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REPORTERS Notebook

BY DSN STAFF

Supplier News

Lance and Snyder’s of Hanover signed a definitive agreement that brings together the two snack food leaders in a stock-for-stock merger. Lance develops and distributes sandwich crackers, potato chips and cookies, while Snyder’s of Hanover is a pretzel maker and a leader in specialty snacks. Under the agreement, the company will be called Snyder’s-Lance.

Kellogg Co. has introduced Kellogg’s FiberPlus Antioxidants cereals with fiber and antioxidant vitamins C and E. Kellogg’s FiberPlus Antioxidants cereals are available in berry yogurt crunch and cinnamon oat crunch.

Kraft Foods is pumping up its Nabisco crackers with whole grains. The company plans to increase the amount of whole grains in more than 100 products over the next three years, including original Wheat Thins (from 11 g to 22 g per serving), Wheat Thins toasted chips (from 5 g to 17 g per serving), Honey Maid original graham crackers (from 5 g to 20 g per serving), and adding whole grain to Premium and Ritz crackers.

EQ Labs is launching a nationwide promotion of its energy drink, which will begin on Labor Day weekend at a Las Vegas Walgreens and will allow one lucky purchaser of the EQ Smart Energy Drink to receive a free personal poker seminar from poker celebrity Vanessa Rousso. Another lucky winner will receive a personal thrill ride from champion Baja racer T.J. Flores. The company said it will use this promotion to begin a national rollout of its energy drink in additional Walgreens stores.

Industry News

Fresh convenience foods have experienced a recessionary boon, according to a new study by Packaged Facts. The fresh convenience foods market grew by 5% in 2009, to reach sales of $22 billion. Expanded marketing and merchandising efforts by convenience foods companies may drive sales up 28% to $29 billion by 2014.

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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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