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Amber Pharmacy signs deal with Argus Health Systems

BY Alaric DeArment

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Pharmacy benefits administrator Argus Health Systems has signed a deal with Amber Pharmacy to provide expanded specialty pharmacy options to patients, Argus said.

The collaboration between Kansas City, Mo.-based Argus and Omaha, Neb.-based Amber will allow Argus to offer customers a new option when selecting a specialty pharmacy provider.

"When selecting a preferred specialty partner, we analyzed all aspects of the specialty pharmacy business," Argus president and CEO Jonathan Boehm said. "Given the emphasis for health plans to increase member satisfaction and improve outcomes, we were very interested in the area of personalized patient care. Being diagnosed with a condition that requires a specialty medication is stressful to the family and the patient; we wanted to be sure our customers had the best available support to offer their members."

Under the collaboration with Amber, Argus’ services will include wellness kits, member education, lab verification, prior-authorization assistance and around-the-clock pharmacist availability.

"The strength of Argus’ service offering, combined with Amber Pharmacy’s unique service model, will enable Argus customers to deliver high-quality clinical care, enhanced value and savings to their members," Amber Pharmacy president Mike Agostino said.


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BrightFarms brings fresh, local produce to retail

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Quietly but noticeably, two trends have been occurring over the past few years: A move toward "locavorism" and a demand for fresh produce. The fresh produce trend is evident from a Produce Marketing Association consumer survey from 2010 that showed an increased interest in buying fresh fruits and vegetables and shopping at farmer’s markets, while such retailers as Bartell Drugs, Meijer and Duane Reade are devoting significant shelf space to locally sourced products.

(THE NEWS: Cub Foods, BrightFarms to provide year-round local produce to Twin Cities. For the full story, click here)

That’s part of the reason why such supermarkets as Supervalu banner Cub Foods have signed up with BrightFarms to provide fresh, locally grown produce. So far, BrightFarms hasn’t signed on with any drug store chains, but in a recent interview that will appear in the June 25 issue of Drug Store News, CEO Paul Lightfoot said a supply agreement with a drug chain would work in a way similar to the company’s agreements with supermarkets.

Instead of growing everything in one central location for long-distance shipping, BrightFarms signs a contract with a retailer to supply a specific microregion, financing, designing and building the hydroponic greenhouse and then selling the produce to the retailer at competitive prices. The result is produce that, as Lightfoot put it in a recent TED talk, is grown for flavor rather than being grown to stay preserved for long trips across the country. Currently, BrightFarms focuses on leaf and vine produce such as lettuce, mustard greens, tomatoes and cucumbers and herbs.

How this applies to retailers, especially retail pharmacies, should be obvious. Retail pharmacies and other small-format retailers are in an ideal position to step in and address the problem of food deserts, and many already have sought to do so. The ability to provide fresh produce year-round to a specific region would allow a retailer — even a large, national chain — to address the food desert problem in a limited area.

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JK Jemma Kidd unveils fall 2012 collection at Target

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS — Beauty brand JK Jemma Kidd — which was created by makeup artist, product designer and style icon Jemma Kidd — has unveiled its fall 2012 collection that will be available exclusively at Target stores and on Target.com beginning in August.

The fall collection includes:

24/7 Long-Wear Lip Colour ($15 each): This semi-matte lipstick provides rich color payoff and long-lasting results. Macadamia and avocado oils hydrate and condition lips for glide-on application, while vitamins A, C and E nourish and protect.

New shade of Hi-Design Eye Colour ($14): This eye shadow in Fame (aubergine/purple) is the ideal shade to create the perfect smoky eye on any skin tone. For an intensified look that will last all day and night, dampen the makeup brush before application and count on a perfectly blended look that will not crease.

New shades of I-Conic Eyes pencil liner ($14 each): The I-Conic Eyes pencil liner collection has expanded with updated shades to include the fashion-forward Prima Donna (dark purple) and Idol (smoky green). Enriched with jojoba oil for added hydration, these liners glide on smoothly and effortlessly to create a rich look for day or night.

I-Design Mineral Quads ($17 each): Boasting complementary highlight, mid and defining eye shadow shades, the I-Design Mineral Quads are tailored with shadow surface areas weighted by usage. Blend all four colors for a dramatic evening look, or mix and match for a softer style suitable for day. The formula includes minerals gentle enough to use on the delicate eye area.

Instant Lift skin perfecting primer ($24): This ultra-silky smoothing primer helps create a canvas prior to makeup application. The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles diminish with the natural Flash Tensing Agent, which is designed to hydrate, lift and firm skin. Lavender essential oils and antioxidant alpine plant extracts smooth and calm skin, while vitamin B3 restores collagen and reduces redness.

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