06/24/2013 - 10:41am

A new study by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found that the most wasteful healthcare spending stems from poor adherence to medications and that more responsible use of medications could save the U.S. healthcare system more than $200 billion a year.

The study is notable as it further illustrates the importance of medication adherence and, perhaps more significantly, touts the role that pharmacists can play in helping their patients live healthier lives.

06/17/2013 - 2:26pm

Kmart is distancing itself from a parody of its viral "Ship My Pants" ad on YouTube that many are saying goes too far, crossing the line from edgy to racist.

06/17/2013 - 1:36pm

Amazon has announced that it will offer a free, 90-day trial of a new same-day delivery service to customers in the Los Angeles area that includes fresh food. The service, Prime Fresh, is being offered to members of Amazon Prime members, and after 90 days, the company will offer to let them upgrade to Prime Fresh on a permanent basis, for $299 per year, from the current Amazon Prime price of $79 per year. The company tested the program for six years in Seattle and plans to expand it to San Francisco later this year.

As Amazon director and category for U.S. health and beauty told DSN in a profile of the company back in May, Wall Street didn't like the SuperSaver shipping program, and the company spent a net $2.9 billion on shopping in 2012, a 17% increase from the year before, according to its 2012 annual report. But according to one report, Prime actually is quite profitable, and members are among the online retailer's best customers.

06/17/2013 - 12:59pm

A new report by Accenture ACN states that the number of U.S. retail-based health clinics will double and drive $800 in annual cost savings by 2015.

Well, it's not just DSN saying it anymore. The massive ramp up is happening and, according to Accenture, the number of retail clinics is expected to increase 20% to 25% per year between now and 2015 and double from 1,418 to 2,868 clinics in that time period.

06/10/2013 - 10:59am

Beginning July 1, Walgreens will be able to provide tube feeding services to Medicare patients in 97 of 100 competitive-bidding areas nationwide, the healthcare solutions provider announced last week. The contracts are up for renewal every three years.

This is just another example of how Walgreens is transforming its pharmacy business into a center for healthcare solutions — this goes far beyond dispensing and ultimately aims squarely at reducing hospitalization costs, another way that Walgreens is helping payers bend the cost curve. It begs the question: Should traditional suppliers be thinking about the role their products can play as Walgreens develops new business segments like infusion services?

06/10/2013 - 10:30am

The Master of Professional Studies degree program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City recently showcased its final projects at the annual FIT Capstone presentation. This year’s presentation focused on “Beauty in a Digital World.”

Beauty is helping to redefine the customer experience of shopping a drug store and is helping retailers set themselves apart from rivals in a very competitive environment.

06/10/2013 - 10:23am

A 26-member joint panel comprising the Food and Drug Administration's Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs and Drug Safety and Risk Management advisory committees voted to support modifying or removing the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy protocol for GlaxoSmithKline's Type 2 diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone).

Historically, the FDA has followed advisory committee votes when making a decision on the marketing of a drug even though it is not bound by them, but assuming the agency follows the panel's advice, it could mean a lot for the controversial drug and the way it's dispensed. But even if Avandia winds up on retail pharmacy shelves again, it faces a very different landscape from its heyday.

06/03/2013 - 11:31am

Independent pharmacy was provided a social media stepping stone with last week's announcement pairing the National Community Pharmacists Association and RxWiki. The companies announced a joint digital solutions offering that will raise the profile of independents across both social media and mobile platforms.

06/03/2013 - 11:01am

Efforts to create a generic top-level domain for legitimate pharmacy websites gained traction last week when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN - the body that controls what goes into Internet URLs - gave the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy a passing grade for an initial evaluation of its plans for the domain, ".pharmacy."

If successful, the .pharmacy domain will create a powerful new weapon to combat the rise of illegal online pharmacies, which, according to many studies, constitute all but 3% of the websites selling drugs on the Internet. These are the "Canadian" pharmacies selling cheap drugs that one often sees links to on search engines and other websites; despite their supposed provenance, they're usually based in countries where regulations are lax or unenforced.