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Importation amendment fails to advance, drawing NACDS praise for Senate panel

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. A move in the U.S. Senate to block legislation that would have allowed the reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada and other nations drew quick praise Wednesday from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

The drug reimportation amendment, offered in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee as part of broad health care reform proposals, failed to advance by a vote of 12 to 10. In response, NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson sent a letter praising the dozen committee members who voted against the proposal.

“This was an important legislative victory for patient health and prescription drug safety,” NACDS stated.

Senators opposing the reimportation amendment on the HELP Committee included Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Mike Enzi (R-Wy.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ark.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).

In his letter to those committee members, Anderson reaffirmed that “NACDS is committed to reducing the cost of and increasing access to prescription drugs.” However, he pointed out, “We do not believe that patient safety can be ensured in any system that allows for the importation of prescription medications.

“In addition to questions concerning the safety and effectiveness of these drugs, those who obtain prescription medications through importation schemes do not have a qualified, licensed pharmacist available to consult with regarding safe and effective use of prescription medications,” Anderson told lawmakers.

The NACDS executive also argued that there are safer and more effective alternatives to reducing prescription drug costs for Americans. “Every day,” he wrote, “retail pharmacists assist customers with obtaining the most cost effective, therapeutically appropriate drug therapies, including affordable and effective generic drugs.”

In particular, said Anderson, “The generic dispensing rate at retail pharmacies is 64.5% – higher than any other pharmacy practice setting. We urge Congress to adopt policies that will bring more generic drugs to market and to create incentives for doctors to prescribe and pharmacies to dispense generic medications.

“One of the most critical ways to do this is by reforming the Medicaid ‘average manufacturer price’ system, which, as currently written, will reimburse pharmacies one-third less than what it costs them to purchase generic medications,” Anderson added. “Congress should create incentives for generic drugs, not disincentives.”

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Style Checks expands offerings with new ‘Grease’-themed products

BY Anna Mcgrath

JOPPA, Md. Styles Checks announced the release of its personal checks, self-adhesive address labels, personal contact cards and checkbook cover featuring the “Pink Ladies” of the feature film “Grease.”

The personal checks offer four rotating scenes that feature photos of the Pink Ladies. A pink-and-yellow color scheme sets the backdrop for the photos, and such movie quotes as Rizzo’s famous line “Eat your heart out” are emblazoned on the checks.

The recent “Grease” addition allows Style Checks to appeal to the preferences and collections of even more customers. With hundreds of assorted designs for every collector, Style Checks continues to expand and incorporate more designs to appeal to the many tastes of its consumers, according to the company.

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Hasbro, Yankee Candle team up for new scented puzzles

BY Anna Mcgrath

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. Hasbro and Yankee Candle Co., two New England-based companies renowned for providing consumers with high-quality family products, are teaming up to create new Yankee Candle Scented Puzzles.

Yankee Candle Scented Puzzles combine the signature scents of Yankee Candle with Hasbro puzzles. Such classic fragrances as MacIntosh Apple, Clean Cotton and MidSummer’s Night, will engulf puzzle lovers as they piece together Hasbro’s three latest puzzles.

“Enjoying Yankee Candles has been a favorite American tradition for generations, and there is nothing more all-American than puzzling as a family,” said Rick Ruffolo, SVP brand marketing and innovation at Yankee Candle Co. “Adding some of our most popular Yankee Candle scents to the puzzling experience is a great way to enhance the atmosphere when you’re putting together a puzzle.”

Yankee Candle Scented Puzzles contain 300 pieces and will be available at mass retailers and at www.yankeecandle.com this fall for a suggested retail price of $9.99.

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