PHARMACY

MEDA Pharmaceuticals releases prescription Astepro Nasal Spray to combat seasonal allergic rhinitis

BY Alaric DeArment

SOMERSET, N.J. MEDA Pharmaceuticals announced Thursday the release of prescription Astepro Nasal Spray (azelastine hydrochloride), a new medication for seasonal allergic rhinitis, which affects as many as 40 million Americans. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the drug for treating seasonal allergic rhinitis in patients 12 and older.

“When pollen counts are at their highest, and nasal allergy symptoms erupt, patients simply want effective and fast-acting relief of nasal symptoms, including congestion, with a well-tolerated medication,” University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine associate clinical professor Chuck Siegel said in a statement. “For some allergy sufferers, Astepro may be an appropriate treatment to use instead of other antihistamines and before intranasal steroids.”

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MTI launches Rite Aid Radio

BY Michael Johnsen

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. Music Technologies International on Tuesday announced that it’s “Rite Aid Radio,” a music and messaging program designed exclusively for Rite Aid, is now available chainwide.

“We relished the opportunity to start from scratch with Rite Aid in creating a music environment that is much more ‘tune’ with their customers,” said Bradley Golden, president of MTI. “We feel that we have helped to create an even more inviting audio ambiance in the stores.”

MTI built the music library song by song to appeal to Rite Aid’s customers, the company stated, and also allows Rite Aid to broadcast messages to speak directly to its customers.

This partnership is actually the resumption of a relationship from the 1990’s when MTI provided a similar program to Rite Aid.

“Our number one priority is keeping our customers happy,” said Jerry Cardinale, Rite Aid senior vice president of indirect procurement. “We feel that MTI’s music and messaging program helps us achieve this goal. MTI shares our philosophy of absolute dedication to customer service.”

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Duane Reade announces $3.5 million settlement for Q4 2008

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Duane Reade, without admitting liability, has announced a $3.5 million litigation settlement that will result in a $3.5 million one-time, pre-tax charge for the fourth quarter.

The two class action cases concern the retailer’s alleged past payment practices for certain overtime and employee non-exempt classifications.

The settlement is subject to the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The company stated that while it believes it can “strongly defend against the matters involved in this litigation” it has decided to settle to avoid additional defense costs and uncertainty surrounding the litigation.

The retailer, which operates 251 stores, is expected to announce its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2008 results in March.

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