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HHS donates $5.3 million for rural telehealth

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services is devoting more than $5 million in grants to expand health information technology to rural areas, including telehealth, the agency said Thursday.

HHS said it would devote nearly $5.3 million for workforce expansion and the use of telehealth to improve mental health services for veterans in rural areas, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced.

Of that, almost $4.4 million will go to rural organizations in 15 states to recruit and train current healthcare staff, local unemployed workers, rural veterans and other potential students to meet the technology needs of rural hospitals and clinics. Meanwhile, Maine, Montana and Alaska will each receive $300,000 to enhance crisis intervention services through telehealth technologies.

"Health IT is growing in rural communities, and its use is even more critical now as we’re expanding access to patients living in those areas," Sebelius said. "This investment is designed to attract, train and retain HIT specialists who might otherwise seek education and job opportunities away from their own rural communities where their skills are greatly needed."

 

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Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders greenlight Loblaw Cos. deal

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart announced on Thursday its shareholders voted in favor of the proposed acquisition by Loblaw Cos.

The transaction was approved by approximately 99.89% of the votes cast by all of the Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders eligible to vote.

As previously reported, Loblaw Cos. and Shoppers Drug Mart announced on July 15 a definitive agreement under which Loblaw will acquire Shoppers Drug Mart for C$12.4 billion in cash and stock.

Completion of the deal remains conditional on approval by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, compliance with the Competition Act and certain other closing conditions.

Subject to obtaining such court approvals, and the satisfaction or waiver of all other conditions, the transaction is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2014.

 

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Eisai introduces support program for Belviq

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Drug maker Eisai has launched a new support and savings program for patients using a weight-loss drug that it makes.

The drug maker announced Thursday the availability of Believe Everyday Support for patients using Belviq (lorcaserin hydrochloride), which includes a customizable online portal designed to help patients reach their weight loss goals and sustain their efforts.

"The Believe Everyday Support program is an extension of Eisai’s human healthcare commitment to put patiens and their families first," Eisai VP specialty marketing and sales business unit Michael O’Brien said. "Through a Belviq savings card, diet and exercise tips, calorie and activity tracking and offering nutritious recipes that meet patients’ specific dietary needs, the program is designed to support efforts with Belviq treatment to help patients lead a healthy lifestyle in a way that works for them."

 

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