HEALTH

NACDS offers FSA resources to members

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Friday released a ready-made pamphlet and sign for its retail members to use in communicating upcoming flexible spending account changes as they relate to over-the-counter medicines.

“As part of the healthcare-reform law, beginning Jan. 1, 2011, consumers will only be eligible for flexible spending account reimbursement for over-the-counter medication purchases obtained with a prescription,” the association stated. “This change will have a real and dramatic impact on companies and consumers as more than 15,000 products will be impacted. NACDS has been working to repeal or delay certain provisions of the OTC regulations to provide more time for chain companies to update their systems to better serve customers.”

To access the new member resources, go to NACDS.org/wmspage.cfm?parm1=7016.

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McNeil issues voluntary recall of Rolaids products

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. — McNeil Consumer Healthcare on Thursday voluntarily recalled all lots of Rolaids Extra Strength Softchews, Rolaids Extra Strength Plus Gas Softchews and Rolaids Multisymptom Plus Antigas Softchews distributed in the United States. McNeil is taking this action following some consumer reports of foreign materials in the product, including metal and wood particles.

The company’s investigation has determined that the materials potentially were introduced into the product during the manufacturing process at a third-party manufacturer. While the risk of serious adverse health consequences is remote, McNeil Consumer Healthcare advised consumers who have purchased these recalled products to discontinue use.

“While our investigation is ongoing, we have suspended production [of these products] and will not restart production until corrective actions have been implemented,” the company stated.

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Helen of Troy announces definitive agreement to acquire Kaz

BY Michael Johnsen

EL PASO, Texas — Helen of Troy on Thursday announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire the business of Kaz for $260 million in cash, subject to certain closing working capital and other adjustments. The acquisition is expected to close by Dec. 31.

Kaz markets a wide range of products cutting across healthcare to lawn and garden products. The company manages the Vicks and Braun brand names under license from Procter & Gamble, Honeywell under license from Honeywell and its own brands: Stinger, Softheat and Kaz. Kaz sales for the ensuing 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2011, are expected to exceed $400 million, Helen of Troy stated.

Julien Mininberg, Kaz CEO, and his management team will be joining the Helen of Troy team, Helen of Troy announced.

Helen of Troy intends to finance the acquisition through its existing working capital and through debt financing, which has been committed by Bank of America.

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