Rite Aid intends to sell $250M in senior notes
CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid announced on Monday its intention to sell $250 million in senior notes due 2019, which is part of a plan to refinance all of its September 2010 debt maturities.
The pharmacy retailer plans to sell $250 million aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes due 2019. The offering is part of a plan to refinance its first lien accounts receivable securitization facility and second lien accounts receivable securitization facility due September 2010.
As of Oct. 16, there was $475 million outstanding under the securitization facilities.
Also included in the refinancing is an increase in borrowing under its existing $525 million loan due 2015 by $125 million to $650 million. The company also intends to enter into an amendment to its senior secured credit facility, which will increase the maximum borrowing capacity under its existing senior secured revolving credit facility from $1 billion to $1.175 billion.
Rite Aid stated that it plans to use the net proceeds from the sell of the notes, together with the proceeds from the increased term loan and borrowings under the revolving credit facility, to repay and cancel its accounts receivable securitization facilities and to fund related fees and expenses. Upon completion of the plan, Rite Aid will have refinanced all of its September 2010 debt maturities.
Walgreens relaunches Health Corner Web site
MILWAUKEE Walgreens unveiled Thursday the new and improved Healthcornertv.com, an innovative, easy-to-browse Web site with more than 1,200 videos on 65 health-and-wellness topics.
The new Web site presents health-and-wellness information through the use of high quality videos featuring real people managing common medical conditions. Healthcare experts share valuable tips and advice for maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.
“What sets Healthcornertv.com apart from other online resources is the compelling, engaging way it presents the most current, relevant health-and-wellness information,” says Connie Splitt, Walgreens media production manager, and director of the new Web site’s content. “The videos and tools offer a more user-friendly alternative to endless articles and research. The site was designed to empower and inspire people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families.”
Healthcornertv.com videos span a broad range of topics from acne, allergies and Alzheimer’s to heart disease, diabetes and beyond. In addition to management and treatment, a major focus of the site is prevention and lifestyle, with hundreds of features on cooking with functional foods, fitness and exercise.
Celebrity interviews are also featured, including Sally Field on osteoporosis, Suzanne Somers on anti-aging, Jamie Lee Curtis on gastrointestinal health and Patti Labelle on diabetes. The Web site also offers quick links to other valuable online resources including the latest research findings from the Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health and many more.
Healthcornertv.com is a companion to and extension of the Health Corner television series, sponsored by Walgreens, now in its sixth season airing on Lifetime.
Health Corner, “America’s Healthiest TV Show”, airs Sunday mornings at 9:30 Eastern and Pacific time, 8:30 Central and 10:30 Mountain time on Lifetime Television. A total of 26 episodes per season are produced by Milwaukee-based Marx Creative.
NIH announces government-sponsored clinical trial of H1N1 vaccine
NEW YORK There still is widespread concern over the safety and efficacy of the new H1N1 influenza vaccine, despite public assurances from executives at the highest levels of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the point agency around the H1N1 pandemic — that the H1N1 vaccines have been subject to the same safety and efficacy protocols as seasonal vaccine, which generally is considered both safe and effective.
And the clinical trials that have been published to date show that the H1N1 vaccine, at the 15-microgram dose, works, even among children. Sanofi Pasteur late last week announced that clinical trials of its H1N1 vaccine in infants and children ages 6 months through 9 years was efficacious and only required one dose.
The NIH trial, though, is specifically exploring whether or not a 15-microgram dose provides adequate protection against asthmatics, or people with other upper respiratory chronic diseases, one of the high-priority groups identified by CDC for H1N1 influenza inoculation and a disease-state that may place sufferers at greater risk of complications from influenza. According to the American Lung Association, 7.6 million people in America have been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis; 3.7 million Americans will develop emphysema over the course of their lifetime; 6.7 million children have been diagnosed with pediatric asthma; and 8.4% of all adults report having adult asthma.
It’s important also because the prevalence of H1N1 influenza remains higher than expected influenza levels for this time of year and continues to be on the rise, even this early into the season.
Two weeks ago, a total of 37 states reported widespread influenza activity (which means that more than half of the counties have reported influenza activity)— only Washington, D.C., Hawaii and Vermont reported less than regional influenza activity (regional activity is more than one, but less than half of all counties have reported influenza activity; less than regional activity means only one county has reported influenza activity).