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The Apothecary Shops jumps in ‘Inc. 5000’ ranking

BY Alaric DeArment

PHOENIX — Specialty pharmacy provider The Apothecary Shops made a big jump in Inc. magazine’s list of the country’s fastest-growing private companies, the chain said Wednesday.

The Apothecary Shops ranked No. 1,640 in the annual "Inc. 5000" list, 754 spots higher than in 2010, and 1,076 higher than in 2009.

"The fact that we continue moving up on the ‘Inc. 5000′ list reflects the focus, hard work and commitment of our entire team, especially in a struggling economy," Apothecary Shops president Keith Cook said.

The company said it earned its ranking based on 165% growth over the past three years, having earned $170.8 million in 2010. The Apothecary Shops specializes in drugs for cancer, fertility, pain management, transplants, infectious diseases, women’s health and compounding at 15 retail locations in six states, in addition to its nationwide specialty mail-order business.

First place on the list went to Ideeli, a New York-based online clothing retailer that has seen 40,880% growth over the past three years.

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Sears engages social media for charitable campaign

BY DSN STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears announced that it is inviting Facebook users to support America’s military members by voting for the Sears Rebuilding Together affiliate program, which they believe is the most deserving.

Voting will take place through Sept. 23, and based on total vote tallies, Sears and Rebuilding Together will award 25 overall grants totaling $250,000 to Rebuilding Together affiliates at platinum, gold, silver and bronze levels.

"Veterans and the men and women of the military are the backbone of our great country," said Dave Friedman, SVP and president of marketing for Sears Holdings. "Through the Heroes at Home online community, we want to give our customers a chance to help the brave men and women who protect our country and provide a place where those who serve and support our military can connect and engage with one another."

Fans of the Sears Facebook page can return daily to cast a new vote during the voting period. Facebook users who "like" the Sears Heroes at Home Facebook page, accessible from Facebook.com/Sears, also will receive the latest updates on the contest and have the opportunity to post an Operation Rebuild for Heroes at Home widget on their website to help spread the word about the contest and support their communities.

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Report: Google settles with federal government over illegal pharmacy ad allegations

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Google has settled with the federal government for $500 million over allegations that it displayed advertisements for black-market pharmacies, according to published reports.

The New York Times reported that Google would pay to settle an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice that it had displayed ads from online pharmacies that sell drugs without prescriptions and sometimes sell counterfeit drugs.

Google had said it was difficult to prevent the ads from appearing, as the pharmacies would find ways around preventive measures that it implemented, but websites are nevertheless responsible for advertisements that appear on them, the Times reported.

The news garnered praise from the drug retailing industry. In a statement released Wednesday, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores said that it was pleased that Google was taking steps to rectify the matter.

"NACDS is pleased that Google Inc. is taking steps to rectify the advertising activities of these illegal online drug sellers, and thanks the Department of Justice for its tenacity on this issue," NACDS said. "Illegitimate Internet drug sellers pose incredible risks to patients. These rogue websites operate in clear violation of U.S. state and federal laws and regulations. They sell drugs to consumers without the safety of precautions of a legitimate prescriber-patient relationship, a valid prescription, and a licensed U.S. pharmacy."

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