July 2, 2013

A dramatic increase in the number of women dying from opioid painkiller overdoses has health officials alarmed.

July 1, 2013

In a new article in Men's Health magazine, pharmacists are listed among a number of other health and wellness professionals dubbed "health detectives," and seeing them about certain health problems is described as an alternative to seeing the doctor.

To regular readers of DSN, the idea of pharmacists as the face of neighborhood health care or physician extender is old news. But it's still a relatively new concept to the public at large, and that's why the Men's Health article is such a big deal and why it got a response from National Association of Chain Drug Stores' president and CEO Steven Anderson.

July 1, 2013

At a time when more and more retailers are embracing mobile technology, North America is set to account for one of the highest percentages of tablet sales, according to a new study.

July 1, 2013

Though Walgreens reported an earnings gain of 85 cents per share, that fell short of Wall Street expectations of 91 cents per share. Subsequently, Walgreens' stock dropped from $48.05 before the earnings release to $44.17 at week's end.

But that's a story for day traders. Outside of the numbers, Walgreens outlined a three-point plan to boost front-end performance going forward. Meanwhile, several industry trends across pharmacy is helping to drive business higher behind the bench. So what happens if Walgreens not only continues its earnings growth trajectory, but actually beat Wall Street expectations next time?

June 27, 2013

Specialty pharmacy plays a key role in lowering healthcare costs and improving outcomes, according to a new study.

June 25, 2013

It appears that medication adherence among Americans age 40 years and older ranges from mediocre to worse, according to a new report by a trade group representing independent pharmacies.

June 24, 2013

A recent KPMG survey found that almost half (40%) of retailers will be looking to invest in technology to help grow their respective businesses. And engaging the customer through social media and loyalty apps may become significant, as 37% of retailers expect customer retention is the key to growth while 35% suggested adding to their customer bases is key.

It further illustrates the fact that marketers need to take an omnichannel approach to engage today's consumers.

That significance within social media and loyalty apps is simple, really. Marketers can't expect to generate a trip if they're not effectively reaching the consumer with their marketing messages. After all that's the underlying premise of omnichannel retailing — reaching the consumer with a shopping solution wherever, whenever and however she wants that solution, and then personalizing that solution with the help of big data analytics.

June 24, 2013

Rite Aid reported its third consecutive profitable quarter Thursday, with profits of nearly $90 million, following the introduction of the largest expansion of its Wellness+ loyalty card program, dubbed Wellness65+, and days before the promotion of COO Ken Martindale to president of the company.

The 4,615-store drug chain has been on a roll lately, continuing to benefit from the switch from branded to generic drugs and the retention of last year's dispute between Walgreens and Express Scripts.

June 19, 2013

More responsible use of drugs could save the U.S. healthcare system more than $200 billion per year, according to a new study by the research arm of IMS Health.

June 19, 2013

A large majority of Americans are taking prescription drugs, according to a new study by the Mayo Clinic.

June 18, 2013

Spending on health care will slow down in 2014 despite a flood of new patients who will have insurance, according to a new study.

June 18, 2013

Consumer packaged goods companies and retailers that sell their products have managed to stay strong despite economic difficulty, according to a new report.

June 18, 2013

Memberships in drug store loyalty programs have grown by 45% over the past couple years to total more than 140 million, according to a new report.

June 17, 2013

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.

June 17, 2013

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.

June 14, 2013

Consumers avoid total sugars more than they avoid any specific sweetener, according to a new brand-level consumer attitudes and behavior study about food and beverages from Mintel Research Consultancy.

June 13, 2013

Retail sales are up nearly 5% from one year ago, according to the latest numbers from the Department of Commerce.

June 13, 2013

Most of the growth in jobs in the healthcare sector comes from home health care, according to data released this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

June 11, 2013

Misperceptions and stereotypes about opioid dependence that may affect how it's treated have persisted among the general public and physicians despite increased attention devoted to the issue, according to a new survey.

June 10, 2013

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.

June 10, 2013

Low-calorie sweeteners can be used to prevent and manage Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

June 10, 2013

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?

June 5, 2013

Most Americans have little understanding of the importance of managing fats known as triglycerides to maintain cardiovascular health, according to a new survey.

June 4, 2013

The healthcare reform law will add 6 million Americans to Medicaid and 21 million to affordable insurance exchanges, according to a new study.