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FDA approves Alcon’s Simbrinza

BY Alaric DeArment

BASEL, Switzerland — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Alcon, the drug maker said.

Alcon, a subsidiary of Swiss drug maker Novartis, announced the approval of Simbrinza (brinzolamide and brimonidine tartrate) for elevated intraocular pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Elevated IOP is the only modifiable risk factor for glaucoma, the company said. Glaucoma affects more than 2.2 million Americans and is the second-leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation and Lighthouse International.

"Alcon is the global leader in providing both pharmaceutical and surgical options for patients living with glaucoma," Alcon U.S. and Canada area president Robert Warner said. "The introduction of Simbrinza further expands our ability to provide effective treatments for patients with elevated IOP."

 

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Investigation into Schnucks card-hacking incident nears end

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS — More than 2 million credit and debit cards at nearly all of Schnuck Markets’ stores may have been compromised as part of a recent hacking incident, the company said.

The company nevertheless emphasized that cardholders’ names, addresses and other identifying information was not accessed, only the card numbers and expiration dates. About 2.4 million cards are believed to have been compromised at 79 of the chain’s 100 stores, and the company has set up a Web page with information on the attack and a video by chairman and CEO Scott Schnuck.

"On behalf of myself, the Schnuck family and all of our 15,000 teammates, I apologize to everyone affected by this incident," Schnuck said. "Over the years, technology has helped us deliver customer service, but it also introduces risks that we have actively worked to manage through compliance audits, encryption technology and various other security measures."

The company said last month that it was the victim of an attack on its computer network in which a computer code was designed to capture magnetic stripe data from customers’ credit and debit cards.

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Rite Aid highlights redesigned website

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid’s revamped website will offer a "more personalized and engaging" experience for customers, the company said Monday.

The new site, which it worked with Razorfish Healthware to design, includes easier access to online pharmacy services, health and wellness information.

"Today’s customer expects more from their online experience than ever before, so it’s critical that our website not only meets but exceeds their expectations," Rite Aid COO Ken Martindale said. "More than just a new look and feel, the new Riteaid.com reinforces our brand commitment to the health and wellness of our customers. Designed with them in mind, Riteaid.com offers a friendly and highly personal experience, whether customers are managing their Wellness+ account, shopping our online store or managing their prescriptions."

The company said any part of the site is accessible in three or fewer clicks, and important areas like the pharmacy, Wellness+ and the online store are displayed in the header, while drop-down menus offer convenient access to information and services. Features include a new Wellness+ dashboard, which offers data-driven, real-time member status, savings summaries, integration with a member’s pharmacy profile, targeted offers, product recommendations, "portlet" programs for wellness rewards and Load2Card coupons and +UP Rewards. The site also includes simplified navigation in its e-commerce section, with improved product photography, color-coded product categories and greater emphasis on new items.

"Our internal research showed that 80% of visitors to Riteaid.com also visited a Rite Aid store, meaning the online experience we provide is a key driver of our in-store business," Martindale said. "By creating a website that is easy, informative and engaging, we’re not only elevating the Riteaid.com online experience; we’re setting a solid foundation for growth of our in-store business too."

 

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