Wall Street Journal, New York Times
Dr. Joseph Biederman, who has been a prominent backer of childhood use of Johnson & Johnson's antipsychotic drug Risperdal, will discontinue his participation in several industry-funded clinical trials at Massachusetts General Hospital pending the results of the hospital's inquiry into his potential conflicts of interest and disclosure obligations, Jennifer Levitz reports. A hospital spokeswoman says the studies will continue under another doctor. Massachusetts General has said it was concerned that an institute that Biederman and J&J worked together to create at the hospital was used to promote Risperdal's use in children, rather than for scientific or educational purposes. …
In a program that will begin Friday and last through March 21, Giant Food stores will give free generic antibiotics to customers with a prescription for several popular antibiotics such as amoxicillin, penicillin and ciprofloxacin, Ylan Q. Mui reports. "Times are tough," says Robin Michel, evp for Giant Food. "If this is the way that we can help most people, why not?" Competition is tough for Giant, too, which is the largest supermarket chain in the Washington, D.C., region. Its market share dropped two percentage points, to 35%, in the year ending March 31. The free prescription drug program …
Wal-Mart is pulling out of Nielsen's PRISM (Pioneering Research for an In-Store Metric) service that tracks the effectiveness of in-store advertising and merchandising, reports Jack Neff. Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart, Starcom MediaVest Group and the In-Store Marketing Institute began the project in 2006; Nielsen joined later. Nielsen says it continues to make "great progress" toward its 2009 launch of PRISM, and that 15 of the 16 original retailers in the PRISM consortium, including Target, Kmart, Kroger and Walgreens, are still on board. Nielsen says original marketer and agency backers of PRISM continue to support the initiative, too, including P&G, …
CMO Mark Jarvis will leave Dell this fiscal quarter but will remain a consultant to the company. He will be succeeded by Erin Nelson, formerly vp of marketing, Dell Europe, Middle East and Africa. Mike Cannon, president of global operations, is retiring as of today and will also remain as a consultant. Dell is also reorganizing its businesses based on customer segments instead of geographic regions. "Customer requirements are increasingly being defined by how they use technology rather than where they use it," says Michael Dell, chairman and CEO.
Drug Store News
Rite Aid is partnering with fitness expert Denise Austin and Lindora
, a medical weight control system, on an online weight loss program that it says can help participants lose as much as 10% of their body weight in 10 weeks. As part of the program, Rite Aid has published a 16-page Weight Management guide, which is available at no charge in all Rite Aid stores and at the online site, Michael Johnsen reports. The program also includes a daily action plan, support via emails that educate and inspire participants to stay focused and …
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report doesn't actually use those words, but Mark Dolliver does, and I never balk at an opportunity to pass along his drollery. To wit: Only 31% of adults say they engage in "regular leisure-time physical activity" -- a level that has remained fairly constant during the past 10 years. Still and all, I hope to see you at the gym on Friday, right after you read the roundup of top roundups I'll be compiling at the crack of dawn.