Despite clinic closings, Meijer keeps commitment to health care
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Meijer has had a growing retail clinic program that helped establish its positions as a retailer interested in the needs of consumers hard pressed by medical costs, while also offering a free prescription drug program that provides antibiotics to customers free of charge, further marking its commitment.
The Meijer commitment remains, as does the prescription drug program, but most of the clinics are gone, although through no fault of the retailer.
Meijer has gone from having 39 clinics operating in its stores to having one unit that is situated in Normal, Ill. The company leased space to four different providers who operated independently, but in recent weeks, three of the four have withdrawn from the market, and, as a result, clinic operators who had opened units in Meijer stores in upper Michigan, the Detroit area and Indiana have shuttered their operations.
Family Quick Care operates the Normal clinic, and a Meijer source noted that it seems to be doing well. Physicians Organization of Western Michigan, Early Solutions and Medical Mart operated the defunct clinics.
GMDC’s Blough passes away at 58
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. GMDC on Thursday announced that Doug Blough, longtime director of communications for the association, passed away on March 22 at the age of 58 after a battle against pancreatic cancer.
“Doug made huge contributions to GMDC and its success over the years and he’ll be missed by all of us privileged to have worked with him,” stated David McConnell, GMDC president and chief executive officer. “He fought against this insidious disease and to the very end maintained the sense of dignity, kindness and caring for others that were at the core of who he was and how he’ll be remembered by all of us who were privileged to have known him.”
A resident of Colorado Springs since 1975, Blough’s relationship with GMDC spanned more than two decades as he served as an outside vendor providing visual communications services until he joined the staff management team in December of 1999. His tenure as a GMDC employee continued until the end of 2005 when he retired to spend more time with his wife Linda and pursue his passion for fine art digital imagery.
Even after his retirement from staff duty he was retained as a contractor who continued to manage GMDC’s creative and communication activities as well as serving as the Association’s liaison interfacing with the trade press and managing its public relations programs.
“Throughout his long tenure with GMDC Doug played a significant role in creating and managing the GMDC brand and was beloved in the industry as a person who always had a smile and a good word to say to anyone he ever encountered,” the association stated.
“Doug talked to me just a week ago about his anticipated passing with a sense of calm that amazed me and he actually played a big role in the planning of his funeral,” McConnell said. The funeral is being held Friday, March 28. McConnell is delivering the eulogy. “In these conversations and the planning process with [his wilfe] Linda he was consistent in stressing that it was very important that his passing be a celebration of his ife and who he was … not a time of sadness.”
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to:
The Blough Children Educational Fundc/o US Bank6 South Tejon StreetColorado Springs, Colorado 80903Attention: L. Specht
Otsuka settles Abilify allegations for $4 million
TOKYO Otsuka Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $4 million to resolve allegations that it marketed its schizophrenia drug Abilify for off-label uses with Bristol-Myers Squibb, according to published reports.
Squibb settled its issue with Abilify back in September by agreeing to pay $515 million to settle allegations that it overcharged the government for drugs and promoted medicine like Abilify for unapproved uses.
The accusations came from the Justice Department, which stated that the companies of promoting the drug for use in children, and as a remedy for dementia, without FDA approval. Now, the drug is required to carry a black-box warning for use in dementia-related psychosis.
Otsuka will pay the government about $2.3 million and the remainder to states’ Medicaid programs, the company said in a statement. It agreed to a corporate integrity agreement, without specifying the length of the compliance and monitoring pledged. The agreement requires the company to maintain compliance programs to monitor business practices.
Over 12.5 million prescriptions have been written as of June 2007 for Abilify, according to IMS.