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Target to open first stores in Quebec, Nova Scotia

BY Alaric DeArment

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — With 68 stores already open across Canada, Target Corp. has released the timetable for the next batch of nearly two dozen, including the first stores in Quebec and Nova Scotia.

The mass merchandise retailer said it would open 14 stores on Sept. 17 and nine more on Oct. 18. A majority of the stores will feature a Starbucks, as well as a pharmacy. Most stores in Quebec will feature Brunet pharmacies, which will open in summer 2014.

Last month, Target announced a deal with McMahon Distributeur pharmaceutique Inc., a subsidiary of supermarket and drug store operator Metro, to operate pharmacies in Quebec under the Brunet banner. Under the deal, McMahon will enter agreements with pharmacist-owners who will own and operate the pharmacies, with McMahon providing supply chain and inventory services as well as operational support and the online MaSanté tool to let customers access their personal file online. The pharmacies will carry Target brands and provide customers with prescription, pharmacy and health consultation services.

"We look forward to opening our first stores in Quebec and Nova Scotia as we carry out an unprecedented retail expansion covering all 10 provinces across Canada this year," Target Canada president Tony Fisher said. "Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario offer a variety of culturally diverse markets, and we look forward to serving our new guests and engaging with these great communities."


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NCPA reiterates stance on compounding to House Energy and Commerce Committee

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Thursday reiterated its stance on compounding to the House Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The House committee has conducted an investigation and held several hearings into how the meningitis outbreak was handled by the Food and Drug Administration and state regulators and, as Congress returns from its August recess, the panel is actively considering what policy or legislative changes may be necessary to avoid a similar public health crisis from happening again, NCPA reported. 

“Compounding is the backbone of pharmacy practice and for many decades independent community pharmacists have provided millions of adults, children and animals with access to safe, effective and affordable medications through compounding services,” Hoey wrote to committee chairman Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and ranking member Henry Waxman, D-Calif. “Compounding can help bridge the gaps during times of drug shortages. Drug shortages have nearly tripled, according to the FDA, and their impact can be devastating.”

NCPA expressed its dissent of a Senate proposal (S. 959) as currently written because it would inadvertently “create unnecessary federal regulatory burdens, hamper independent community pharmacies from providing medications to patients with unique health needs, and far exceeds a targeted approach to prevent another tragedy such as NECC.” Specifically, S. 959 would require community pharmacies to report directly to the FDA when they are compounding medications to alleviate a drug shortage. In addition, S. 959 would jeopardize patient access to vital medications by directing the FDA to maintain a “do not compound” list which could potentially be used by the agency to prevent compounding in response to a doctor’s prescription for medications such as hormone medications, thyroid preparations, promethazine gels and medications to treat autism, NCPA suggested. 

Instead, NCPA supports the efforts of Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., to develop bipartisan House legislation based on the “discussion draft” legislation posted on the committee’s website. The proposal “rightfully maintains state board of pharmacy oversight of traditional compounding pharmacies while strengthening badly needed two-way communications between the FDA and state boards of pharmacy.” Poor coordination and communication between FDA and state boards of pharmacy were a vital factor that prevented regulators from stopping or mitigating the impact of the meningitis outbreak, NCPA noted. Other provisions in the legislation would protect patient access to essential medications from pharmacies at hospitals and physician’s offices, yet clarify the authority of FDA and other regulators to go after any bad actors, such as the New England Compounding Center.


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BACtrack launches ‘police-grade’ breathalyzers into retail

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — BACtrack on Thursday announced multiple partnerships with retailers — including Best Buy, Costco, Urban Outfitters and Walgreens — to begin selling "police-grade" breathalyzers.

“We’ve built a strong online presence through BACtrack.com, Breathalyzer.net and Breathalyzer.com and have forged partnerships with Amazon as well as respected multichannel retailers like Best Buy,” stated Keith Nothacker, CEO BACtrack. “But many consumers still prefer and need the immediate convenience of the in-store experience. Through agreements with Walgreens, Best Buy and Costco … we’re working to put BACtrack on every street corner in America.”

Reflecting the need for publicly available tools to gauge intoxication, a July 2013 consumer survey organized by BACtrack showed 7-out-of-10 adult American drinkers think owning a breathalyzer would allow them to estimate when they’ve had enough to drink. Two-thirds of adult drinkers also believe owning a breathalyzer would lower their risk of getting a DUI.

The National Transportation Safety Board recently proposed that American states reduce the legal blood alcohol content drinking limit from the current .08% BAC to .05% BAC. If states adopt this recommendation, drinkers will be responsible for complying with the new law and will need tools to stay safe and legal, the company noted. 


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