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Ahold chairman to step down

BY Alaric DeArment

AMSTERDAM — Rene Dahan will step down as Royal Ahold’s board chairman in October, the Dutch supermarket operator said Wednesday.

Netherlands-based Ahold — which operates the Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover and Giant-Carlisle chains and the Peapod online grocery service in the United States through its Ahold USA subsidiary — said that Dahan would step down after serving on the company’s board since 2004. The company plans to propose at its shareholder meeting the appointment of Jan Hommen as Dahan’s successor.

"I have announced my intention to leave the Ahold supervisory board knowing that the company is well-positioned for the future," Dahan said. "I welcome the company’s proposal to appoint Jan Hommen as a new supervisory board member and as my future successor."

Hommen was previously vice chairman of the board and served as chairman of the audit committee from 2003 to 2007 and has held management positions at Royal Philips Electronics, TNT N.V. and Reed Elsevier. He is currently CEO of ING Group and plans to step down from that position in October.

"Now that Rene Dahan has announced his intention to resign as chairman, I would like to express my appreciation for his work over the past years," Ahold CEO Dick Boer said. "His experience and wisdom has helped Ahold become the company it is today."

 

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CRN names six new members

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Tuesday announced the addition of six new members, including voting members Evolva Nutrition and NutraGenesis and associate members American Nurse Practitioner Foundation, HFL Sport Science, Intertek Cantox and Loeb & Loeb.  

Evolva Nutrition recently acquired the rights to the resveratrol business formerly owned by Fluxome Science A/S in Denmark. NutraGenesis is a provider of proprietary, branded nutraceutical ingredients that are designed for the dietary supplement, food and beverage marketplaces.

The American Nurse Practitioner Foundation is a nonprofit public health charity aimed at assisting in the development and support of nurse practitioners through scholarships, grants, research support and health education initiatives, like “Simply Health in Practice,” and other health education campaigns. HFL Sport Science is an accredited sports doping control and research laboratory that provides testing of ingredients and finished products for banned substances in sports. Intertek Cantox is a consultancy that has helped the food and dietary supplement industries resolve complex scientific and regulatory issues for more than 25 years. And Loeb & Loeb is a multi-service law firm with more than 300 attorneys and offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Nashville, Washington, Beijing and Hong Kong.


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Study: Prescription-only PSE legislation carries a significant cost burden

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — Prescription-only pseudoephedrine laws result in well more than $278 million in additional burdens to taxpayers, according to a study published by Matrix Global Advisors on Monday. 

"With any public policy that restricts access to a product that is good for some people but misused by others there are inherent distortions, costs and loss of consumer welfare," author Alex Brill wrote. "A policy decision based solely on a concern about the diversion of PSE medicines to meth production is shortsighted because it only considers one side of the issue — the thousands of meth cooks and their domestic meth labs — and not the 18 million families who legitimately need PSE medicines for relief from colds and allergies.

The study broke down many of the costs prescription-only PSE polices accrue, including: 

  • The extra doctor visits necessary to get a PSE prescription contribute $59 million in additional costs to the government, consumers and private insurance companies in the first year following the policy’s implementation;
  • For those consumers who forego a trip to the doctor, the lack of symptomatic relief will likely result in more absenteeism and lost work productivity, adding to the estimated $25 billion annually in lost productivity already attributed to the common cold;
  • PSE consumers may realize some sticker shock as prices for PSE medicines are increased once the cost of adjudicating a prescription is factored into the pricing formula;
  • Health insurance premiums may increase due to additional doctor visits and higher PSE drug costs; and
  • Overall government services may be curtailed as an estimated loss of $219.2 million in state tax revenues is amortized over 10 years. 

And all that additional cost wouldn’t even guarantee a reduction in methamphetamine abuse, the study noted. "On top of creating financial burdens, a prescription-only PSE policy would not be 100% effective at eliminating PSE diversion because it does not address theft and fraudulent prescriptions for these medicines," noted Brill. "In fact, many prescription drugs are heavily abused, despite their prescription status, to the extent that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has labeled prescription drug abuse a ‘public health epidemic.’ According to the 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment, deaths from prescription drug overdoses outnumber deaths due to cocaine, heroin and meth combined." 


But the primary direct economic burden of making PSE medicines prescription-only arises from the extra doctor visits the policy change necessitates, Brill said. Brill referenced a 2011 Avalere Health study that found there was an estimated 579,315 additional doctor visits in the first year after implementation of the policy. "Using a per-visit estimate for private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid of $94, $76, and $70 per physician visit, respectively, Avalere estimated $32.4 million in additional costs for private and public payers," Brill noted. 

The study was supported by a grant from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. 


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