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Washing up

BY Barbara White-Sax

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble has brought innovation to the laundry detergent category with Tide Pods, a three-chamber unit 
liquid-dose detergent that cleans, fights stains and brightens all in one premeasured product. Tide Pods, the first product of its kind on the market, contain three chambers that separate the components so they remain stable and potent until the moment they mix in the wash. The 3-in-1 product reduces steps, making laundry simpler and less time-consuming. P&G hopes to trade consumers up; at a suggested retail price of $9.99 for 35 pods, the product retails for about 25% more than traditional Tide. Testing for the product revealed that more than 95% of consumers said the product “provided excellent results with minimal time and effort.”

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Floam, Gak make a comeback

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — 1990s playtime staples Floam and Gak are making their return to store shelves.

NSI International and Nickelodeon said both of the items have been reformulated with new manufacturing technologies and include new ingredients, and are phthalate-, latex- and BPA-free. Nickelodeon Floam is a texturized molding compound, while Nickelodeon Gak is stretchy and squishy collectible goo.

"Nickelodeon’s Floam and Gak were a phenomenon with kids in the 1990’s and we are thrilled to reintroduce these toys to a whole new generation of kids," Nickelodeon SVP global toys and consumer electronics Manuel Torres said. "Kids of all ages enjoy tactile, creative play and Floam and Gak provide imaginative and unique play experiences."

Floam and Gak are available at retailers nationwide, including Walgreens and Target, for a suggested retail price of $5.99 each.

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Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denies attempt to reinstate Medi-Cal cuts

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of healthcare providers, denying a request by the California Department of Health Care Services to suspend a preliminary injunction that currently is preventing the implementation of Medi-Cal cuts.

Last month, Judge Christina Snyder issued a final ruling in California Medical Association et al. v. Douglas, granting the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction, enjoining the state of California from implementing or otherwise applying its 10% Medi-Cal rate reduction. Plaintiffs in the original case were the California Medical Association, California Dental Association, California Pharmacists Association, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, California Association of Medical Product Suppliers, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and American Medical Response.


DHCS immediately filed an emergency stay request, which would have suspended Snyder’s preliminary injunction until there was a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. That request has been denied.


“We are pleased with the court’s decision, once again,” stated James T. Hay, CMA president. “It is time for the state to stop looking to the Medi-Cal program for their budget problems. The court has spoken and proposed cuts have been blocked. Let’s move forward and find a solution rather than continuing down this road.”


“In her ruling last month, Judge Snyder said that ‘fiscal crisis does not outweigh the serious irreparable injury plaintiffs would suffer absent the issuance of an injunction,’” Hay added. “It’s time that DHCS take guidance from her judgment.”



Added NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson, "We applaud the court’s decision to preserve patient access to pharmacy care. Community pharmacy provides unsurpassed value in improving patient health and reducing costs across the board. The proposed Medi-Cal cuts would compromise patient health and access to pharmacy services, thus driving up healthcare costs. The court acted wisely in siding with patients in denying the state’s request for a stay."

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