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Campbell’s favors convenience with latest line of soups

BY Ryan Chavis

CAMDEN, N.J. — Campbell Soup Co. announced the introduction of Campbell's Soups for Easy Cooking, a line of ready-to-use soups. The new soups are ideal for busy parents, the company said, and are specially created to help make dinner in 30 minutes or less. 
 
“Campbell’s has been America’s go-to secret for family-favorite dishes for many years,” said Leah Dunmore, VP U.S. soup, Campbell Soup Co. “New Soups for Easy Cooking continue our culinary tradition of mixing great-tasting flavors and convenience. We’ve used carefully selected seasonings to add authentic flavor to the soups, which make cooking homemade, week night dinners simple.”
 
Campbell’s Soups for Easy Cooking are available in four varieties: Savory Portobello Mushroom; Creamy Herb & Garlic with Chicken Stock; Sweet Onion; and Mexican Style Tomato. They are priced at $2.19 per 14.5-oz. carton and can be purchased in the soup aisle at grocery stores and retailers across the country starting this month. 
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NACDS issues statement to House Panel on fighting Rx abuse, diversion

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — As a House Panel reviews the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted a statement urging transparency, collaboration and prioritization in working with pharmacy and other healthcare stakeholders to help protect patient access and fight prescription drug abuse and diversion, NACDS has announced.

The U.S. House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations held a hearing Thursday titled “Oversight of the Drug Enforcement Administration.”

In its statement, NACDS emphasized chain pharmacy’s initiatives to comply with DEA’s “cradle-to-grave” regulation structure, including loss prevention and internal security systems to help ensure safety and prevent diversion from the prescription drug distribution center to the point of dispensing the medication to the patient.

“Chain pharmacies are committed to ensuring that prescription drugs remain under tight control for the purposes of providing care to their patients, and are not diverted for nefarious purposes.  Our members’ efforts are evidence of this commitment,” NACDS said in its statement.

In its continuing efforts to work cooperatively in the best interest of patients while ensuring compliance with DEA regulations, NACDS stressed the importance of ensuring that public policy reflects the operational realities of pharmacies. One area where greater transparency would be helpful is clarification of the diverse and sometimes conflicting roles of pharmacists under DEA’s policies.

“On the one hand, pharmacists have a strong ethical duty to serve the medical needs of their patients in providing neighborhood care.  On the other hand, community pharmacists also are required to be evaluators of the legitimate medical use of controlled substances,” NACDS said in its statement.

According to NACDS, another area of concern is the quickly-approaching implementation date (Oct. 6) for rescheduling hydrocodone products into a Schedule II classification.  NACDS has and continues to cite implementation challenges with only 45 days that was provided for pharmacies to become compliant with the DEA’s final rule on this rescheduling.  NACDS had previously requested 180 days to allow pharmacies to become compliant with the rule.

Under DEA’s final rule, patients may face challenges in refilling their hydrocodone prescriptions. Prescriptions for these products that are issued on or after Oct. 6 must comply with requirements for Schedule II prescriptions and refills of these prescriptions will be prohibited.

Prescriptions issued before Oct. 6 that have authorized refills may be dispensed in accordance with DEA rules until April 8, 2015. However, state law, insurance limitations and some pharmacy quality and safety operations and processes may not allow for these prescriptions to be refilled.

Citing efforts to work with healthcare stakeholders, including prescribers and patient groups, to help prevent any potential disruptions to healthcare delivery, NACDS expressed concern in its comments stating, “Most states have not provided clarity with respect to whether such refills will be valid under state law.  Moreover, most pharmacies will not be able to process such refills due to existing quality and safety operations and processes; such pharmacy operations and processes cannot be modified in a mere 45-day time frame,” NACDS said in its statement.

NACDS noted that it has consistently supported policies urging federal agencies to work together to help ensure that patients can access medications, and prevent diversion and abuse of prescription drugs. NACDS has endorsed H.R. 4709, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, which would establish a framework to foster collaboration among health and enforcement officials and other stakeholders to consider abuse and access issues simultaneously.

“We believe that bringing together stakeholders to address the problems associated with prescription drug abuse would provide better solutions than have been developed to date. Improved collaboration and coordination among federal agencies and other stakeholders would benefit all, including the patient, whose legitimate access must be preserved in order for any potential solution to be successful,” NACDS stated in its comments.

Prioritization of DEA’s resources also was cited by NACDS in its comments to help refocus government resources on solving the problems of prescription drug abuse and ensuring that legitimate patients are not harmed.  NACDS also cited better utilization of electronic prescribing and prescription drug monitoring programs in combating prescription drug abuse and diversion.
 

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Friskies brand celebrates online cat capers

BY Ryan Chavis

ST. LOUIS — Cat videos equate to massive popularity, at least by the Internet's viral-content standards. Friskies, a brand from Nestlé Purina PetCare, celebrated the best of the best at its awards gala, "The Friskies." 

The public had the opportunity to vote on their favorite videos from Aug. 11 to Sept. 8 at TheFriskies.com. Twelve finalists of "The Friskies" gathered in Los Angeles to find out which kitty would snatch the coveted title. Notable YouTube figures The Fine Bros., Grace Helbig, Zach King, Will Braden and Jesse Wellens were on hand to present the awards. Friskies announced four category winners, as well as a grand prize winner. 
 
The category winners were:
 
  • Funny: Cat vs. Flipflop starring Buddy, Palm Coast, Fla.;
  • Res-cute: Cat and Baby Play Peekaboo starring Howie, Liverpool, Ohio;
  • Epic: How Bob Gets His Exercise starring Bob, Atlanta; and
  • Strange: Dumpster Kitty starring Cole and Marmalade, Tampa, Fla.
The Dumpster Kitty video nabbed the grand prize spot. In addition to the cash and bragging rights, Friskies awarded select cat-shelter organizations across the country with 250,000 total cans of Friskies wet cat food. 
 
Visit TheFriskies.com to watch the winning videos. 
 

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