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BI launches Combivent Respimat

BY Alaric DeArment

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals has launched a drug for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the company said Tuesday.

BI Pharmaceuticals announced the launch of Combivent Respimat (ipratropium bromide and albuterol), calling it a propellant-free inhaler that uses a slow-moving mist to deliver the same active ingredients as the Combivent metered dose inhaler, requiring one inhalation per dose, compared with Combivent MDI’s two inhalations.

"Combivent Respimat is a testament to our company’s commitment to developing advancements for peole living with respiratory disease," BI Pharmaceuticals VP clinical development and medical affairs Tunde Otulana said. "We are continuing to examine the potential of several late-stage investigational compounds also delivered by the Respimat inhaler."


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Walmart launches ‘Golden Spark’ promotion as part of hunger awareness campaign

BY Allison Cerra

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has launched part of its Fighting Hunger Together fall initiative to provide meals to communities in need.

The "Golden Spark" promotion, a $2.5 million initiative, gives consumers a chance to win "sparks" that will help fund childhood hunger programs in their communities. The Fighting Hunger Together fall initiative is part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s $2 billion commitment through 2015 to fight hunger. As a part of this commitment, Walmart and its Foundation pledged to donate more than 1.1 billion lbs. of food from Walmart stores, distribution centers and Sam’s Club locations, valued at $1.75 billion, as well as $250 million in grants to support hunger relief organizations.

Walmart said the Fighting Hunger Together fall initiative launches amidst the release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture report which found that at some point during the year, more than 50 million Americans won’t know where their next meal will come from, which is equivalent to 1-in-6 Americans.

"The USDA report is yet again proof that millions of Americans are facing the harsh reality of hunger this year and the issue is further compounded by a historic drought and the lingering effects of high unemployment rates," said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Walmart Foundation. "Walmart is committed to fighting hunger in America every day. By engaging our partners and providing unique and creative opportunities for our customers and associates to join the fight against hunger, such as this campaign, we know we can make an even greater impact and help local communities through this critical time."

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MinuteClinic, University of Oklahoma Physicians form clinical collaboration

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I., and OKLAHOMA CITY— MinuteClinic and OU Physicians, Oklahoma’s largest physician group with more than 560 doctors, have entered into a clinical affiliation to enhance access to healthcare services in Oklahoma.

The agreement includes four MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Edmond, Moore, Mustang and Norman.

Under the agreement, OU Physicians doctors will serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic locations in Oklahoma. In addition, MinuteClinic and OU Physicians will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and will inform patients of the services each offer. OU Physicians will accept patients who need a level of care that is not provided at MinuteClinic. Signage at MinuteClinic locations will inform patients that each site has a clinical affiliation with OU Physicians.

"MinuteClinic shares OU Physicians’ commitment to clinical quality and expanding access to care to patients throughout central Oklahoma," stated Andrew Sussman, president, MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "We look forward to collaborating with their doctors who will provide quality oversight, teaching and back-up so MinuteClinic can provide the best care to Oklahomans at the lowest overall cost."

MinuteClinic and OU Physicians will begin to work toward fully integrating electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around all aspects of their patients’ care. With patient permission, MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with other OU Physicians locations in the state. In the meantime, MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers via fax or mail, typically within 24 hours.

"At OU Physicians, we are committed to providing high-quality health care to Oklahomans, and in today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment, it is critical to explore smart, innovative ways to improve our citizens’ access to necessary treatments and preventive care," stated Brian Maddy, CEO of OU Physicians. "By joining forces with MinuteClinic and sharing our expertise, we can deliver much-needed care to a larger population of patients and make sure more Oklahomans get the resources they need to lead healthier lives. We are very excited about the collaboration and the positive results it will produce."


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