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NACDS gets ready to fight back against PBMs

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — With the clock ticking on the Express Scripts-Medco deal and amped up messaging coming out of the PBM lobby, NACDS vows to roll up its sleeves and make a fist.

(THE NEWS: NACDS lays down gauntlet against PBM lobby at Regional Chain Conference. For the full story, click here)

As the article states, NACDS used the recent Regional Chain Conference to introduce the PBM threat as a new, third pillar to its menu of critical policy issues it currently faces. In addition to NACDS running ads that tell the industry’s simple story, "Pharmacies. The face of neighborhood health care," NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson and chairman Bob Loeffler also are urging industry members to participate in NACDS’ Rx Impact Day meetings next month.

NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill will be held in Washington, D.C., on March 21 and 22. In its fourth year, the event will bring together advocates from all sectors of the industry to meet with key lawmakers to illustrate the unsurpassed value of community pharmacy in improving patient health and reducing costs. You can bet that this year lawmakers will get an earful about the PBM threat on Rx Impact Day.

This comes just as Bloomberg reported that two people familiar with the matter said that ESI is expected to certify to the Federal Trade Commission that it’s finished providing the necessary information for the antitrust review regarding its purchase of Medco. Under antitrust law, the agency is required to act on a merger request within 30 days of the certification. Bloomberg reported that the people declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public.

According to the Bloomberg report, the agency’s options then include clearing the deal, suing to block it or negotiating a settlement. It could also agree with the company to extend the 30-day period. The company and the agency aren’t engaged in discussions about a settlement or extension, the people told Bloomberg. The FTC isn’t expected to decide on the deal until the beginning of March, one of the people told Bloomberg.

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Health-and-wellness events at Sam’s Club could convert members into patients

BY Rob Eder

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT —Sam’s Club has made a major commitment to health and wellness, and is hosting screening events every month of the year. January was New Year, New You. This month it’s heart health. Next month it’s allergy screenings. In June it’s men’s health, which includes some pretty expensive PSA tests. Why? Sam’s wants its members to know it’s serious about health and wellness, and knows that these events are a good way to convert members into patients.

(THE NEWS: Sam’s Club gets down to heart of the matter with free screenings. For the full story, click here)

In the April 2 issue of Drug Store News, DSN will feature an exclusive report on Sam’s Club and what its health-and-wellness leadership is doing to create a relevant and unique offering for its members, and grow scrips and sales in a business segment that upper management has targeted for growth.

For more information on the issue, or to advertise, contact DSN publisher Wayne Bennett at wbennett@lf.com.

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New electronic learning toys featuring Scooby-Doo to launch this summer

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Oregon Scientific has introduced a new line of Scooby-Doo-themed personal electronics, thanks to a licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

The lineup of electronic learning toys include the the Scooby-Doo Magic Laptop, Scooby-Doo Secret Pocket Learner, and Scooby-Doo Mystery Learner, which will be released this summer. Each of the items provide on-the-go play, reinforcing vocabulary, logic, numbers, memory and creativity, Oregon Scientific said.

The Scooby-Doo Magic Laptop is recommended for children ages 4 years and older, while the Scooby-Doo Secret Pocket Learner and Scooby-Doo Mystery Learner are recommended for children ages 3 years and older.

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