Bartell Drugs to offer vaccination program
SEATTLE In preparation for the flu season, Bartell Drugs has announced the launch of a vaccination program that includes in-store vaccinations, pre-paid FluGram cards and a new program targeting businesses.
The 56-store chain kicks off, on Oct. 1, a schedule of more than 70 in-store vaccination clinics. In addition to clinics, many stores are offering shots by appointment or on a walk-in basis. Cost for the shots is $28 and Medicare Part B is accepted.
Bartell is also the exclusive Puget Sound partner with Novartis Vaccines to offer FluGram, a pre-paid gift card that allows patient to reserve influenza vaccinations before and during the influenza season. The FluGram gift cards are available for $28 at all Bartell locations in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.
The FluGram program is designed to make influenza vaccination more convenient and accessible. Vaccinations will be administered by a Bartell pharmacist between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31. The FluGram gift card reserves an influenza vaccination for adults (and children aged 14 to 17, with parent approval) and is valid through Dec. 31, 2008.
For the first time, the pharmacy retailer has launched a flu vaccination program for businesses and groups. Employers may take advantage of the FluGram program, providing the pre-paid vaccination cards to employees and encouraging them to visit a Bartell location on their own. As part of the initiative, the retailer has implemented a “turn-key,” on-site flu shot clinic for groups of 25 or more, including businesses and senior facilities, where Bartell’s pharmacists come to the workplace. Discounts are available depending on the number of employees.
“This is a way for businesses, large and small, to decrease sick time and lost productivity,” stated Wade Schutze, pharmacy district manager at Bartell. “Getting vaccinated against influenza also helps protect those around you who may be at higher risk from complications.”
Study questions Lipitor’s efficacy for women
NEW YORK A study published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies has shown that Pfizer’s blockbuster drug Lipitor does little to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems in women.
The study was based on analysis of previous studies on drugs’ effects on cardiovascular health in men and women. Studies had shown that the reduction in heart attack risk was statistically significant in men who used Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium), but not in women.
“Our findings indicate that each year, reasonably health women spend billions of dollars on drugs in the hope of preventing heart attacks but that scientific evidence supporting their hope does not exist.”
Study shows long-term use of Avonex improves quality of life
MONTREAL Data from a study has shown long-term benefits among patients using Avonex to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis, drug maker Biogen Idec announced Thursday.
The study—called Assessment of Drug Utilization, Early Treatment and Clinical Outcomes, or ASSURANCE—represented a long-term follow-up of patients who participated in the Multiple Sclerosis Collaborative Research Group, the original phase III pivotal trial from which Avonex (interferon beta-1a IM) was approved.
“As a physician, my goal in treating my MS patients is to delay disability progression and help them maintain their normal lifestyle for as long as possible,” said Robert Bermel of the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research at the Cleveland Clinic. “This follow-up study identifies a group of patients who achieved benefits from long-term treatment and underscores the importance of starting on and continuing an effective therapy for MS.”