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Longs to donate to wildfire victims in Calif.

BY Alaric DeArment

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. Longs Drug Stores announced Friday that it would donate supplies to victims of wildfires in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains.

The supplies are comprised of bottled water and nutritional bars. The wildfires began early Thursday morning and quickly spread, consuming more than 1,000 acres within four hours, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Longs has 516 pharmacies along the West Coast and in Hawaii.

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Kimberly-Clark to increase prices on some common items

BY Alaric DeArment

DALLAS Paper and hygienic product manufacturer Kimberly-Clark announced Friday that prices on a variety of products would increase to keep up with inflation.

The company announced that prices on Huggies diapers, Pull-Ups training pants, Kleenex tissue, Viva towels and Scott and Cottonelle toilet paper would increase by 6 to 8 percent in the third quarter to offset rising costs of raw materials and energy.

Founded in 1872, Kimberly-Clark markets products to 1.3 billion people in 150 countries.

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Dems get more money from drug companies this year

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON Drug and medical device companies are giving more money to Democrats than Republicans this election season, according to the Associated Press. Over the past six elections however, such businesses typically spent twice as much on GOP candidates; in 2002, the ratio got as high as 3-to-1.

Democrats now are holding the edge with $7.4 million in campaign contributions compared with $7 million for GOP candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political spending.

The difference is more pronounced in the presidential race. Drug and device makers have contributed $639,124 to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., $574,828 to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and $168,300 to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. The center calculated the totals based on data released Feb. 28 by the Federal Election Commission.

Billy Tauzin, chief executive officer for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, gave two explanations for the spending shift. For one, there is more emphasis on nonpartisanship at his trade group since he took over three years ago, he said. Also, with more Democrats in office now, it stands to reason they would get a greater share of donations.

Among the drug companies, Pfizer is routinely No. 1 when it comes to campaign donations. In 2004, Pfizer donated $1.3 million to federal campaigns. About 69 percent went to Republicans and 31 percent went to Democrats. This year, Pfizer has donated more than $862,000. About 52 percent has gone to Democratic candidates and 48 percent to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Pfizer explained its spending through a statement: “We support candidates and policymakers in both parties who share our common goal of expanding access to medicines, improving health outcomes through medical innovation and delivering value to patients.”

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