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BI: Extended-release Viramune XR works as well as predecessor

BY Alaric DeArment

VIENNA A once-daily formulation of an HIV drug made by Boehringer Ingelheim works as well as the twice-daily version, according to results of a study presented Thursday at the 18th annual International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

BI presented results of the VERxVE study, showing that extended-release Viramune XR (nevirapine) worked as well as immediate-release Viramune IR through the 48 weeks of the study.

The drug was effective across patient profiles and did not produce any identifiable new side effects.

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NRF: Swipe fee fix battle ‘isn’t over’

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON Despite the signing of a financial-reform legislation that will curb the credit and debit card swipe fees paid by retailers and their customers each year, the National Retail Federation said it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

While President Obama on Wednesday signed H.R. 4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010 — named for Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass. — NRF president and CEO Matt Shay said that while the legislation “is a dramatic first step in the fight to control rising credit and debit card fees and has tremendous potential for savings,” he added that big banks may press such regulators as the Federal Reserve “as it drafts the regulations intended to result in the ‘reasonable’ debit card fees sought by Congress.”

Shay said, “Congress realizes that debit cards are simply plastic checks, and has said the Federal Reserve should look at them with paper checks in mind. The result shouldn’t be swipe fees being cut by a quarter or even a half. The result should be plastic checks that get paid at essentially face value.”

Swipe fees –– officially known as interchange fees –– are a percentage of the transaction charged by card company banks each time a card is swiped to pay for a purchase.

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Save-A-Lot enters Hispanic supermarket venture

BY DSN STAFF

ST. LOUIS Save-A-Lot announced that it has teamed up with Hispanic grocery operator Rafael Ortega to form a new company, Adventure Supermarkets. The new company owns and operates six former Save-A-Lot stores in the Houston and South Texas markets under a co-branded format, “El Ahorro Save-A-Lot.”

“We are always looking for innovative opportunities to bring the Save-A-Lot brand to local communities, and we think this affiliation best enables us to serve the Hispanic community in this area,” said Bill Shaner, Save-A-Lot president and CEO. “This relationship is a new business model for the company. Combining Mr. Ortega’s local insights with the power of the Save-A-Lot network of stores and exclusive-label expertise will enhance our ability to provide our Hispanic customers in this part of the country with the products and services they need and want, while positioning the Save-A-Lot brand for growth.”

Ortega has 24 years of experience in serving the Hispanic community in Texas and currently owns and operates 15 El Ahorro Supermarkets and almost 100 La Michoacana Meat Markets, Save-A-Lot reported.

“I am pleased about joining with Save-A-Lot in this opportunity and excited about the potential of our new, blended format,” said Rafael Ortega.

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