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CVS Caremark showcases outreach program to help customers understand health insurance options

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark on Friday showcased the details of a companywide information and outreach program to help customers navigate their insurance options under the new healthcare law during a store visit in Orlando with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

(Photo: CVS Caremark’s Larry Merlo discusses the pharmacy retailer’s outreach program with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius)

The program includes retail events and brochure displays at more than 7,500 CVS/pharmacy stores and 650 MinuteClinic locations. Information is also available online at cvs.com/insurance.

"Providing information about new health insurance coverage opportunities is in keeping with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health," stated Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, who led the tour with Sebelius. "Over the coming months, our pharmacists and stores will be serving a key role in providing a point of activation for customers to learn more."

A recent CVS Caremark survey found that pharmacies will be a primary resource to meet the needs of uninsured Americans, with 68% of those surveyed expecting retail pharmacies to offer health insurance information in store and/or online. Among those asking for help, Hispanics and the youngest group surveyed (aged 18 to 35) were significantly more likely to say they need help understanding the exchanges.

"Families look to their local pharmacy as a place they can go to for honest, straightforward advice they can trust," stated HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "Americans trust their pharmacists for tell-it-like-it-is advice about their health, and pharmacies, like CVS, have a special role in these efforts. We thank CVS Caremark and CVS stores nationwide for their commitment to providing Americans with the information they need about the Health Insurance Marketplace."

CVS/pharmacy will also be hosting approximately 5,000 in-store events with health insurance experts, including representatives of state exchanges and local health plans. In addition, in September, representatives from Get Covered America will be available at CVS/pharmacy Project Health free health screening events.


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UrgentRx announces new sales director hire

BY Jason Owen

DENVER — On Friday, UrgentRx, developer of fast-acting, over-the-counter flavored powder medications, announced Rick Hayward will be joining the company as the sales director for the food, drug and mass channels.

Hayward joins UrgentRx from Reckitt Benckiser, one of the world’s largest CPG manufacturers that acquired Schiff Nutrition in December 2012. While at Reckitt Benckiser, Hayward served as national account manager for CVS/pharmacy. Prior to the acquisition, he was a core team player at Schiff Nutrition for over 11 years where he held key positions such as national sales director for the natural/specialty channels and director of business development for the drug channel.

Prior to Schiff Nutrition, Hayward acted as the VP – brand development manager/region manager at Marketing Specialist Inc., a national food broker. While there, he spearheaded major initiatives for Heinz USA and the Minute Maid Co. across major food retailers within the Mid-Atlantic, New York, and Northeast markets.

“Mr. Hayward has spent his career growing some of the most well-known national and global brands,” stated Jordan Eisenberg, president and founder of UrgentRx. “His expertise managing and growing new brands within major food and drug chains will further propel UrgentRx’s rapid expansion across the country. We are thrilled to have him join our team.”

UrgentRx sells six flavored powder medications in credit card size packs for on-the-go use: Critical Care Aspirin to Go, Headache Relief to Go, Heartburn Relief to Go, Upset Stomach Relief to Go, Ache & Pain Relief to Go and Allergy Attack Relief to Go. Currently distributed in 10,500 stores, the company’s goal is to reach 20,000+ stores by the end of 2013.


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Yoplait introduces new Go-Gurt packaging with health labels

BY Jason Owen

MINNEAPOLIS — Yoplait yogurt announced on Friday a new, more vibrant packaging design with more pronounced health benefits for its Go-Gurt brand yogurt to hit store shelves.

Go-Gurt’s new packaging design features new health messaging on the outside of the box, including labels of no high fructose corn syrup and that it contains natural flavors and colors.

"Our consumers expressed their need for a product that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup for their kids and we listened and acted," said Justin Conzemius, Yoplait associate marketing director. "For the past year, we have been working on a product that would achieve those goals, yet continue to deliver a product that kids found fun and delicious."

"We know that sugar is a concern for parents and that parents desire more natural products," said Melissa Haase, Yoplait research and development. "While there were hurdles with the new reformulation, we were also able to reduce the sugar by 1 gram and lower the calories from 70 to 60 calories per serving."

While maintaining the same taste and a healthier formulation, Go-Gurt also provides a good source of calcium and at least 10% of the daily value of vitamins A and D per serving.

Go-Gurt is available in 8- and 16-ct. package varieties with a SRP of $2.89 and $4.99 respectively in grocers’ refrigerated aisles.


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