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Eliminating “pay-for-delay” deals would save consumers $3.5 billion a year, FTC chairman says

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON Doing away with so-called “pay-for-delay” settlements between branded and generic pharmaceutical companies would save consumers billions of dollars a year, the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission said.

FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a speech before the Center for American Progress in Washington that according to internal analysis by the commission, stopping settlements whereby branded companies pay generic companies to delay releasing potential generic competitors to their drugs would result in $3.5 billion in savings to American consumers every year, as well as savings for the federal government.

“On the one hand, you have savings to American consumers of $35 billion or more over 10 years – about $12 billion of which would be savings to the federal government – and the prospect of helping to pay for healthcare reform as well as the ability to set a clear national standard to stop anticompetitive conduct,” Leibowitz said. “On the other hand, you have a permissive legal regime that allows competitors to make collusive deals on the backs of consumers.”

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Hallmark announces e-card subscription plan

BY Allison Cerra

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Hallmark Cards announced its first e-card subscription plan, which offers consumers unlimited sending of exclusive e-cards for $9.99 per year.

The plan encompasses all of Hallmark’s premium e-cards, including those featuring hoops&yoyo and Maxine, as well as licensed e-cards with hit music and such TV shows and movies as “The Office,” “Madagascar” and “Star Wars.” Premium Hallmark e-cards sell individually for 99 cents each.

Consumers can personalize the e-cards when it is convenient, and Hallmark will send them anytime during the course of the subscription. Hallmark’s reminder service and address book make it easy to remember important dates and events.

“We know people enjoy connecting with their friends and family by using e-cards featuring their favorite characters, movies and music,” noted Hallmark product manager Shelley Mathews. “This plan makes it easy and convenient to send those e-cards when they’re needed. Consumers can select and address their e-cards ahead of time, and Hallmark will send them out right on time.”

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Wal-Mart names chief diversity officer

BY Allison Cerra

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Walmart has appointed L. Mecole “Cole” Brown to serve as chief diversity officer. Brown will be responsible for the oversight and coordination of the diversity strategy for the company’s U.S. business.

Brown joined Walmart’s legal team in 2002, and has held senior positions in Sam’s Club and Walmart’s office of diversity. Brown was appointed to VP employment practices in August 2007.

Brown succeeds Charlyn Jarrells Porter, who served as the company’s first chief diversity officer from 2004 to 2009. Porter announced her retirement in March, after more than 16 years with the company.

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