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Big week for pharmacy-related issues in Congress

BY Rob Eder

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — There is “something brewing in Congress” these days, NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson wrote in a July 16 newsletter to NACDS chain members. Anderson drew members’ attention to two key Congressional hearings slated for Thursday, July 17, related to critical healthcare issues: a House of Representatives Science, Space & Technology subcommittee hearing on Innovative Medical Achievements, and a joint hearing of subcommittees of the House Energy & Commerce Committee on Technological Advancements in Health Care.

“These hearings follow two hearings last week in the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health — both related to the 21st Century Cures Initiative. NACDS expressed enthusiasm for that initiative — led by House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) — which seeks to advance research that will lead to advanced cures for complex diseases,” Anderson said.

“It is becoming more and more clear that Congress is intrigued with the possibilities that innovation presents for healthcare delivery and patient health,” Anderson said.

For Anderson’s complete comments, click here.

 

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Wahl and GreaterGood launch initiative to transform shelter dogs, promote adoption

BY Raven Romero

STERLING, Ill. — Wahl Home Products has teamed up with GreaterGood.org to promote the One Picture Saves a Life Campaign, a collaboration among pet industry leaders to change public perceptions about rescued animals and provide grooming and photography resources to shelters.

Wahl and GreaterGood launched the Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery, an online photo gallery of shelter pets, allowing the public to not only see hundreds of animals before and after their transformation, but to actually adopt them.

The Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery has been made possible in part to Wahl's donation of more than 1,000 bottles of pet shampoo to animal shelters nationwide. According to Shay Moeller, pet product manager for Wahl, the goal of the gallery is to increase pet adoption by demonstrating that the same animals often perceived to be "damaged goods" are actually healthy, fun loving pets looking for a home.

“The transformations are truly amazing, some even downright unbelievable," Moeller said. "The gallery is a great visual to show the importance of providing resources to shelters and the difference they can make."

In addition to the gallery and makeovers, Wahl is launching the third annual Dirty Dogs Contest. The effort, which highlights the positive side of shelter dogs, selects the 25 best makeovers and invites the public to vote for the top three. The animal shelters or rescue groups affiliated with the winning makeovers will receive cash grants and grooming prize packs. The contest runs through July 30, and winners will be announced Aug. 2.
 

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Merz North America to move its headquarters to Raleigh, N.C.

BY Michael Johnsen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Merz North America will establish its headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., officials announced Wednesday at a press conference with N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory. The global pharmaceutical company — part of the Merz Pharma Group, with affiliates in 18 countries around the world — will move operations from current headquarters in Greensboro and from elsewhere in the United States.
 
“For Merz, this move accelerates us toward our vision of becoming the world’s most admired, trusted and innovative aesthetics and neurotoxin company,” said Merz North America president and CEO Bill Humphries. “Our focus is on offering best-in-class customer service, bringing continued innovation to the marketplace and forging new partnerships.”
 
The decision to centralize Merz’s operations around a Raleigh headquarters follows more than a year of working with outside consultants to evaluate the company’s options, Humphries added. After looking at various metropolitan areas across multiple states, it became clear that Raleigh offers Merz the best opportunity to achieve its vision, the company said.
 
“Today’s announcement is another example of how companies recognize everything North Carolina has to offer — from the exceptional workforce to the high quality of life,” McCrory said. “Our community colleges and universities are second to none and will provide a dedicated, hard-working and talented workforce for Merz.”
 
Home to three Tier-One research universities, two of which have dermatology and neurology teaching programs, Raleigh is the heart of the country’s life sciences industry, with more than 42,800 biotech employees and the highest concentration of doctorate degrees in the United States. Additionally, Raleigh-Durham International Airport is one of the nation’s fastest growing international airports and is considering the addition of a direct flight to Frankfurt, Germany, the location of the Merz Pharma Group’s global headquarters.
 
“Our investment in Raleigh is a testament to the area’s talented workforce, business-friendly environment and high quality of life,” said Michael McMyne, Merz head of North American Operations and chief of staff. “We look forward to partnering with the state, Wake County Economic Development, Raleigh Economic Development and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce to invest in workforce development and job creation, further strengthening the Raleigh business community.”
 
The relocation will take place in a phased approach over the coming year. Merz has executed a lease at 6501 Six Forks Road for 60,000 sq. ft., which will be custom-built to meet the company’s needs today and for future growth. The new headquarters is expected to house 250 employees, including 50 net new jobs to the state of North Carolina.
 
“With more state-of-the-art space, our core business functions in one place and easy access to the brightest minds in the industry, Raleigh provides the best option for our future growth,” Humphries said. “We are pleased to join the area as we evolve to become an even more significant player in our industry.”

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