PHARMACY

NRF asks for tax relief for consumers

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Representatives of a trade association representing retailers asked a congressional committee considering possible economic stimulus initiatives to include a second round of tax rebate checks or other direct relief for consumers.

The National Retail Federation addressed members of Congress Wednesday as consumer confidence was reported at record lows and retailers expected the weakest holiday season in six years.

“With most economists predicting a weak economy into 2009 and consumer spending at record lows, NRF believes additional congressional action would help the economy and soften the negative impact on the American people,” NRF vice president and tax counsel Rachelle Bernstein said. “We believe an immediate stimulus that will put money into the pockets of consumers where it can have a ripple effect throughout the economy is needed.”

The comments came in written testimony submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee, which had a hearing on potential economic stimulus Wednesday morning. No legislation has been introduced, but the panel heard from a large number of organizations and public officials on a variety of solutions intended to aid in economic recovery and job creation.

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Medimetriks announces agreement to market treatments for impetigo

BY Alaric DeArment

FAIRFIELD, N.J. Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals has entered into a licensing agreement with Perrigo for U.S. Marketing rights to Centany Ointment and two prescription keratolytic brands, Medimetriks announced Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson’s OrthoNeutrogena professional division previously marketed Centany, which is used for treating impetigo caused by Straphylococcus aureas and Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration approved it in 2002.

The two keratolytic brands are urea-based therapies for treating severe dry skin.

“We are happy to have a partner that brings such a record of success in the branded pharmaceutical business,” Perrigo executive vice president Sharon Kochan said in a statement. “We believe the licensed products are in good hands, given Medimetriks management’s proven abilities in building a successful business in the dermatology and podiatry markets.”

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Few healthcare providers receive adequate training, tools to help patients quit smoking

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A new study suggests that few healthcare workers have sufficient training in smoking cessation to help patients quit.

The study, presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Philadelphia, found that 87 to 93 percent of healthcare providers receive less than five hours of smoking cessation training, while less than 6 percent know the governmental Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s guidelines for treating people with tobacco dependence.

The study surveyed 600 people working in health care, including physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, social workers and students, and divided them into prescribers and non-prescribers.

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