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Retired Army General David Petraeus to keynote 2013 NACDS Foundation Dinner

BY Jason Owen

LAS VEGAS — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation on Monday announced General David H. Petraeus (U.S. Army, Retired), former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and former commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the keynote speaker for the 2013 NACDS Foundation Dinner. The dinner will take place on Dec. 3, 2013, in New York City.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the NACDS Foundation Dinner and contributions from the Foundation’s benefactors help to advance evidence-based research and related medication management and educational initiatives that benefit patients, improve outcomes and advance public health.

“As a patriot and defender of America’s freedom, we are delighted that General Petraeus will address the benefactors of the 2013 NACDS Foundation Dinner later this year,” said NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger. “It is an honor to present such a distinguished speaker in recognition of the tremendous commitment that the NACDS Foundation’s benefactors demonstrate at this important event and throughout the year.”

Born and raised in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, Petraeus graduated with distinction from the U.S. Military Academy in 1974, and was commissioned as an infantry officer. He later earned his MPA and Ph.D. degrees in international relations from Princeton University.

Petraeus’ distinguished 37-year military career included service in Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, and following 9/11 was deployed for nearly seven years culminating his career with six straight commands, five of which were in combat.

Following his second deployment in Iraq where he spearheaded efforts that led to a 90% reduction in counterinsurgent violence, Petraeus took command of the U.S. Central Command, overseeing operations of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central and South Asia. He later took command of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. forces in Afghanistan where he led efforts to prevent the re-establishment of al-Qaeda sanctuaries that existed when the 9/11 attacks were planned.

Petraeus received numerous U.S. military, State Department, NATO and United Nations awards and decorations. He has been decorated by 12 foreign countries for his service.

Following retirement from the U.S. Army, Petraeus served as director of the CIA during a time of significant achievements in the global counterterrorism effort, and worked to increase worldwide intelligence coverage.

He is now the chairman of KKR Global Institute and is a professor at CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College and at the University of Southern California.


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Lundbeck’s Onfi CIV scored tablets and oral suspension now available in U.S. pharmacies

BY Jason Owen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Lundbeck announced today that Onfi (clobazam) CIV will be available in scored tablet and oral suspension formulations beginning this week after the formulations were recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Onfi is a prescription medication originally approved by the FDA in 2011, and is used along with other medicines to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) in adults and children 2 years of age or older. Onfi is an oral anti-epileptic drug (AED) of the benzodiazepine class, and is a 1,5 benzodiazepine. It is a federally controlled schedule four substance (CIV).

The new oval shaped Onfi scored tablets (10 mg and 20 mg) will replace the previously available round non-scored tablets, and are similar in size. These new tablets contain the same ingredients as the round tablet, and include a functional score to allow patients or their caregivers to split the tablets in half. Onfi will no longer be available in a 5 mg tablet. Onfi oral suspension (2.5 mg/mL) has a berry flavor, and provides an alternative to Onfi tablets.

“Since becoming available nearly two years ago, Onfi has become an important additional treatment option for people with LGS,” said Raman Sankar, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and pediatrics, and chief of pediatric neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Onfi scored tablets and oral suspension provide flexibility when making dose adjustments. Also, it’s very helpful to have medications available in both tablet and oral suspension formulations to provide options for patients and their caregivers.”

LGS is a rare and severe form of epilepsy that is typically diagnosed in childhood and often persists into adulthood. LGS is associated with multiple types of seizures with periods of frequent seizures, and daily seizures are common. Some of these seizures, including atonic, tonic and myoclonic seizures, may cause falls, or “drop seizures” (also referred to as “drop attacks”), which may result in injury.

“The availability of these new formulations are the result of working closely with the LGS community and listening to the needs of physicians, patients and those who care for them,” said Mike Hanley, director of Onfi marketing, Lundbeck US. “We are inspired by the strength of those impacted by LGS and will continue working together to help these patients and their families.”


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Integer Group: Fewer BTS shoppers this season

BY Jason Owen

DENVER — According to new results published by the Integer Group, 31% of survey respondents said they won’t be shopping for any back-to-school products at all, up from 27.7% last year. This was revealed in the latest issue of The Checkout, an ongoing shopper behavior study conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C Research.

With fewer people shopping, certain channels will see a drop in traffic. Integer predicts that mass, clothing, and drug will take the largest hit, losing 2.3%, 3.2%, and 5.5% respectively of shoppers this year compared to last.

"The shoppers who are heading out this year plan to visit fewer channels, meaning retailers will have a harder time maintaining the same level of foot traffic as last year. Retailers will have to strive harder to get shoppers through the door by investing more in order to entice people with promotions, deals, proper communication, and incentives outside of the store," said Craig Elston, senior vice president, insight and strategy at The Integer Group.

The study also shows that:

  • Only 38% of people said they would shop a month or more before school starts, compared to 45% last year.
  • 62% said they would wait until at least 2 to 3 weeks before school starts to begin back-to-school shopping, despite planning many weeks in advance.
  • Shoppers have heightened their perceptions of private label products. This year, 38% of back-to-school shoppers are buying more private label products compared to 31% last year.
  • Only 1-out-of-3 shoppers believe brand names are of higher quality although 57% of respondents agree that brand names offer more attractive packaging.

Data for The Checkout comes from a national survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C where consumers are asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors, and economic outlook. Topics range from criteria shoppers use to select retailers, to which in-store stimulus is most likely to drive purchase, to factors that might lead shoppers to leave an aisle empty-handed. The Checkout is available for download at Integer’s blog ShopperCulture.com.

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