PHARMACY

Shopko to open store in Wisconsin

BY Alaric DeArment

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Mass merchandiser Shopko will open a new Shopko Hometown store in the city of Seymour, Wis., the chain said in December.

The company said the new store would focus on retail health by offering pharmacy services and a full eye care center. Shopko had acquired the former Seymour Pharmacy and planned to run the store at its current location until it could construct a new store, but said it would retain the pharmacists and staff.

“They have an outstanding reputation for providing exceptional care to their patients,” Shopko EVP retail health services Mike Bettiga said. “We intend to continue to provide excellent care and service to the people of Seymour.”

Shopko said the new 36,000-sq.-ft. store would offer the same kind of merchandise as full-size Shopko stores, including consumables, home products, clothing and other merchandise.

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PHARMACY

Sears kicks off Blue Blogger Crew in line with CES

BY Alaric DeArment

LAS VEGAS — With the Consumer Electronics Show approaching, Sears is launching a social media initiative designed to give bloggers early access to consumer electronics information and provide readers with the latest technology news.

Sears’ consumer electronics division said Monday that it would kick off the Sears Blue Blogger Crew by providing the bloggers with tools to access, attend and blog live from CES 2011. The bloggers will have access to the Sears consumer electronics team, early announcements and industry events. The company is allowing bloggers to apply to become members at MySears.com.

A group of five bloggers will attend the show, including GearLive.com blogger Andru Edwards, WiredPRWorks.com blogger Barbara Rozgonyi, LittleTechGirl.com blogger Kris Cain, LockerGnome.com blogger Kelley Clay and Stop, Drop and Blog blogger Jenna Hatfield.

“The Sears Blue Blogger Crew allows our customers to hear directly from their peers regarding product news and events, beginning with activities at CES and then leading into additional announcements during the year,” Sears Holdings president for consumer electronics Karen Austin said. “Our hope is that as the members of the Sears Blue Blogger Crew share their passion for consumer electronics via their social communities, they also will excite others to be more active online in sharing their own thoughts and opinions on consumer electronics industry news.”

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Drug approvals low in 2010

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — This past year saw a lower-than-usual number of new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration, due in part to delays at the agency, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported that 21 new drugs were approved through the year, compared with 25 in 2009 and 24 in 2008. The lag came in part due to stricter safety regulations, the newspaper reported.

One drug that experienced a delay was MannKind Corp.’s inhaled insulin Afrezza (insulin human [rDNA origin]); the FDA informed the company at the end of December that it would require four additional weeks to complete its review of the application for the drug.

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