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Novartis’ OTC head Brian McNamara to play key role in GSK/Novartis new joint venture

BY Michael Johnsen

BASEL, Switzerland — Following the completion of a joint venture between GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis' consumer health units, Brian McNamara, currently division head, Novartis OTC, will transition to GSK as Head of Americas and Europe for the consumer health businesses, reporting to the president of GSK Consumer Healthcare, effective at closing of the transaction, Novartis announced last week.
 
McNamara is one of three Novartis executives who will be leaving Novartis' executive committee, the company announced. With the sale of its vaccines business to GSK, Andrin Oswald, currently division head, Novartis Vaccines, will be leaving to pursue other opportunities. That deal, along with the proposed joint venture between GSK and Novartis' consumer units, is expected to close in the first half of 2015.
 
George Gunn, currently division head, Novartis Animal Health, will reach his contractual retirement age in July 2015 and will retire from Novartis upon closing of the Animal Health transaction with Eli Lilly. That transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015. 
 
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Alliance Data Systems inks new deal with Rexall to provide Air Miles

BY Antoinette Alexander

DALLAS — Alliance Data Systems, a provider of loyalty and marketing solutions derived from transaction data, on Tuesday announced that its Canadian coalition loyalty business has signed a new, long-term agreement with Canadian pharmacy retailer Rexall.

An Air Miles Reward Program sponsor in Ontario since 1999, this new, multi-year agreement enables Rexall to issue Air Miles reward miles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, as well as continue in Ontario, effective Oct. 31.

With this agreement, an additional 167 stores across four western Canadian provinces will join Rexall's 265 existing stores in Ontario that issue Air Miles reward miles for purchases made, including prescription drugs (in permitting provincial jurisdictions), pharmaceutical and professional health services, OTCs, and a variety of beauty and household products.

The new agreement will provide Air Miles collectors in Central and Western Canada the ability to both earn Air Miles reward miles on purchases made in-store, and to redeem reward miles for the rewards they want, including Air Miles Cash, the program's instant redemption feature.
 

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Healthgrades launches Cold and Flu Center information resource for consumers

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER — Healthgrades on Monday announced the launch of its new Cold and Flu Center at http://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/cold-and-flu/, designed to provide consumers with actionable information to stay healthy this fall. The launch coincides with the release of a new Healthgrades study that finds that there is a significant gap in consumer understanding of the importance of flu shots, as well as a lack of awareness of the different flu vaccine options.
 
The survey finds that one in three (34%) Americans do not intend to get a flu shot. Among respondents who do not intend to receive a flu vaccine, more than two-thirds (69%) will not get one because they do not think they need one or prefer not to get vaccines altogether. Furthermore, 70% of consumers will not request a specific form of the flu vaccine like a nasal spray or traditional shot.  
 
Among respondents who do intend to receive a flu shot, 37% plan to do so in their doctor’s office and 39% plan to do so in their workplace with only 22% of consumers opting to get a flu shot at their pharmacy or drug store. Overwhelmingly, 91% of these consumers say that they plan ahead for their flu shot and two-thirds (68%) plan to get their shot during the month of October.
 
“Each year as many as one in five Americans get the flu,” said Brad Graner, president, publisher and advertising solutions, Healthgrades. “Despite their ubiquity and the CDC’s recommendations, our research showed that there is still room for the industry to educate consumers on these topics.”
 
At the Healthgrades Cold and Flu Center, content on topics ranging from understanding guidelines on who should get a flu shot to debunking myths about the common cold is combined with interactive tools, as well as the ability to search for a local practitioner to obtain a flu shot or treat a cold.
 
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