PHARMACY

N.J. warns it may sue over children’s health plan

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON New Jersey governor Jon Corzine warned that the state could sue the federal government if it chooses to cut back on a children’s health insurance plan, he said Wednesday.

The new regulations of the State Children’s Health Program imply that state governments would be forced to cover 95% of poverty–level families’ health insurance before granting coverage to any middle-class children. Another regulation would also make children who have no health coverage wait a full year before joining state plans.

Corzine, siding with New York Governor Spitzer and California Governor Schwarzenegger, said that no state could meet the proposed requirement, and issued a letter to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“The practical effect of this new policy would be that thousands of innocent children will lose or be denied health insurance coverage and will be forced to join the growing ranks of the uninsured,” Corzine said in the letter to the agency.

In New Jersey, the program has covered 122,000, Corzine said, and the new rules would deny coverage to 10,000 kids.

The New Jersey governor declared that the state would keep covering children in families with income of up to 350% of the federal poverty limit, citing a series of waivers the federal agency granted. 

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PHARMACY

GSK will supply over 30 million doses of flu vaccines to U.S. this season

BY Drew Buono

PHILADELPHIA The influenza virus vaccines Fluarix and FluLaval from GlaxoSmithKline will have a combined total of 30 million to 35 million doses supplied to the U.S. markets for the 2007-08 influenza season.

The vaccines will be delivered in phased approach for the rest of September and all of October with completion occurring at the end of October. “Providing an ample and steadily growing supply of flu vaccine has been a priority for GlaxoSmithKline since entering the U.S. market in 2004,” said David Pernock, senior vice president of GSK. “Over the years, GSK has significantly increased its influenza vaccine manufacturing capacity, and we have taken steps to improve the way this product is distributed to those who need it.”

Last year, the company sent about 25 million doses of the drugs for flu season.

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NACDS pledges to award at least $100,000 in scholarships

BY Drew Buono

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation is pledging to award at least $100,000 this year in scholarships, and has begun accepting applications.

Last year, 40 students were awarded a scholarship, an increase of three from 2005, and this year it looks like the foundation wants to add award the scholarship of $2,000 to at least 50 students. Also, some select recipients will receive named scholarships in the amount of $2,500, in addition to the $2,000 scholarship.

Applicants must be at least in their second year of pharmacy school, as well as have experience and the desire to work in a chain community pharmacy.

“The NACDS Foundation is continuously committed to advancing the pharmacy industry for the good of the public. An important part of our industry is its future, and that is what these students represent,” said Phil Schneider, NACDS Foundation president. The deadline for all applications is Oct. 19.

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