January 9, 2014

Vulnerable patients, including seniors and cancer patients, suffer from lack of access to needed painkillers as efforts to combat diversion and misuse of controlled substances often result in drugs not getting into the hands of those who need them, according to a new pharmacist survey by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

January 9, 2014

Probiotics is another large-scale source of growth for the vitamins, minerals and supplements category, having realized a 33% rate of growth, or an increase in sales of $121 million in the last year, noted Doug Jones, Pharmavite spokesman.

January 9, 2014

Food and beverage manufacturers in the United States exceeded the goal to remove calories from their products by 400%, according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

January 9, 2014

Ninety percent of people today want to have a say in important decisions regarding their health care, but only a small percentage are certain they'll have the recommended amount of savings needed to cover health expenses after retirement, according to a new study.

January 8, 2014

Everything from lack of motivation to stress can cause people to find maintaining a healthy diet difficult, according to a new survey by a company that makes stevia-based sweeteners.

January 8, 2014

While snacking has become increasingly popular among Americans, often even replacing regular meals, many companies also have been developing salty snack foods that are healthier, according to a new study.

January 7, 2014

Growth in health spending has slowed in recent years, including spending by private and public payers, according to data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that also found a small contribution to the lower growth from the healthcare reform law.

January 6, 2014

The ability of most accountable care organizations to promote optimal use of medications has not yet been developed, according to a new study.

January 6, 2014

Diabetic users of an online patient portfolio for medication refills improved their adherence to cholesterol-lowering medications and improved their cholesterol levels, according to a new study.

January 3, 2014

According to reports, as many as 2.1 million Americans signed up for new insurance coverage that went into effect Jan. 1. However, even though these newly insured people had coverage, what they perhaps didn't have was the identification card to process claims, such as prescriptions, for example. But don't worry, retail pharmacy was fast to the rescue, offering those 2.1 million patients who had obtained insurance through a health exchange the benefit of the doubt and a 30-day supply of their prescriptions at no upfront cost once their coverage was verified.

December 20, 2013

Walgreens posted a first-quarter sales increase of 5.9% to a record $18.3 billion. Front-end comparable store sales for the quarter increased 2.4% in the first quarter, customer traffic in comparable stores increased 0.2% and basket size increased 2.2%, while total sales in comparable stores increased 5.4%. Prescription sales, which accounted for 64.7% of sales in the quarter ended Nov. 30, increased 7.3%, while prescription sales in comparable stores increased 7.2%.

Front-end comps are up. Prescription comps are up. Business is good. And that's not the story. Rather, that's the kind of results you can expect from the story. The story is Walgreens is priming a three-pistoned growth engine that will quite likely drive what pharmacy will look like in the future — an efficient global supply chain beast that feeds a front-end that commands traffic in its own right, and a back-end that demands healthcare payers pay attention to how Walgreens can help improve adherence and patient-care metrics. So, how can suppliers better align with Walgreens?

December 19, 2013

While more than half of Americans don't agree with legalizing the sale and possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, most also say that if legal, it should be sold at pharmacies, according to a new survey.

December 19, 2013

Rite Aid announced its third-quarter 2014 sales Thursday, showing higher total and same-store sales and profits than third quarter 2013, as well as continued growth in programs like the Wellness store format, Wellness65+ and others.

The main story surrounding Rite Aid over the past couple of years has been its efforts to engineer a turnaround, but the message from Thursday was, "Rite Aid more or less has turned around, so what's next?"

December 18, 2013

A new study has found a significant increase in the number of high school students who report having abused a common prescription drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, even as abuse of other prescription drugs has decreased or remained low.

December 18, 2013

The U.S. healthcare system saved $217 billion in 2012 thanks to the use of generic drugs, according to a new report by a generic drug industry trade group.

December 17, 2013

Forty blockbuster drugs will use patent exclusivity in the United States between this year and 2020, according to a new study.

December 17, 2013

Consumer advocates worry that misconceptions and fears about the safety and effectiveness of flu vaccines are hindering efforts to get children vaccinated, according to a new survey.

December 16, 2013

Small and craft brewers contributed nearly $34 billion to the U.S. economy last year, according to a new analysis by a beer-brewing trade group.

December 13, 2013

According to published reports, Express Scripts may be looking to start a "price war" among the makers of the latest generation of drugs for hepatitis C — which promise much shorter treatment times than standard therapies, but also cost significantly more — in an effort to bring down prices.

The stakes are certainly high. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 3.2 million people in the United States chronically infected with hepatitis C and hence at risk for liver cancer, and the CDC recommends that anyone born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for the virus.

December 13, 2013

Getting the flu shot prevented a flu-like illness for 6.6 million people last season, according to the CDC. In addition, it prevented 3.2 million medically attended illnesses and 79,000 hospitalizations. Not getting the flu shot can have adverse consequences, such as not going on that long-awaited vacation. According to a Walgreens survey, more than 11 million Americans had to change their vacation plans on account of the flu last year, most likely among families that didn't get their flu shots across the board.

Getting the flu shot works. But how much has being able to get that flu shot at the local retail pharmacy influenced the number of people getting a flu shot? More people are certainly taking advantage of the service. Walgreens recently reported that shots administered at pharmacies and clinics through November were more than 6.1 million versus nearly 4.6 million last year.

December 11, 2013

While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will undoubtedly reshape the U.S. healthcare industry for years to come, it is only one of many factors that will emerge next year, according to a new report.

December 10, 2013

Only a quarter of respondents to a new survey would call a doctor for advice when someone at home has the flu, despite widespread recognition of it as serious and of the need for vaccination.

December 9, 2013

A survey of more than 1,000 independent pharmacists finds that acquisition costs for generic drugs have spiked by as much as 1,000% this year.

December 6, 2013

McKesson's Health Mart pharmacy franchisees recently gained access to a tool that has the potential of giving community pharmacy a leg up on the competition in the coming years. EQuIPP, from Pharmacy Quality Solutions, does just that — equips independents with individual store data that marks the performance of their pharmacy vs. a national benchmark.

It's putting the pestle where the mortar is — retail pharmacy has the patient touchpoints and data-tracking wherewithal to make a material impact on patient outcomes. Important, because that's what the new year will bring — more and more healthcare payers looking to improve their own patient outcomes. And what better way to do it than to partner with outperforming pharmacies?