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Mizco’s Digipower sales rank No. 1

BY Allison Cerra

AVENEL, N.J. NPD’s retail tracking service found one battery is No. 1 in both unit and dollar volume in its category.

Mizco’s Digipower line of camera batteries and chargers is the top among digital camera batteries and chargers for the full year of 2009, and for the 12 months ended in April.

“We are very pleased to report that Digipower is by far the No. 1 selling line of camera batteries and chargers in the country today,” Mizco president Maurice Mizrahi said. “This achievement underscores just how solidly positioned our product line is with our valued retail partners, and I want to thank all of our customers for helping to make us No. 1 in this critically important market.”

Mizco’s JumpStart Dual — a portable AC adapter with a built–in rechargeable battery back-up — made its retail debut earlier this month. Mizco also debuted a unique new line of cell phone carrier-pack chargers that are custom-designed to meet the space-challenged requirements of drug stores.

Visit Mizco.com for more information.

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Swipe fee fix draws praise from industry groups

BY Allison Cerra

ARLINGTON, Va. Financial-reform legislation that seeks to regulate and curb interchange swipe fees that cause unforeseen expenses for retailers has drawn praise from industry groups.

The Food Marketing Institute on Friday applauded congressional efforts to overhaul interchange fees, which are collected by banks and credit card companies each time a consumer uses a credit or debit card to make a purchase, and ultimately can lead to higher prices for consumers. FMI has represented the voices of more than 26,000 supermarkets to address the outrageous fees and to negotiate reasonable swipe fees.

“FMI and our members have had interchange fee reform at the top of our list of priority issues for the past decade,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and CEO. “These fees represent the fastest growing expense of our retail members and the only one over which we have zero control. This compromise is a good deal for consumers and is a strong step forward for competition. I feel confident that our customers have much to gain in the way of discounts and lower prices. We applaud the House and Senate conferees for their leadership.”

The National Retail Federation also praised the House-Senate conference committee’s decision to include a fix for rapidly rising debit card swipe fees.

“The conference committee has struck a blow for small retailers and their customers,” NRF SVP and general counsel Mallory Duncan said. “For years, these soaring fees have been taking billions of dollars out of consumers’ pockets and driving up prices. This is unsustainable. With this conference report in hand, Congress has an opportunity to stand up for Main Street businesses and consumers and rein in the greed of the big Wall Street banks and credit card companies.”

The National Community Pharmacists Association, which represents independent pharmacies, applauded the bipartisan legislation as well, saying it would protect consumers and small businesses from credit card companies’ use of exorbitant transaction fees and anti-competitive rules.

“If the bill becomes law, the constant spikes in fees for credit card transactions would be mitigated by regulations with real teeth in them. The legislation will hopefully result in reasonable transaction fees and restrict practices that threaten the financial viability of small businesses like independent community pharmacies, especially during these trying economic times,” NCPA president Joseph Harmison wrote in a letter.

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BI: Linagliptin significantly lowers blood glucose levels

BY Alaric DeArment

ORLANDO, Fla. An investigational treatment for Type 2 diabetes by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals significantly lowered blood sugar, according to results of a late-stage clinical study presented at a scientific meeting.

The drug maker announced Saturday the presentation of data from a phase 3 study of the once-daily pill linagliptin, saying that the drug achieved statistically significant and sustained reductions in blood sugar, according to standard measures. The results were presented at the 70th annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Orlando, Fla.

“It is imperative that blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes are adequately controlled,” Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals executive director and medical leader for medical affairs in cardiovascular and metabolic medicine Giora Davidai said in a statement. “Uncontrolled blood sugar puts Type 2 diabetes patients at a higher risk of developing serious complications like renal impairment and cardiovascular disease, which are very common in patients with Type 2 diabetes.”

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