December 3, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a set of recommendations on collaborative practice agreements between pharmacists and physicians in an effort to improve healthcare quality, under a partnership with the American Pharmacists Association's philanthropic wing.

December 3, 2013

Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

December 2, 2013

Rite Aid announced Monday the promotion of Karen Staniforth to group VP pharmacy initiatives and clinical services from her current position of VP pharmacy for the chain's mid-Atlantic division. In her new position, Staniforth will oversee the company's strategy around the Wellness Ambassadors, specially trained staff who walk the aisles of the stores and provide information on health and wellness products and programs, as well as serve as a "bridge" between the front end and the pharmacy.

From the beginning, Wellness Ambassadors have been a crucial part of Rite Aid's Wellness store remodel program, and early on, John Standley, its chairman and CEO, noted that Wellness stores with Wellness Ambassadors showed stronger sales than those without them. As of the chain's second-quarter 2014, the results of which it announced in September, there were 1,700 Wellness Ambassadors at 1,019 stores.

December 2, 2013

Vaccines have prevented an estimated 100 million cases of serious childhood contagious diseases in the nearly 90 years since the vaccine for pertussis, or whooping cough, became available, according to a new study.

December 2, 2013

Patients who received appointment-based medication synchronization were up to six times more likely to adhere to their therapies than those who didn't, according to a study of patients at rural Thrifty White Pharmacy locations in the Midwest published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

December 2, 2013

Canada's Jean Coutu Group is helping to bolster holiday sales with the launch of its "e-store window" inside the Longueuil Metro Station. Commuters will be able to shop a wall of deals using their smartphones with delivery before Dec. 24.

It's not really an example of thinking outside the box, as much as it's eliminating the concept of a box altogether. It's an extension of the Jean Coutu brand name into a space typically associated with billboard-style advertising, only stoppers-by can shop the space as easily as they do in the store or online.

November 26, 2013

The number of patients receiving prescriptions for statins is expected to increase modestly following new cholesterol recommendations from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, according to a new report.

November 22, 2013

A new report released by Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix shows that the Canadian healthcare system could save C$1.4 billion to C$1.9 billion by expanding the role of pharmacists.

While there are some important differences between the healthcare systems in the United States and Canada, both face common problems, in particular, a rising burden of chronic disease and rising costs. But they also have in common a way to alleviate some of the burden on physicians and some of the costs: increasing the kinds of services that pharmacists can provide.

November 22, 2013

Walgreens on Thursday announced the appointment of Sona Chawla, president of e-commerce, as president of digital and chief marketing officer. In this new role, Chawla will lead a newly created Digital and Marketing Division, establishing a unified and integrated digital, enterprise-wide marketing, and customer loyalty and insights group to advance Walgreens “Well Experience” strategy and vision to be the first choice in health and daily living in America and beyond, Walgreens stated.

Chawla is a brilliant thinker and tech wiz whose e-commerce strategies have helped Walgreens forge new relationships with customers however they engage with Walgreens — now she brings that expertise to a global marketing role for the company at a time when digitization and big data-driven insights are bringing a greater degree of personalization to customer engagement efforts.

November 22, 2013

On Nov. 18, the Senate passed by voice vote the Drug Quality and Security Act, sending to president Barack Obama's desk legislation that implements federal tracking and tracing of drugs and strengthens federal regulations on pharmacy compounding.

The bipartisan bill, which has the support of such trade groups as the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, ties up a couple of problematic loose ends in the pharmaceutical supply chain, namely the so-called "downstream" supply chain, which refers to the path that drugs take from their manufacturers to providers and patients, as well as sterile compounding.

November 21, 2013

While drug companies are developing treatments for a wide variety of diseases, the greatest amount of mid- to late-stage research and development activity is in cancer treatments, according to a new report.

November 20, 2013

Use of injectable drugs for multiple sclerosis declined during the 12-month period that ended on June 30 as orally administered drugs for the condition became more popular, according to a new report.

November 19, 2013

A big majority of consumers plan to use their phones during the holiday season to do more than just check prices, according to a new consumer survey.

November 19, 2013

Global spending on drugs will pass the $1 trillion mark next year, according to a new study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, a division of healthcare market analysis firm IMS Health.

November 18, 2013

The global market for biosimilars is expected to be worth nearly $2 billion before the end of the decade, according to a new study.

November 15, 2013

Rite Aid is testing a revamped beauty section in at least one of its Genuine Well Being stores, in New York's West Village. Dubbed Beauty Vision, the section features a wider assortment of brands, a spruced-up look and a Beauty Vision adviser who can help customers learn about various brands and products. The chain is promoting the new concept with a special event on Tuesday featuring Eddie Funkhouser, creator of the eponymous cosmetic brand.

Assuming president Obama's healthcare reform initiative works out - notwithstanding the rough start it's had so far - and tens of millions of uninsured Americans get healthcare coverage, it's going to mean a lot of potential new customers for pharmacy retailers. But while that will drive script count and get people through the door, it will also drive pharmacy margins down. This means retailers will need to do more to make themselves stand out in the front end, and one of the best ways to do that is with beauty.

DSN took a close look at Rite Aid's new beauty concept this week. See it for yourself.

November 15, 2013

An experimental human papillomavirus vaccine made by Merck could offer a boost to the vaccine market, but the company will have to use effective marketing efforts to ensure uptake, according to a new study.

November 15, 2013

The value of drugs approved in the United States this year could reach almost $19 billion in sales five years after their launch, exceeding the value of drugs approved in 2012, according to a new report.

November 14, 2013

Antiretroviral drugs have allowed people with HIV to live normal life spans, but because of this, they also are susceptible to many new health complications, according to care guidelines released Thursday by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

November 14, 2013

Domestic violence has devastating effects on families, but new research also links it to chronic disease in women and calls on healthcare professionals to do more to determine whether there may be a link between the two in patients.

November 12, 2013

As patients face higher out-of-pocket costs for drugs and more complex treatment plans, they expect greater focus on their needs, like they would get from retail, which creates new opportunities for drug manufacturers, according to a new report from PwC.

November 8, 2013

The retail industry added 37,600 jobs in October, and 295,000 year-over-year, according to a new report by a retail industry trade group.

November 8, 2013

A proposed rule from the Food and Drug Administration would effectively eliminate artificial trans fats from foods in the United States by classifying partially hydrogenated oils as unsafe food additives and thus permitting them only in certain cases.

In its proposal, the FDA emphasized that it would give manufacturers of foods that contain trans fats enough time to reformulate their recipes in order to minimize market disruptions by spreading out the initial cost of about $8 billion over a number of years. While trans fats have been eliminated from most foods already, foods that still contain them include frozen pizzas, microwave popcorn, margarines and some dessert foods.

November 8, 2013

The Senate this past week heard legislation that would reverse the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandating a prescription on the sale of an over-the-counter medicine being paid for through a flexible spending account. All those in the retail pharmacy industry are staunch supporters of the legislation.

And that's because retail pharmacy gets it. It's not about the sales — has anyone ever heard of a consumer who decided not to purchase a pain reliever or cough syrup because it wasn't an eligible FSA purchase without a trip to their doctor? No. That person doesn't exist — they'll buy the same amount of OTCs to cure what's ailing them with an FSA as without an FSA. No, it's about the value inherent within OTCs. It's about tapping into that value to the benefit of both consumers and overall health care.