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Spanish-language TV series to educate Conn. Latinos about health-reform law

BY Alaric DeArment

HARTFORD, Conn. — A quasi-public agency that Connecticut’s state legislature created two years ago is reaching out to the state’s Latino residents to educate them about Obamacare.

Access Health CT, which was established to increase the number of insured residents in the state and satisfy requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is launching a television series on the Spanish-language channel Univision designed to educate and enroll Latinos in the state.

"Mercado de Salud" ("Health Market") will be a long-form series of shows, segments and capsules, debuting Saturday at 11 a.m. on Univision 18 Hartford and airing through March 2014.

"A staggering 344,000 people are uninsured in Connecticut, and approximately 25% are from our Latino community," Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan said. "To help reverse that statistic, we created ‘Mercado de Salud,’ a culturally relevant TV series that informs the community about how to gain access to the coverage they need. ‘Mercado de Salud’ provides the necessary knowledge and tools to engage and empower Latinos for a healthier tomorrow."

 

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Two independent proxy advisory firms green light Shoppers Drug, Loblaw deal

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart announced on Tuesday that it has received support from two independent proxy advisory firms for its planned acquisition by Loblaw Cos.

Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co., two independent global proxy advisory services firms, have recommended that Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders vote in favor of the acquisition by Loblaw Cos.

Under the arrangement, Loblaw Cos. would acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Shoppers Drug Mart for consideration consisting of $61.54 in cash or 1.29417 common shares of Loblaw plus $0.01 in cash for each Shoppers Drug Mart Share held, subject to pro ration as set out in the plan of arrangement. ISS and Glass Lewis are both independent proxy advisory firms relied upon by institutional investors for advice regarding significant shareholder votes.

ISS summarized its recommendation for the arrangement as follows: "The arrangement is at arm’s length and the potential synergies generated from the business combination appear appealing. Shareholders get the flexibility to choose between cash and stock consideration, and the maximum of the cash consideration represents approximately 54% of the total consideration. In light of the adequate premium derived from the thorough negotiation process, the sound strategic rationale, and no significantly noted governance concerns, a vote for this resolution is warranted."

Similarly, Glass Lewis concludes that: "The combination offers Shoppers shareholders attractive diversification at a time when both the company and Loblaw face the prospect of increasing competition within the Canadian market. In securing the current agreement, we believe the board conducted a thorough process, and did not hastily accept Loblaw’s many advances in the two-year run-up to execution. The benefit of this patience appears to have accrued directly to the company’s independent shareholders — the valuation implied by the offer, including the implied premium, appears reasonable relative to other deals of a comparable size in Shoppers’ industry, and Loblaw’s shares appear to be trading at a balanced valuation. Based on these factors and the unanimous support of the board, we believe shareholders should support this proposal. Accordingly, we recommend shareholders vote for this proposal."

A special meeting of Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders to consider and vote on the resolution with respect to the arrangement will be held on Sept. 12. Subject to obtaining shareholder and court approvals, the deal is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2014.

 

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Cardinal Health launches a customizable Medicare Enrollment Toolkit

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — With the window for Medicare enrollment opening on Oct. 15 and running through Dec. 7, Cardinal Health on Tuesday launched a customizable Medicare Enrollment Toolkit to help its retail pharmacy customers educate the rapidly growing Medicare-eligible population about coverage options. 

The new toolkit provides a wide range of pre-printed educational and marketing materials — ranging from customizable brochures and posters to window clings and bag stickers — which pharmacists can use to encourage patients to talk with them about Medicare enrollment options. The kit also includes online access to additional materials, including newspaper/bulletin, radio ads and a PowerPoint presentation that can be used to discuss Medicare enrollment options in community meetings.

“As the Medicare population continues to experience unprecedented growth, community pharmacists are ideally suited to help beneficiaries understand the various Medicare prescription drug plan options,” stated Myles Hoover, VP marketing and customer solutions for Cardinal Health. “This toolkit equips retail pharmacists — who are often their community’s most accessible healthcare resource — with the materials they need to let patients know about the Medicare open enrollment period and to reinforce that they can help patients navigate the system and better understand their coverage options.”

 

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