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Retail fraud incidence down, but dollar impact escalating

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — For every $100 in fraudulent transactions, retailers incurred a “true” cost of $230, according to a new study released Tuesday by LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

According to the study, retail merchants and financial institutions reported an overall decline in fraud rates and transactions while total retail sales rose. Consumers also experienced a decline in fraud losses overall but the average time it took to resolve fraud issues rose by 57% and the out-of-pocket costs of fraud rose by $244.

However, fraud rates could be poised for an upswing. The number of fraudulent transactions has decreased, but the average dollar value of a completed fraudulent transaction is higher than last year, indicating the nature of transactions is becoming more severe. While on average, retail merchants report paying less per dollar for fraud than they were in 2010, small merchants and certain industries continue to report high out-of-pocket costs. E-commerce and mobile merchants are combating an influx of fraudulent transactions which tend to be large in dollar amount.

“It is true there has been industry progress in fraud mitigation, however fraud continues to cost retail merchants over $100 billion annually and consumers are feeling the increased affects of fraud,” stated Jim Rice, director of market planning for retail and e-commerce markets at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “While e-commerce, mobile payments and international commerce provide the retail industry with the most growth opportunities, they also present the greatest challenge to fraud prevention.”

The study was conducted through an online survey completed by a merchant panel comprised of 1,006 risk and fraud decision-makers and influencers. The panel represents all company sizes, retail segments, channels and payment methods. A number of interviews also were completed with risk, fraud and financial institution executives. Finally, the study leveraged identity fraud victim data from a survey of 5,000-plus U.S. adults, including 466 fraud victims, representative of age, gender, income, and ethnicity to determine the consumer costs resulting from fraud. The full report is available here.

LexisNexis also is hosting a free webinar Sept. 14 at noon to discuss findings. To register, click here.

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Watson launches generic Keppra XR

BY Allison Cerra

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Watson Labs has begun shipping a drug designed to treat partial onset seizures in patients with epilepsy.

The drug maker said it launched levetiracetam extended-release tablets in the 500-mg and 750-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of UCB’s Keppra XR. The drug is indicated to treat patients ages 16 years and older.

Watson said it began shipping the drug on Tuesday following approval of its abbreviated new drug application from the Food and Drug Administration.

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GSK Consumer Healthcare taps new chief customer officer

BY Allison Cerra

PITTSBURGH — GlaxoSmithKline’s Consumer Healthcare division has appointed a former Kraft Foods executive as its new chief customer officer.

In his new role, Keith Loranger will be responsible for leading the GSK Consumer Healthcare’s sales function to increase sales and profit for the company’s oral health and wellness categories, including such brands as Aquafresh, NicoDerm CQ and Tums, among others. Prior to joining the company, Loranger served as Kraft Foods’ customer VP international strategy after joining the company in 1985.

“GSK Consumer Healthcare is focused on delivering market-beating growth and stronger brands by enhancing our go-to-market strategies for customer, trade and sales channels,” GSK Consumer Healthcare CHNA president Colin Mackenzie said. “Keith is a dynamic business leader whose extensive experience and leadership skills will help drive us toward our goals and help us become the fast-moving consumer healthcare company of the future.”

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