Online retail sales continue positive trend
RESTON, Va. — Online U.S. retail spending in second quarter 2011 reached $37.5 billion for the quarter, up 14% versus a year ago, ComScore reported Monday. This growth rate represented the seventh consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and third consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates.
"The second quarter of 2011 saw a continuation of this year’s solid double-digit growth trends in online spending, well ahead of the rate of growth in consumers’ overall spending," ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said. "It’s clear that consumers are continuing to shift to the online channel, with almost $1-in-every-$10 of discretionary spending now occurring online. E-commerce’s benefits of convenience and lower prices continue to be the drivers of the shift."
According to ComScore:
The top-performing online product categories were consumer electronics (excluding PC peripherals), computer hardware, computer software and event tickets. Each category grew at least 15% versus the year-ago period;
The top 25 online retailers accounted for 66.4% of dollars spent online, down from 67.7% a year ago and down from a peak of 69.9% in third quarter 2010, as small and mid-sized retailers continued to regain lost market share; and
The 14% growth in the quarter primarily was a function of an increase in the number of buyers (up 16%), with 70% of all Internet users making at least one online purchase in the quarter.
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N.Y. state mail-order bill would raise drug costs, reduce access, FTC says
WASHINGTON — A bill awaiting a signature or veto from New York governor Andrew Cuomo that would restrict home delivery of chronic medications has attracted criticism from the Federal Trade Commission and the pharmacy benefit manager lobby.
In a letter to New York state Sen. James Seward responding to the senator’s request for comments, the FTC said New York Assembly Bill 5502-B would harm consumers and raise the prices of drugs while reducing access to them.
Seward’s bill is intended to help patients choose how and where prescriptions are filled, but the FTC said it would limit a health plan’s ability to steer beneficiaries to lower-cost mail-order vendors using financial incentives and other terms of coverage if a competing retail pharmacy is willing to fill prescriptions at "comparable prices."
"By restricting a health plan’s ability to offer favorable treatment to a low-cost mail-order pharmacy, the bill undercuts pharmacies’ incentives to bid aggressively for a share of that health plan’s business," the letter read.
"The Federal Trade Commission’s comments on the anti-mail-service pharmacy bill make it clear that it would harm consumers by limiting access and raising their prescription drug costs," Pharmaceutical Care Management Association president and CEO Mark Merritt said. "Governor Cuomo should veto this prescription drug tax on small business."
Here's a link for those who want to read the FTC for themselves: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2011/08/110808healthcarecomment.pdf And here's my analysis of the letter from Drug Channels: FTC Slams NY Anti-Mail Bill; Insights for ESRX-MHS?. Adam
Report: Pfizer, AstraZeneca file patent suits against Hetero
NEW YORK — Hetero is at the center of two patent litigation suits for attempting to market generic versions of Viagra and Nexium, according to published reports.
Pfizer filed a suit against the generic drug maker last month in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of New York, pertaining to Hetero’s abbreviated new drug application for a generic version of popular erectile dysfunction treatment Viagra. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against Hetero last week, pertaining to its blockbuster drug Nexium, designed to treat symptoms of acid reflux disease.
Patents for Viagra and Nexium disclosed in the suits will expire in 2019 and 2015, respectively.
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