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Cirrus taps Olympic swimmer for endorsement deal

BY Michael Johnsen

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. One of the United States’ top young Olympic swimmers, Christine Magnuson, will endorse Cirrus Healthcare’s BioEars and ClearEars to the American swim community, Cirrus Healthcare announced last week.

Known for her prowess as a butterfly swimmer, Magnuson burst onto the scene in 2009 winning an individual NCAA Championship in the 100-yard butterfly and following it up just months later with a silver medal in the 100-meter butterfly and the 4×100-meter medley relay.

“Having a swimmer as successful, both academically and athletically, as Christine representing our brands is very exciting for us at Cirrus,” stated Drew O’Connell, Cirrus CEO. “Her endorsement will help us to highlight the benefits of our innovative products, ClearEars and BioEars, to swimmers throughout the country who are concerned about the health of their ears.”

The deal includes featuring the Olympic double medalist on packaging, in appearances and in print advertising to share the product benefits of Cirrus Healthcare’s swim specific products.

“BioEars allows me to take the precautionary measures necessary to protect my ears when in the water,” Magnuson stated. “I use ClearEars to remove trapped water from my ears following practices or big meets. As a swimmer, you always have to be conscious about ear health.”

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Rite Aid to auction surplus properties

BY Michael Johnsen

TULSA, Okla. Williams & Williams, a real estate auctioneer, on Tuesday announced it will auction 34 surplus real estate properties in 14 states for Rite Aid via single property auction events Dec. 8 to 10.

“Auction is a time-definite sale that secures real-market value through free market competition,” stated Pam McKissick, president and COO of Williams & Williams. “Auctioning these assets via our global platform will deliver the maximum benefit to Rite Aid Corp.”

Each auction will be conducted through Williams & Williams’ exclusive Live From The Lawn auction platform, in partnership with Auction Network, which enables interested buyers around the world to compete in real time while bidding on site or online.

The properties include a shopping center adjacent to the Las Vegas strip, commercial and residential properties, retail properties and land parcels.

Rite Aid Surplus Property auctions will be held in the following states: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

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CVS Caremark partners with Generation Health

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark is partnering with Generation Health, a genetic benefit management company, to expand pharmacogenomic clinical and testing services for CVS Caremark’s PBM clients who are either nonresponsive or who have adverse reactions to their medications.

As part of the agreement, CVS Caremark is making a minority equity investment in Generation Health. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed. Troyen Brennan, M.D., EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, will join Generation Health’s board of directors.

CVS Caremark currently provides PGx intervention services in its specialty pharmacy business but this partnership expands upon those offerings to specialty pharmacy and introduces them for targeted drugs dispensed under the traditional PBM setting. The new pharmacogenomic clinical services are expected to be introduced to CVS Caremark’s PBM clients in the second quarter 2010.

“Personalized medicine is a fast-growing field, but the process for providing relevant and systematic clinical delivery of service needs to improve and evolve,” stated Brennan. “We will integrate Generation Health’s unique skills in genomic medicine with the experience in benefit management of both companies to provide clients with a sophisticated, evidence-based clinical approach.”

The proper application of pharmacogenomic medicine can help doctors evaluate a patient’s genetic make-up to determine whether a specific medication will be effective. Medical studies have found that in some instances, people get little benefit and even face harmful and costly side effects from medications they take. Through this partnership CVS Caremark will use genetic testing to apply greater precision to client prescription management.

Initially, the companies will focus on PGx clinical and testing programs that predict how a patient will respond to medications in areas of oncology, cardiovascular, medicine, treatment of HIV and others.

The programs can help prevent disease progression and avoid recurrences, as well as help reduce overall medical costs by determining where some therapies will not be effective. That information allows doctors to determine and prescribe the most precise medication therapy treatments for their patient’s treatment.

Going forward, the companies will explore programs in the medical diagnostics arena to encourage appropriate and cost-effective testing for certain hereditary diseases, and eliminate unnecessary testing where evidence for clinical validity and utility is lacking.

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