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Report: J&J resumes shipping of Tylenol product

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — It seems that Tylenol Cold & Flu Severe caplets are making their way back to store shelves, according to published reports.

According to several reports, McNeil Consumer Healthcare spokeswoman Bonnie Jacobs confirmed that the product, which is designated for adult use, will begin shipping this week.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, recalled several lots of Tylenol products due to reports of uncharacteristic odor, which was linked to the presence of trace amounts of a chemical known as 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA).

Back in February, J&J executives said McNeil Consumer’s absence from cough-cold and analgesic aisles, including several pediatric formulations, would extend into the fourth quarter.

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Walgreens kicks off Halloween candy contest

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens is celebrating Halloween with a new Facebook contest.

The drug store chain hosted the promotion on Facebook.com/Walgreens from Tuesday through Thursday night, where fans could enter to win one ton of Hershey’s Halloween candy. Entrants are asked to register and tell Walgreens how they would share a ton of Hershey’s Halloween candy. Ten finalists will be selected and sent a $300 Walgreens gift card to decorate their homes for Halloween. Photos of the top three finalists’ homes will be put on the Walgreens Facebook page for fan voting, with the winner of the fan vote receiving a ton of a pre-selected mix of Hershey’s Halloween candy.

Click here to check out the promotion.

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Texas congressman urges HHS to reject state’s Medicaid-managed care company partnership

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — A congressman from Texas is urging the Department of Health and Human Services to reject an attempt by the Texas state government to move millions of Medicaid prescription drug beneficiaries into managed care plans.

Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett, head of the Texas Democratic Congressional Delegation, said the move would harm small pharmacies that cater to Medicaid beneficiaries and leave many patients without access to pharmacy services by reducing pharmacy dispensing fees to far below the average pharmacy’s cost of dispensing each prescription.

In particular, according to a letter to HHS, Doggett wrote that Navitus Health Solutions, the PBM with which the Texas Health and Human Services Commission contracted, required all pharmacies in its Medicaid network to accept a non-negotiable dispensing fee of $1.35 per prescription — 88% below the average pharmacy’s cost — despite a state-sponsored study that found the average cost of dispensing a prescription in Texas in 2011 was $11.27.

"Turning Medicaid prescription drug benefits over to private managed care companies will harm patient access and push hundreds of pharmacies out of Medicaid or out of business," Doggett said. "This will deny access to vital prescriptions for many of our neighbors and hurt small businesses that play a vital role in health care."

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