Retail coalition petitions Supreme Court to review U.S. Court of Appeals’ swipe fee decision
WASHINGTON — A coalition of retail groups on Monday filed a joint-merchant petition with the Supreme Court seeking its review of the March 2014 swipe fee decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
“Congress originally passed a law that was designed to lower swipe fees paid by customers and merchants, but the final Federal Reserve rule disregarded the legislative language and actually raised rates on many transactions," said Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute , one of the retail associations to join the petition. "Our food retailers and wholesalers consistently serve their customers based on a simple merchandising strategy — low markups and high volume — and these excessive swipe fees exceed the industry’s 1% net profit on shoppers’ orders," she said. “We urge the Supreme Court to agree to hear this case recognizing that the Fed’s rule has a significant impact on anyone who uses or accepts a debit card, including shoppers, merchants of all sizes and any other non-merchant entity responsible for the 50 billion debit card transactions each year.”
The final outcome of the swipe fee rule will have a significant economic impact to the roughly eight million merchant locations that accept debit cards for payment in the United States, the association stated.
Earlier this year, the D.C. Circuit largely upheld the Federal Reserve’s debit card rule and network non-exclusivity rule, reversing the decision of the U.S. District Court. FMI and the other plaintiff-petitioner merchant groups argue that the final rule is inconsistent with the clear direction provided by Congress and allows banks to charge American merchants and consumers twice as much as the proposed rule.
In the petition — filed in conjunction with FMI, NACS, National Retail Federation, Miller Oil, Boscov’s Department Store, and the National Restaurant Association — the merchant groups assert that this case is significant to the U.S. economy, merchants and consumers and was seen by two different judicial bodies in such contrasting ways that it deserves the review of the Supreme Court.
Flu shots for the 2014-2015 season now available at all Walgreens locations
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday announced that flu shots are now available at all locations, including pharmacies and Healthcare Clinics. Age restrictions vary by state at Walgreens pharmacies, while Healthcare Clinics at select Walgreens can provide immunizations for patients age 2 years and older.
“The flu has certainly hit harder the past couple of seasons, which is why it’s important to protect yourself and to do so early given the unpredictability that comes with every flu season,” stated Harry Leider, Walgreens chief medical officer. “We’ve seen growing numbers of people waiting until December or January, or until flu activity becomes more widespread before getting their flu shot. The more people who get vaccinated, the better the community at large can be protected, however that 'herd immunity' has been lacking somewhat the last two years, which has been a contributor to more severe flu seasons.”
Walgreens data shows that over the last two seasons, an average of 26% of flu shots administered at its pharmacies and Healthcare Clinics came in December and January — approximately three times the percentage that were administered in those traditionally slower months during more typical flu seasons of 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Following a second straight severe flu season in the United States, and one which impacted younger adults in particular with increased hospitalizations, health officials are encouraging early vaccination to help protect against influenza this season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual flu shot for everyone over the age of 6 months as soon as the vaccine becomes available.
Walgreens to fund clinical pharmacist training center at University of Maryland
BALTIMORE — Walgreens gifted $350,000 to the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. The gift will name the Walgreens Objective Structured Clinical Examination Suite at the School, a 10-room, state-of-the-art facility designed to provide an experience that demonstrates the pharmacist’s expanding role in direct patient care and medication therapy management, the University announced Monday.
“The School of Pharmacy strives to promote effective and innovative pharmacy practice models that have a positive impact on patient outcomes,” stated Natalie Eddington, dean and professor of the school and executive director of University regional partnerships. “Our OSCE suite is outfitted with the latest technologies to provide practice experiences that expose students and community pharmacists alike to real world clinical situations. This generous gift signifies Walgreens’ belief in the value that this unique facility has in preparing current and future pharmacists with the knowledge and skills necessary to work collaboratively and at the top of their licensure in an interprofessional health care environment.”
Jon Reitz, market pharmacy director for Walgreens, and Steve Bouyoukas, Baltimore pharmacy supervisor for Walgreens, visited the school on June 19 to present the gift, which will ensure that the innovative transitional development and training programs available through the OSCE suite continue to advance clinical education for future students and community pharmacists.
“We're proud to have the Walgreens name on this great facility, as a reflection of the company’s commitment to advancing the role of community pharmacy, and supporting pharmacists who will have a positive impact on the future of the profession,” Reitz said. “It enables the kind of education and training that can truly prepare pharmacists for entering the workforce, as today, pharmacists are playing an increasingly important role in health care, providing a broader scope of services and working collaboratively with other providers in the community.”
“The changing role of the pharmacist requires a unique skillset that promotes successful pharmacist-patient interaction,” added Katie Kiser, assistant professor in PPS who oversees education and administrative responsibilities for the facility. “The OSCE suite is designed to train and, at the same time, assess the ability of participants to reflect on their experiences with patients and receive feedback. Through our collaborative relationship with Walgreens, we hope to establish a positive feedback loop between lessons in the classroom and lessons in a real world pharmacy setting. The feedback that we receive will not only influence student training, but also help strengthen curriculum development, ensuring that our students receive the highest quality education to prepare them to meet the evolving needs of one of the most dynamic health care professions.”
An official naming ceremony for the Walgreens OSCE Suite will be held in Fall 2014.
Loading Post Please Wait...