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Ohio Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities names Kroger ‘Employer of the Year’

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger announced Friday it has been named "Employer of the Year" by the Ohio Governor's Council on People with Disabilities for significantly contributing to employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. 
 
Kroger was nominated for this recognition by the Warren County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The company received the award at a ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse on Oct. 16.
 
"We have a long tradition of hiring people with disabilities, especially on our front lines serving customers," stated Keith Dailey, Kroger's director of corporate communications. "Kroger is honored to receive this recognition from the Governor's Council on People with Disabilities and the Warren County Board of Developmental Disabilities."
 
Kroger also was recognized earlier this year by the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities. Kroger has worked with the Marriott Foundation's Bridges from School to Work program to help transition young people with disabilities from high school to the workforce.
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GPhA: Health Affairs blog ‘confirms central role that generic drugs play in lowering healthcare costs’

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — In the wake of an Oct. 21 blogpost on Health Affairs, “The $500 Billion Medicare Slowdown: A Story About Part D,” Ralph Neas, president and CEO of the Generic Pharmacuetical Association, issued the following statement.
 
The article "confirms the central role that generic drugs have played in lowering healthcare costs in Medicare," Neas wrote. He continued, "According to the authors, ‘Lower Part D spending primarily stems from the 'patent cliff' — a number of blockbuster brand-name drugs that have lost patent protection, paving the way for cheaper generic competitors…’ This new analysis follows a recent report by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which noted in January 2014 that reduced growth rates for prescription drug spending were driven largely by a slowdown in overall prices paid for medicines as generic versions became available for costly brand drugs.
 
"GPhA and its member companies will continue to prioritize efforts that increase and expedite access to lower cost medicines. Generic medicines are critical to a sustainable healthcare system and the generic drug industry is unwavering in its commitment to delivering safe, more affordable generic medicines to patients who need them.
 
"Further, we look forward to the next frontier of affordable medicines, biosimilars, which will create billions in additional savings. In fact, a recent study by Express Scripts estimates that over 10 years, the United States would save $250 billion if just the 11 likeliest biosimilars would enter the market.”
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L’Oréal Paris names actress Naomi Watts as spokesperson

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — L’Oréal Paris has tapped actress Naomi Watts to be part of its family of spokespersons, joining Julianne Moore, Freida Pinto, Eva Longoria, Blake Lively and Jane Fonda, among others.

In the United States, Watts will appear in advertisements supporting a new skin care innovation from the brand, set to launch in January 2015.

“I am deeply honored to join this inspirational brand. L’Oréal Paris has been telling women for decades that they are ‘worth it’ — this is not a slogan, it’s an inspirational mantra. L’Oréal Paris embodies much more than legendary products, it also promotes self-affirmation, self-confidence and allows each and every woman to value herself no matter what her age, background or nationality,” Watts said.

Born in England, Watts was raised in Australia, where she studied acting and launched her career. Her breakthrough performance in David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” in 2001 lit up the screen and had directors standing up and taking notice. The role earned her Best Actress awards from esteemed organizations, including the National Board of Review and National Society of Film Critics.

This success gave her the freedom to select projects that resonated on a personal level — from tragedies like Alejandro’s Gonzales Inarritu’s “21 Grams,” where she starred alongside Sean Penn, to major blockbusters, such as Peter Jackson’s remake of “King Kong” in 2005. These roles have earned her nominations from the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Award.

Her upcoming projects include director Gus Van Sant’s latest film, “Sea of Trees,” alongside Matthew McConaughey. She is now shooting “Demolition” co-starring Jake Gyllenhall.

Watts also devotes her time to raising awareness for AIDS-related issues and is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS and an inaugural member of the AIDS Red Ribbon Awards.

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