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?

December 6, 2013

A study conducted among rural patients at Thrifty White Pharmacy locations in the Midwest and published in the November/December issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association found that patients who received appointment-based medication synchronization were up to six times more likely to adhere to their therapies than those who didn't receive them.

Over the years, study after study has shown that pharmacists can play a crucial role in ensuring that patients take their drugs when they're supposed to and as instructed. And poor medication adherence is no small issue, as studies have shown it costs the country nearly $300 billion per year, in addition to contributing to poor health outcomes. It's been said that improvements in medication adherence can be the equivalent of a blockbuster drug, and according to the National Coalition on Health Care, self-management of chronic diseases could save $10 for every $1 spent.

December 6, 2013

Holiday shopping got a big boost during Thanksgiving weekend, and most of the growth came from shopping on Thanksgiving itself rather than Black Friday, according to a new report.

December 4, 2013

The program to vaccinate children against chickenpox introduced in 1996 does not seem to be behind an increase in recent years in the number of cases of shingles, according to a new study.

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.