piece of legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, which would require a mandatory track-and-trace system — a move that could cost the typical pharmacy chain millions of dollars to implement across all stores.

In a letter to Rep. Matheson, NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson expressed the industry’s opposition to his proposed Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act of 2011 (H.R. 3026).

“While the National Association of Chain Drug Stores salutes your commitment to the safety and security of the prescription drug supply chain, I must express our objections to the portions of your legislation that call for a system of tracking and tracing prescription drugs,” Anderson stated in the letter to Matheson. “Requiring pharmacists to adopt immature technologies will distract them with complex compliance issues, taking time away from providing services to patients.  There is also a great likelihood that track and trace would actually slow down the movement of prescription drugs — especially with labor intensive ‘line of sight’ technologies, such as ‘two-dimensional bar codes,’” Anderson wrote.

According to NACDS, the estimated cost to implement an electronic track and trace system could run as high as $110,000 per location.

Anderson did say, however, that NACDS did commend provisions that were designed to help ensure the safety and security of the prescription drug distribution system including: authorizing the destruction of drugs that have been offered for importation into the United States, or deemed to be counterfeit, adulterated or misbranded; and strengthening federal guidelines for licensure of wholesale distributors to “achieve national uniformity rather than a patchwork of state requirements.”

In related news, NACDS threw its support behind a competing bill in the Senate, The Drug Safety and Accountability Act of 2011 (S.1584), which was sponsored by Sen. Michael Bennet, R-Colo. Anderson said that NACDS supported Bennet’s bill, as "the provisions that will establish drug manufacturer quality management plans for the drug, as well as the active ingredients and materials used to manufacture the drugs, and the requirements for audits, monitoring and testing as part of the plans," he said. The organization also expressed support for the bill’s provision that would stop distribution of a drug by manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers where the risk of serious, adverse health consequences or death exists.

However, NACDS did express concerns about notification of pharmacies when such a situation occurs.

"The language does not mention community pharmacies in the provision for immediate notification," Anderson wrote. "We also have questions about how this would impact patients for whom the drug has been prescribed. We respectfully ask that consideration be given to the impact on patients’ drug treatment regimens and the patients’ likely need for alternate therapy. Pharmacies as the most accessible healthcare provider will be at the forefront of assisting patients and their prescriber with addressing alternate therapy."


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