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DigiPower has launched a rechargeable auxiliary battery pack for smart phones. The Jump Start Slim is a 1100mAh auxiliary battery pack that measures one-quarter-in. thin, weighs 2 oz. and also features optimized circuitry that allows for faster charging times from a computer or standard USB charger. It retails for $29.95. For more information, visit Mizco.com.

Seventh Generation said that as part of its recent long-term strategic partnership with Walmart, the retailer will carry a variety of cleaning products from the brand’s portfolio, including laundry detergent, dish soap, disinfecting wipes and all-purpose sprays. An expanded assortment of products, including baby diapers and wipes, will roll out on Walmart.com in September.

American Greetings has developed a line of cards that helps consumers find the right words in both happy and tough times, all while supporting the work of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. American Greetings’ new collection contains pink artwork paired with sentiments to celebrate birthdays, friendship and thinking of you occasions, as well as cards that speak to breast cancer by directly addressing diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

DVD rental kiosk provider Redbox has rolled out Blu-ray titles in more than 13,000 kiosks nationwide. The Blu-ray discs will cost $1.50 per night plus tax. The company expected to complete the rollout by the fall. The number of Blu-ray titles and copies will vary by kiosk and location with new titles being added each week. In related news, Redbox announced it would roll out its rental kiosks to 700 CVS/pharmacy locations nationwide by the end of 2011.

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BioMarin Pharmaceutical acquires ZyStor Therapeutics

BY Alaric DeArment

NOVATO, Calif. BioMarin Pharmaceutical has acquired privately owned biotechnology company ZyStor Therapeutics for $22 million, BioMarin said.

The drug maker said it also would pay ZyStor up to $93 million in milestone payments. The main gem in the deal was ZC-701, ZyStor’s investigative treatment for the lysosomal storage disorder Pompe disease and a potential competitor to Genzyme Corp.’s Pompe disease treatment Myozyme (alglucosidase alfa). A phase 1/2 clinical study of ZC-701 in late-onset Pompe disease is expected to begin in first quarter 2011.

“The acquisition of ZyStor gives us the opportunity to introduce a superior product to fulfill an unmet medical need and is a perfect fit in our core business,” BioMarin CEO Jean-Jacques Bienaime stated. “It not only provides us with a promising product candidate for Pompe disease, but also an exciting new platform technology.”

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Nurse practitioners are vital to a healthy U.S. healthcare system

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The USA Today article highlighting nurse-managed centers as one “innovative” program that could help fill the primary care physician void is important because it underscores the important role that nurse practitioners play in delivering quality healthcare services.

(THE NEWS: Nurse-managed centers may fill primary care physician void. For the full story, click here)

It is no secret that the healthcare system has been, and will continue to be, under great strain as healthcare costs soar and a shortage of primary care doctors largely contributes to the bottle-necking taking place within emergency rooms.

According to numbers provided by the Convenient Care Association, as few as 2% of medical students coming out of U.S. medical schools intend to pursue a career in general primary care. Also, between 30% and 60% of convenient care clinic patients reported not having a primary care physician. Plus, as many as 40% of convenient care clinic patients said they would have sought costlier care or would have foregone care completely if there had not been a convenient care clinic available.

Clearly, there’s a gap that needs to be filled, and convenient care clinics and such clinics as the Family Practice and Counseling Network in Philadelphia highlighted in the USA Today article, are striving to help fill that gap.

The good news is that the importance of nurse practitioners, as well as the retail-based clinic setting, is not going unnoticed. In fact, Senators Dan Inouye, D-Hawaii, and Thad Cochran, D-Miss., in July introduced the Senate resolution officially designating Aug. 2 to 8, 2010, as National Convenient Care Clinic Week.

Now, with about 30 million uninsured gaining healthcare coverage under healthcare reform and patients making fewer physician visits, either because they can’t afford it or can’t get an appointment in a timely fashion, the U.S. healthcare systems needs “innovative” programs and needs nurse practitioners.

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