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Pharmacists urge N.Y. governor to sign mail-order pharmacy bill

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Pharmacists are urging New York governor Andrew Cuomo to give the green light to legislation that would prevent health insurers from requiring patients to receive their drugs via mail order, according to published reports.

According to the reports, local pharmacists said at a press conference that the bill would help stop losses of pharmacies and jobs.

Still, pharmacy benefit managers and the Federal Trade Commission have opposed the bill, New York Assembly Bill 5502-B, which has passed in both houses. In a letter earlier this month responding to state Sen. James Seward’s request for comments, the FTC said the bill would raise the price of drugs and reduce access to them, as well as limit a health plan’s ability to steer beneficiaries to such mail-order vendors as pharmacy benefit managers that may offer lower prices that use financial and other incentives if a competing retail pharmacy is willing to fill prescriptions at "comparable prices." The intended purpose of the bill is to help patients choose where they fill prescriptions.

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The Apothecary Shops jumps in ‘Inc. 5000’ ranking

BY Alaric DeArment

PHOENIX — Specialty pharmacy provider The Apothecary Shops made a big jump in Inc. magazine’s list of the country’s fastest-growing private companies, the chain said Wednesday.

The Apothecary Shops ranked No. 1,640 in the annual "Inc. 5000" list, 754 spots higher than in 2010, and 1,076 higher than in 2009.

"The fact that we continue moving up on the ‘Inc. 5000′ list reflects the focus, hard work and commitment of our entire team, especially in a struggling economy," Apothecary Shops president Keith Cook said.

The company said it earned its ranking based on 165% growth over the past three years, having earned $170.8 million in 2010. The Apothecary Shops specializes in drugs for cancer, fertility, pain management, transplants, infectious diseases, women’s health and compounding at 15 retail locations in six states, in addition to its nationwide specialty mail-order business.

First place on the list went to Ideeli, a New York-based online clothing retailer that has seen 40,880% growth over the past three years.

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Sears engages social media for charitable campaign

BY DSN STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears announced that it is inviting Facebook users to support America’s military members by voting for the Sears Rebuilding Together affiliate program, which they believe is the most deserving.

Voting will take place through Sept. 23, and based on total vote tallies, Sears and Rebuilding Together will award 25 overall grants totaling $250,000 to Rebuilding Together affiliates at platinum, gold, silver and bronze levels.

"Veterans and the men and women of the military are the backbone of our great country," said Dave Friedman, SVP and president of marketing for Sears Holdings. "Through the Heroes at Home online community, we want to give our customers a chance to help the brave men and women who protect our country and provide a place where those who serve and support our military can connect and engage with one another."

Fans of the Sears Facebook page can return daily to cast a new vote during the voting period. Facebook users who "like" the Sears Heroes at Home Facebook page, accessible from Facebook.com/Sears, also will receive the latest updates on the contest and have the opportunity to post an Operation Rebuild for Heroes at Home widget on their website to help spread the word about the contest and support their communities.

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