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Assured sees high rise in same-store sales

BY Alaric DeArment

FRISCO, Texas September same-store sales at Assured Pharmacy increased by 13.5% compared with last year, the specialty pharmacy provider said Thursday.

Assured, which specializes in treating chronic pain, said sales were $1.4 million, or around $66,253 per business day, compared with $1.23 million a year ago.

“We are pleased with our September sales results and our continued patient growth, with 3,064 patients serviced in the month of September,” CEO Robert DelVecchio said. “As these sales figures reflect, we remain on track for increased sales and market share growth, improved earnings at the store level and stronger cash flow.”

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Combining Invirase, Norvir could cause health problems

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. Combining two antiviral drugs for HIV may raise the risks of life-threatening heart problems, the Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday.

The agency said it would require changes to the safety labeling for Genentech’s drug Invirase (saquinavir) following reports that combining it with Abbott’s Norvir (ritonavir) could lead to prolongation of the QT and PR heartbeat intervals. Prolongation of the QT interval could lead to an abnormal heart rhythm condition called torsades de pointes, which can lead to the potentially fatal condition called ventricular fibrillation.

“Patients should talk to their doctor if they have any concerns about their treatment,” FDA Office of Antimicrobial Products director Edward Cox said. “Certain drugs may interact with Invirase and increase the risk of developing these side effects, so patients should be sure to tell their doctor about other medicines they may be taking, including nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.”

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Fresh & Easy gives away more than 200,000 reusable bags in September

BY Allison Cerra

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Regional supermarket chain Fresh & Easy said its promotion of reusable canvas bags has been successful, with more than 200,000 bags given away in September.

Coupons for the free canvas bag were available to customers on mailers and flyers, as well as through the company’s Facebook fan page, Fresh & Easy said. Since opening its first store in November 2007, Fresh & Easy has given away more than 800,000 reusable bags at store openings, events and through giveaways. This past summer, the supermarket chain hosted a bag design contest.

“We are trying to remove barriers for customers so they use and reuse their reusable bags,” said Roberto Munoz, Fresh & Easy neighborhood affairs director. “We’re happy to see customers got excited about the promotion –– we want to engage our customers in making greener choices. We will continue to do these types of giveaways and promotions in the future to help encourage our customers to use reusable bags.”

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