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Public Affairs Council honors NACDS’ Heidi Ecker for grassroots advocacy work

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Public Affairs Council has presented Heidi Ecker, National Association of Chain Drug Stores director of government affairs and grassroots programs, with the Volunteer of the Year Award, underscoring her contributions to NACDS in developing the NACDS RxIMPACT program and her commitment to the public affairs profession.

Ecker received the award during the Council’s Board of Directors meeting in California last week.

The Public Affairs Council is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical association for public affairs professionals worldwide. The Volunteer of the Year award is bestowed upon the individual who demonstrates a consistent record of involvement, including participating in the Council’s mentor program and political involvement networks, speaking at conferences or serving as an advisory committee member and assisting with providing counsel and resources to other public affairs professionals.

“Heidi is a grassroots advocacy architect. Joining NACDS over six years ago, she elevated the NACDS grassroots government affairs program to a new level by creating the NACDS RxIMPACT program to help educate and motivate pharmacy advocates on the importance of engaging with lawmakers on pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policies,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.

The NACDS RxIMPACT program is comprised of several components offering advocates several opportunities to engage on behalf of pharmacy, including RxIMPACT Pharmacy Tours, RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill, RxIMPACT Training Program and RxIMPACT Votes. In addition, the RxIMPACT U Academy provides training opportunities for pharmacy students to get a jumpstart on engaging with policy makers about important issues that will impact the future of their profession.

“Heidi’s energy and tenacity have really driven the success of the NACDS RxIMPACT programs and we congratulate her on this well-deserved award from the Public Affairs Council,” Anderson said.

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Sears Holdings’ Ronald Boire takes helm at Sears Canada

BY Antoinette Alexander

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp. has announced that Ronald Boire, EVP, chief merchandising officer and president, Sears Full Line Stores and Kmart Format, has left the company.

Boire has been appointed to the role of acting president and CEO for Sears Canada, effective Wednesday.

"I have enjoyed working with Ron and appreciate the contributions he has made to support our transformation," said Edward Lampert, Sears Holdings chairman and CEO. "Ron's experience at Sears Holdings and leadership roles at other retail companies will allow him to hit the ground running at Sears Canada."

At Sears Holdings, Boire led merchandising and retail stores for both the Sears and Kmart brands.
 

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Patent protecting Mission Pharmacal’s dual-iron formulated supplement upheld

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN ANTONIO — Mission Pharmacal Co. on Tuesday announced that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas has issued a consent judgment confirming the validity of its dual-iron patent (U.S. Pat. No. 6,521,247) at the conclusion of the lawsuit filed against Virtus Pharmaceuticals.  
 
“Mission Pharmacal stands behind our patent covering our Ferr-Ease dual-iron delivery system in our popular CitraNatal family of prenatal vitamins,” said Lee Cusenbary, general counsel, Mission Pharmacal. “The consent judgment supports our continued belief in the validity of the patent in all respects.” 
 
This consent judgment preserves the exclusive high-quality prenatal vitamin formulation used in the CitraNatal supplements. The patent protects CitraNatal’s use of a specific combination of iron that combats iron deficiency anemia before, during and after pregnancy. 
 
“The patented dual-iron formulation used in Mission’s CitraNatal supplements helps pregnant women get the iron they need, yet it is gentle on the gastrointestinal system,” said Nancy Price, senior product manager, CitraNatal, Mission Pharmacal. “We have designed the complete CitraNatal line of science-based, quality-focused supplements with a woman’s nutritional support and convenience in mind.” 
 
Mission Pharmacal has successfully asserted its dual-iron patent before. In 2013, PureTek Corporation consented to a judgment that recognized the validity of the ‘247 patent and classified its generic prenatal vitamins as infringing. In 2010, two other sources of generic substitutes for patented CitraNatal supplements withdrew from the market once faced with a patent infringement lawsuit. 
 
“We will continue to protect the ‘247 patent with equal vigor against any infringing products,” Cusenbary said.
 
The patented formulation is incorporated in CitraNatal Harmony, CitraNatal Assure, CitraNatal 90 DHA, CitraNatal DHA, CitraNatal B-Calm and CitraNatal basic, as well as Mission’s Ferralet 90  prescription iron supplement. Mission Pharmacal retains exclusive use of the protected formulation featured in the CitraNatal and Ferralet 90 products until 2020. 
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