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Briefs

Parkview’s asthma aid nets award

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday presented the 2013 National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management to Parkview’s comprehensive asthma education and care navigation team.

Parkview Health is one of only three winners this year.

Susan Hedman, EPA regional administrator, said Parkview’s program “helps asthma patients lead healthier, more active lives.”

“Parkview’s program is a national model for educating patients about actions they can take to manage asthma, a disease that affects nearly 26 million people,” Hedman said in a statement.

Mike Flynn, director of EPA’s Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, described Parkview’s asthma program as innovative.

Walgreen accused of pricing schemes

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster sued Walgreen Co. on Tuesday, accusing the nation’s largest pharmacy chain of overcharging customers and using deceptive display advertising and pricing schemes.

Koster filed the suit in Kansas City, Mo., and announced details in St. Louis. The lawsuit seeks an injunction forcing the Chicago-based chain to stop the allegedly deceptive practices. It also seeks unspecified fines and damages.

“My concern is this is not sloppiness – this is a business practice that is consciously intending to steal from sick people that go into Walgreens, from old people that go into Walgreens,” Koster said.

Walgreen spokesman Jim Graham said the company has not seen the lawsuit and declined to comment.

The company settled pricing practice lawsuits with California and Wisconsin this year.

Starbucks to promote snack bars, fruit packs

Starbucks says it will start rolling out its own brand of snack bars and fruit pouches, marking yet another push into the packaged food category.

The Evolution Harvest snacks will begin appearing in U.S. cafes next week, with plans to reach all major metropolitan markets by the end of September.

The bars and Evolution Fresh bottled juices, which are already in about a third of the company’s U.S. cafes, are also being sold at Whole Foods supermarkets.

In Starbucks cafes, the Evolution fruit-and-nut bars will cost $1.95 and replace the Kind bars the chain currently sells for the same price. The Evolution freeze-dried fruit packs will cost $2.50 and replace the $2 Peeled fruit packs.

Starbucks says it’s using a third-party supplier to make the snacks, which is likely cheaper than paying for other name brands like Kind or Peeled.

Top Penney investor to shed entire stake

J.C. Penney’s biggest investor, William Ackman, plans to sell his entire stake in the struggling department store operator for about $504.4 million – a loss of around $470 million from what he paid for it.

The move comes two weeks after Ackman resigned from J.C. Penney Co.’s board as part of a deal to resolve an unusually public battle between the activist investor and the retailer.

Pershing Square Capital Management’s Ackman disclosed plans in a regulatory filing late Monday to sell his nearly 18 percent interest – or 39.1 million shares.

On Tuesday, Ackman said the shares will be priced at $12.90 each, about 3 percent below Monday’s $13.35 closing price.

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