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Dollar General plays up toy deals

BY Gail Hoffer

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General is promising big savings on toys — right up until Christmas Eve. From Sept. 29 through Dec. 24, the retailer is offering a 10% discount on toy purchases of $75 or more.

“Dollar General is committed to helping customers stretch their holiday budgets, and one way we are doing this is with the holiday toy discount,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s EVP, division president and chief merchandising officer. “Toys are at the top of many shopping lists, so we’re happy to help shoppers save more on these purchases and delight children with our great products.”

According to Dollar General, its stores will be stocked with hot toys from Mattel, Disney and Hasbro along with a wide selection of $5 and $10 toys.

 

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Bi-Lo adds generic Plavix to discount program

BY Alaric DeArment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Supermarket chain Bi-Lo is adding the generic form of a blood-thinning drug to its generic-discount program.

The company announced Friday that patients could buy generic clopidogrel for $4 for a 30-day supply and $10 for a 90-day supply with the chain’s Pharmacy Discount Card. The branded version of the drug, which recently became available as a generic, is marketed by Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

"The generic form of Plavix was just recently released in the market, and it provides customers with initial savings over the brand equivalent," Bi-Lo Holding VP pharmacy John Fegan said. "This prescription is a highly requested medication from Bi-Lo customers, so we are especially pleased to offer an even deeper discount that allows them to focus on what is important — their health."

Earlier this month, Midwestern mass-merchandise chain Meijer announced it would give away generic versions of Pfizer’s cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor (atorvastatin) for free. Prior to the November 2011 expiration of its patent, Lipitor was the top-selling drug in the world, with U.S. sales of $7.7 billion, according to IMS Health. Plavix was the second highest-selling drug, with U.S. sales of $6.8 billion.


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Health, industry officials look for ways to combat counterfeit drug spread

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Keynote speeches by pharmaceutical industry and regulatory leaders got top billing as more than 140 government, healthcare industry, law enforcement and patient advocacy officials gathered to find ways to combat the spread of counterfeit medicines.

Food and Drug Administration commissioner Margaret Hamburg was the keynote speaker of the conference, organized by the Partnership for Safe Medicines, with additional speakers such as Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America president and CEO John Castellani and Generic Pharmaceutical Association president and CEO Ralph Neas, as well as U.S. and British government officials.

"The American people have every right to expect that the medicines they rely on are exactly what the package and label say they are, and that the medicines have been carefully evaluated by FDA for safety, efficacy and quality," Hamburg said. "Our success in addressing this global challenge will depend on collaborating with public health and regulatory partners here in the United States and around the world."

The news comes the same day the FDA announced the launch of BeSafeRx, a campaign to educate patients and caregivers about the risks of buying drugs from rogue online pharmacies. Many of the drugs purchased from such pharmacies are counterfeit or adulterated.

"In an increasingly global society, heightened cooperation and information sharing between stakeholders around the world is an invaluable tool to help us identify and put a stop to the criminals who prey upon our most vulnerable citizens," Partnership for Safe Medicines treasurer Tom Kubic said. "And as more allies join our cause, we are better able to spread our message and educate the public at large about the extreme risks of counterfeit medicines and how to protect themselves and their families."


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