PHARMACY

NACDS announces guest speakers for annual meeting

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — This year’s National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting will feature a lineup of speakers ranging from political leaders and policy experts to best-selling authors and culinary connoisseurs. This year’s meeting will run from April 30 to May 3 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"NACDS is pleased to have such well-rounded and accomplished speakers at this year’s NACDS Annual Meeting," stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. "From Capitol Hill and the White House to the London Business School and the Food Network, our presenters will share a multitude of government, management and consumer-related issues and topics truly derived from real-world experience."

Among others, the NACDS will host former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, J. Dennis Hastert; senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to former President George W. Bush, Karl Rove; author, blogger and management professor Gary Hamel; and TV host and do-it-yourself expert Sandra Lee.

Hastert is the longest-serving Republican speaker in U.S. history. He served as speaker from January 1999 to January 2007, and worked to lower taxes, improve education, increase defense spending and strengthen social security and Medicare.

Former deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to President George W. Bush, and current Fox News Contributor, Wall Street Journal columnist and Newsweek columnist, Rove has been given the moniker "The Architect" for his handling of Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns. He operates his own public relations firm and is a widely read author and columnist.

Hamel is a visiting professor of strategic and international management at the London Business School, and has been an active leader and contributor to the Harvard Business Review.  As the author of multiple best-selling books on management, and a Wall Street Journal blogger, Hamel has worked with multinational companies on reinventing management.

Lee is the editor-in-chief of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine, host of two TV programs, a best-selling author and a philanthropist. Lee, who was forced to live on welfare and food stamps as a child, has become an influencer for retailers and consumers who are looking to turn budget-friendly into beautiful and fabulous.

"Our lineup of influential and informative speakers at the NACDS Annual Meeting speaks to the importance of our industry and the composition of NACDS," Anderson said. "It is a true honor to host these distinguished political and business leaders as this year’s speakers."

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U.S. COPD Coalition, COPD Alliance join Drive4COPD campaign

BY Alaric DeArment

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Two organizations focused on chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder have joined Drive4COPD, an organization founded by drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim that seeks to raise awareness of the disease.

Drive4COPD announced that the U.S. COPD Coalition and the COPD Alliance had joined the campaign, which now includes 40 associations and companies. The U.S. COPD Coalition adds another 38 organizations.

“It is incredible what Drive4COPD has been able to accomplish in its first year,” U.S. COPD Coalition vice chair John Walsh said. “By working together as a unified COPD community with a singular voice, we can effectively mobilize shared resources to find those who may be at risk for this disease and don’t know it.”

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Senators to FDA: Stop delaying generic drug approvals

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — Five senators have issued a letter to Food and Drug Administration commissioner Margaret Hamburg to expand Americans’ access to affordable medications by avoiding the delay of generic drug approvals.

The letter — sent by Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who serves as chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee; Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.; Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio — urged Hamburg to approve generic versions of certain "blockbuster" drugs, as "it is estimated also that the public could save more than $3.97 billion to $6.7 billion a year upon generic entry, which equates to $10.9 million to $18.3 million a day in potential savings," the senators wrote.

The senators specifically highlighted Lipitor (atorvastatin), the popular cholesterol treatment made by Pfizer. "Although generic versions of Lipitor may be eligible for approval [as early as June 28], we are concerned that current regulatory circumstances could significantly delay entry of new generic products into the marketplace," they wrote. "We are eager to avoid such delays because each year, it is estimated that the government alone spends $2.54 billion on Lipitor through Medicaid, Medicare Part D and Veteran’s Affairs expenditures."

The senators hoped to receive a response from Hamburg and the FDA this week.

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