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

Bristol-Myers Squibb is selling its diabetes business to AstraZeneca for up to $4.3 billion as part of an effort to focus more on specialty drugs, the company said Thursday.

December 19, 2013

Diplomat has become a distributor of a new cancer drug made by Genentech, Diplomat said Thursday.

December 19, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Thursday announced the need for legislation in Pennsylvania to protect independent pharmacy operators there.

December 18, 2013

Actelion has launched a topical gel used to treat a kind of skin cancer, the company said.

December 18, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency will share data about studies meant to show whether generic drugs are equivalent to their branded counterparts, under a joint program announced Wednesday.

December 18, 2013

AmerisourceBergen on Wednesday announced a CMS Star measure improvement initiative for members of the Good Neighbor Pharmacy network, a group of more than 3,200 independent pharmacies across the nation.

December 18, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug made by GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the agency said Wednesday.

December 18, 2013

Lupin has launched a generic drug for treating HIV, following its victory in a patent-infringement suit in federal court, the Indian drug maker said Wednesday.

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 18, 2013

UnitedHealthcare on Wednesday announced the winners of the 2013 UnitedHealthcare Medication Adherence Targeted Intervention Program Challenge benefiting the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation.

December 17, 2013

Three organizations will receive part of $1.3 million in funding that German drug maker Merck KGaA and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society are distributing for MS research.

December 17, 2013

Nearly 1,200 seniors have complained to Medicare this year about a litany of problems with mail-order pharmacies, including shipping unneeded medication and going without medication due to delayed shipments, the National Community Pharmacists Association noted Tuesday citing documentation recently released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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 16, 2013

Endo Health Solutions will acquire the maker of a patch used to treat migraines that received Food and Drug Administration approval at the beginning of this year.

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

Navarro Discount Pharmacy, which operates 33 locations in Southern Florida, has introduced a compliance packaging program, EZ Meds Medicine Packaging System, that organizes a patient’s prescription medications into individual packets with labels and instructions.

December 13, 2013

A recent study commissioned by Intel revealed that patients are ready to embrace personalized care, all the way down to medications for their specific genetic makeup, and they want the freedom to get health care wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them.

Why is this important? Personalization — whether it is customized coupons and marketing or prescription medications — is here and will be critical in 2014. Consumers want more, and in the face of rising healthcare costs and a strained health care system, their healthcare is no exception.

December 13, 2013

Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts hopes to drive down the cost of new drugs to treat hepatitis C by pitting their manufacturers against each other, according to published reports.

December 13, 2013

Alliance Boots is expanding its network of independent pharmacists operating under the Alphega Pharmacy banner, according to a report published by RetailWeek Friday.

December 12, 2013

A panel of experts at the Food and Drug Administration has recommended approval for an experimental biotech drug under development by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca for a group of rare metabolic disorders.

December 12, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association urged U.S. Senators on the Senate Finance Committee to support a proposal intended to expand coverage in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program of medication therapy management programs.

December 11, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic versions of a drug used to treat depression and other conditions, the agency said.

December 11, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration is planning to limit the use of antimicrobials in food animals in an effort to stem the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the agency said Wednesday.