News Briefs

05/11/2022

Rice Krispies Treats adds cinnamon sugar variety

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Rice Krispies Treats Homestyle Cinnamon Sugar

There’s a new addition to the Rice Krispies Treats family.

The Battle Creek, Mich.-based company released Homestyle Cinnamon Sugar variety, which features fluffy marshmallows, golden butter and a sprinkle of warm cinnamon.

“Whether you’re a busy parent packing lunchboxes or a grown-up kid craving a taste of childhood, fans can enjoy this deliciously sticky, simple snack any time of day and be transported to a homey kitchen in just one bite,” said Heidi Ray, senior director of brand marketing at Kellogg’s portable wholesome snacks. “What’s more, this is the first-ever Cinnamon Sugar flavor for our Rice Krispies Treats brand, and we’re excited to add it to our beloved line of Homestyle bars.”

Rice Krispies Treats Homestyle Cinnamon Sugar is now available at grocery stores nationwide in a pack of six that retails for $3.99 and a pack of 12 for $5.24.

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05/10/2022

Loblaw acquires Lifemark Health Group Français

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lifemark shoppers drug mart

Loblaw has completed the previously announced acquisition of Lifemark Health Group from Audax Private Equity.

Lifemark is a leading provider of outpatient physiotherapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic mental health and other ancillary rehabilitation services in Canada. With this acquisition, Loblaw through its wholly owned subsidiary Shoppers Drug Mart, adds to its growing role as a healthcare service provider, with a network of health-and-wellness solutions accessible in person and digitally.

Loblaw is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, with a network of more than 2,400 corporate, franchised and associate-owned locations in communities across the country. Loblaw's purpose — Live Life Well — supports the needs and well-being of Canadians who make 1 billion visits each year to the company's stores.

[Read more: Loblaw’s Shoppers Drug Mart to acquire Lifemark Health Group]

Led by Shoppers Drug Mart, the leader in Canada's retail drug store marketplace and the No. 1 provider of pharmacy products and services, Loblaw offers full-service pharmacies and a range of services like prescriptions, med checks, vaccinations, minor-ailment diagnoses and nutrition consultations in more than 1,800 locations in 10 provinces and 2 territories, including in Shoppers Drug Mart, PharmaPrix, Loblaw pharmacy, DRUGStore Pharmacy and CENTRESante locations.

Lifemark Health Group is a Canadian leader in community rehabilitation, workplace health and wellness and medical assessment services. With over 20 years of service excellence, Lifemark Health Group, a comprehensive and trusted health provider with 3 million patient visits annually, employs over 5,000 highly trained clinicians, medical experts and team members, the company said.

As Canada's largest physiotherapy company, Lifemark said that it is passionate about enriching the health of Canadians through movement.

05/09/2022

BestRx joins forces with ScriptAbility

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scriptalk box station

BestRx and ScriptAbility are poised to help independent pharmacies better care for patients with visual and language barriers via a partnership in which BestRx’s pharmacy management software is integrated with ScriptAbility.

ScriptAbility is part of En-Vision America, a company that provides high-tech products, including a variety of accessible pharmacy labels. 

ScriptAbility offers a robust and accessible cost-effective label option. This includes its ScripTalk RFID-enabled talking labels, ScriptView Large Print Labels, Dual-Language Labels, Braille Labels and Controlled Substance Safety Labels. By offering these accessible labels, pharmacies ensure all their patients can easily access and understand the dispensing instructions and safety information for their medications.

[Read more: BestRx announces scripClip interface]

Through the new integration, BestRx pharmacies can quickly produce these labels because ScriptAbility’s easy-to-use application can be accessed directly from the pharmacy management software. Instead of having to enter the patient’s information in the application, the patient and prescription details will auto populate with a few simple clicks, the companies said.

“If patients don’t understand their prescription labels, there’s a risk of mistakes. These mistakes can lead to hospitalization or even death,” said David Raistrick, president of En-Vision America. “Accessible prescription labels remove these risks and improve independence. We’re pleased to team up with BestRx. They are a proactive company that sees how accessible labels can improve medication adherence, as well as the overall quality of care for pharmacy patients.”

“BestRx continues to identify ways to help independent pharmacies provide better patient care while minimizing the impact on their daily workflow,” said Hemal Desai, president of BestRx. “This includes ensuring patients with impairments have access to information about their medications and treatment plan. Through our integration with ScriptAbility, BestRx pharmacies can quickly produce accessible prescription labels that will not only improve medication adherence, but the overall quality of care being provided as well."

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05/09/2022

Cardinal Health, URAC to offer accreditation for Cardinal's specialty pharmacies, practices

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Depiction of collaboration.

Cardinal Health and URAC are joining forces to help Cardinal Health’s customers pursue accreditation for their specialty pharmacies and practices.

Leveraging insights from 70 operating outpatient pharmacies in 19 states, Cardinal Health offers pharmacies and medically integrated dispensaries a full range of solutions through its Specialty Pharmacy Services, including consultative support, assessments and new facility openings, as well as providing leadership and day-to-day management.

As part of the agreement with URAC, Cardinal Health customers will receive special pricing for new URAC accreditations, which validate that a pharmacy meets the most rigorous standards in the industry and demonstrates the value of the clinical services it provides.

[Read more: Cardinal Health reports revenue growth in Q3]

“Hospitals across the country continue to face challenges in minimizing the costs and complexity of specialty medications. Many are searching for ways to better manage this growing area of outpatient pharmaceutical spend more effectively,” said Peter Siavelis, senior vice president and general manager of acute care distribution and services at Cardinal Health. “Our agreement with URAC will further strengthen our commitment to providing the guidance and support needed to help hospitals and health systems determine the right path for their pharmacies.”

URAC accreditation also serves as a framework for ensuring quality within an organization by identifying areas for improvement through performance analysis and education. 

“Because of their role in serving patients with complex chronic illnesses, pharmacies are a critical and growing resource within the healthcare landscape,” said Jeffrey Carr, URAC’s vice president of business development. “We’re pleased to offer Cardinal Health preferred pricing for new accreditation to its customers nationwide, further validating the high-quality care they provide and their commitment to improving patient outcomes.”

[Read more: Cardinal Health to expand footprint in Columbus, Ohio]

Cardinal Health helps hospitals and health systems determine the right outpatient pharmacy approach for their facilities based on their unique goals and needs. These services also extend to federally qualified health centers, independent physician practices, independent pharmacies and dispensing clinicians.  

05/09/2022

Cheez-It turns up the heat with Snap’d Scorchin’ Hot Cheddar snacks

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Cheez-It Snap’d Scorchin’ Hot Cheddar

Cheez-It is adding a hint of spice to its Snap’d line of cheesy, thin crispy snacks.

New from the Battle Creek, Mich.-based company is its limited-edition Snap’d Scorchin’ Hot Cheddar snacks, which are baked with 100% real cheddar cheese and feature a fiery heat, notes of garlic and savory umami.

“Lunch has become the mundane or forgotten meal, but with the cheesy, thin and crispy crunch from Cheez-It Snap’d, we’re bringing that ‘I can’t wait until lunch’ feeling back,” said Erin Storm, senior marketing director of Cheez-It. “With the debut of Cheez-It Snap’d Scorchin’ Hot Cheddar, we’re spicing up lunchtime and sending taste buds on a fiery, cheesy ride — making an unskippable lunch experience with a blazing kick.”

Cheez-It Snap’d Scorchin’ Hot Cheddar snacks are available throughout the summer at retailers nationwide.

05/09/2022

Hikma updates expected launch of authorized generic Xyrem

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Pill bottles with white pills

In its generics guidance for 2022, Hikma shared Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ update to its expectations for the launch timing of an authorized generic of Xyrem (sodium oxybate) as provided in its first-quarter 2022 earnings conference call.

Xyrem is a central nervous system depressant indicated for the treatment of cataplexy or excessive daytime sleepiness in patients aged 7 years old and older with narcolepsy.

Jazz now expects authorized generic entry to occur in late 2022, or possibly even January 2023, Hikma said.

In 2017, the company entered into a settlement agreement with Jazz to sell an authorized generic of Xyrem. Under the terms of this agreement, Hikma has a certain launch date of Jan. 1, 2023 or earlier depending on certain market conditions, and 180 days of exclusivity.

To align with Jazz’s updated expectations, Hikma now conservatively assumes it will launch its authorized generic on  Jan. 1, 2023, and that the revenue and profit contribution from the exclusivity period will shift to the first half of 2023.

Reflecting this, the company updated its guidance for its generics business. For 2022, Hikma now expects generics revenue to be in the range of $710 million to $750 million and core operating margin to be around 20%, with the lower end of the range reflecting the possibility of further price erosion in the U.S. generic market, should this materialize. This compares with Hikma’s previous guidance of generics revenue growth in the range of 8% to 10% over full-year 2021 revenue of $820 million and core operating margin in the range of 24% to 25%.

All other guidance remains unchanged, the company said.