PHARMACY

Abbott receives FDA approval for HIV screening test

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a fully automated blood screening test for HIV.

Abbott Labs announced the approval Monday, calling the Prism HIV O Plus test the first of its kind. The test screens donated blood for the HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains, running 160 samples per hour.

“Abbott has a strong heritage in HIV assay development, beginning in 1985 with the first blood-screening test for HIV approved in the United States,” Abbott SVP diagnostics Mike Warmuth said in a statement. “The approval of Abbott Prism HIV O Plus marks an important milestone as we continue our leadership in HIV and our work to ensure the safety of the world’s blood supply.”

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Take Care opens two clinics in Chicago area

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has announced the opening of two new clinics in the Chicago area.

The new clinics are located in Sycamore, Ill., and in Highland Park, Ill. A total of 38 Take Care clinics are now in the market.

In total, Take Care Health now operates 351 clinics in 35 markets throughout 19 states.

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RILA comments on Finance Committee’s health reform proposal

BY Allison Cerra

ARLINGTON, Va. In a letter sent to Senate Finance Committee leaders, the Retail Industry Leaders Association referred positively to the America’s Health Future Act, but expressed serious concerns with elements of the proposal, and suggested meaningful changes aimed at improving compliance.

The letter, signed by RILA SVP government affairs John Emling, appaluds the committee’s pursuit of health care reform aimed at curbing our nation’s ever-escalating health care costs, shifting the delivery system toward wellness, and increasing access to care for the uninsured; goals shared by RILA and its members.

Meanwhile, the letter suggests meaningful changes to the proposal’s “Free Rider” provision, which obligates employers to pay a portion of the costs associated with a qualifying employee’s participation in the health insurance exchange included in the proposal. Specifically, RILA asks the committee for changes to sections that address vesting periods for new employees, the definition of full-time employees, and refocus employer standard on level of care.

“While RILA agrees that the ‘free rider’ alternative is preferable to a pay-or-play mandate, we nonetheless write to express concerns over the language included in the Chairman’s Mark, and to respectfully offer revisions meant to enhance compliance,” said Emling.

Click here to read the entire letter.

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