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Kroger raises nearly $500,000 for Oklahoma tornado relief

BY Jason Owen

CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. announced this week it raised more than $425,000 from customer and associate contributions to assist storm relief efforts in Oklahoma. In addition, Kroger committed to a corporate gift of $50,000 for a total cash contribution of more than $475,000 to support Red Cross initiatives in areas devastated by violent storms, including an EF5 tornado, on May 20.

"The generosity of our customers and associates to support the Oklahoma relief efforts will help these communities recover more quickly in the aftermath of such devastating storms," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s group vice president of corporate affairs.

Many Kroger, Dillons and QFC stores across the country are helping customers donate through a variety of ways including coin boxes at registers.


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Jelly Belly announces Disney villains Halloween candy bags

BY Jason Owen

FAIRFIELD, Calif. — Jelly Belly Candy Company announced today a line of jelly bean bags featuring Disney character villains will be available later this summer for Halloween.

The 1.2 oz bags are sized perfectly for snacking and make great favors or goodies to pass out during Halloween celebrations. Packages feature one of four Disney foes: Cruella De Vil, Ursula, Captain Hook or The Evil Queen.

Each villain has inspired his or her own special assortment of Jelly Belly jelly beans:

  • The Cruella Collection: coconut, very cherry and wild blackberry;
  • Lost Souls Mix (Ursula): berry blue, berry smoothie, blueberry, island punch and sour grape;
  • Treasure Chest Mix (Captain Hook): berry blue, berry smoothie, orange sherbet, tutti-fruitti and very cherry; and
  • Evil Apple Mix (The Evil Queen): green apple, red apple and sour apple.

Disney Villains bags from Jelly Belly ship in July in two separate 24-ct. mixed caddies. Shipped one caddy per case, the display caddies are convenient for on-shelf presentation. Mixed caddies include Evil Apple Mix and Treasure Chest Mix packed together, and The Cruella Collection and Lost Souls Mix are packed together in a separate caddy.

Jelly Belly beans contain four calories per bean and are fat free, peanut free, dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian and OU Kosher certified.


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Calif. HIV patient, specialty pharmacy case against Anthem Blue Cross settled

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Anthem Blue Cross patients with HIV can continue receiving their drugs through community specialty pharmacies under a settlement of a lawsuit filed against the healthcare company by an advocacy organization.

In mid-November, Anthem Blue Cross adopted a policy that would require specialty pharmacy patients in California, most of them HIV patients, to receive their drugs via mail order through CuraScript, pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts’ in-house specialty pharmacy, in order to receive coverage.

The policy sparked criticism and allegations that the policy discriminated against HIV patients by forcing them to use mail order, while other members could continue using the pharmacies of their choice. In January 2013, the group Consumer Watchdog and law firm Whatley Kallas filed suit against Anthem Blue Cross. Critics said that HIV patients depend on longstanding relationships with their community pharmacies, which provides services such as medication adherence services, counseling, monitoring and aid in securing financial assistance.

Under the new settlement, Anthem members can opt out of the mail-order program by contacting CuraScript, according to the Law Offices of David Balto, which also represented independent pharmacies affected by the decision.

 

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