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Coalition calls on consumers to ask Congress, FTC to oppose ESI-Medco merger

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition, which is a coalition of consumers, businesses and community-based pharmacists from across the country that have come together to oppose the planned mega-merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, has issued a call to action to protect Americans from rising costs and decreased access to health care by stopping the planned merger of the PBMs.

The call to action, posted on the coalition’s website, outlines what it says are the negative impacts of approving the merger and calls on consumers to sign a petition that will be sent to the Federal Trade Commission and members of Congress opposing the merger. In addition, consumers are encouraged to send letters or make phone calls to their local representatives urging them to oppose the merger.

"Approving this merger — combining two of the nation’s largest PBM companies into a big, consolidated PBM with excessive control over the health care of tens of millions of Americans — would put quality care even further from reach of a general population already struggling. Such an outcome cannot be taken lightly," stated former Congresswoman Eva M. Clayton, chairwoman for the PCPAN coalition. "Americans cannot afford, now or ever, to have their healthcare costs and access to pharmacy services dictated by a mega-PBM that puts profits before people."

"Not all mergers are bad, but there is a reason that this particular one is the target of much scrutiny," added Dennis Archer, chief legal counsel for PCPAN, which is a project of Pharmacy Choice and Access Now. "The merger between Express Scripts and Medco would create a mega pharmacy benefit management company with excessive control and concentrated market share that could have serious implications for consumers and for U.S. health care in general. It should not be allowed to move forward."

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Radius broadens oral care portfolio with new DOC

BY Antoinette Alexander

KUTZTOWN, Pa. — This fall, Radius, a maker of specialty toothbrushes and complementary products, including toiletries’ travel cases and dental floss, is expanding its product portfolio with the new DOC multi-use suction toothbrush holder, which enables consumers to keep their toothbrush wherever they like, such as a shower wall, on the side of a bathroom mirror or upright next to the sink faucet.

The suction base works on any smooth and clean surface and also can be a convenient place to hold hand towels, razors, hairbrushes, kitchen spoons, sponges and iPods. The DOC uses EcoPure additives so that it is 100% biodegradable and recyclable.

Often equated with toothbrushes, Radius turned the category on its head by throwing out traditional toothbrush standards. Radius steered away from the thin stick handle shape, opting for a large handle that’s comfortable to hold and maneuver. They also vastly increased the size of the bristle head in an effort to make it easy to massage the gums while brushing and cover more surface of the mouth in a shorter amount of time.

The new DOC multi-use suction holder will be available in stores in November.

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Orabrush debuts remake of original viral ‘Bad Breath Test’ video

BY Antoinette Alexander

PROVO, Utah — After two years and nearly 40 million total YouTube views, tongue cleaner manufacturer Orabrush is celebrating its roots by releasing a remake of the YouTube video, Bad Breath Test, using some of the company’s youngest fans.

The original video has racked up more than 15 million views, and the remake features 10 stars between the ages of 4 and 9 years old, who are taking up the fight against halitosis.

Since debuting the Bad Breath Test in 2009, Orabrush has been creating online videos and cultivating an Internet fan base, which has translated into brisk online sales, completion of a Series A funding round, and distribution partnerships with several retailers, including Walmart.

Orabrush currently is the third-most popular sponsor channel on YouTube, behind only Old Spice and Apple in number of total subscribers. The channel has received more than 39 million views.


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