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Coventry Health Care unveils Walgreens, Walmart, Target Medicare plan network

BY Michael Johnsen

BETHESDA, Md. — Coventry Health Care on Saturday announced that it has partnered with Walgreens, Walmart and Target for 2012 to offer a Medicare prescription drug plan known as First Health Value Plus.

As Coventry’s newest Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, First Health Value Plus is the lowest premium, zero-dollar deductible Part D plan in the United States, the company stated.

First Health Value Plus is built on one of the nation’s broadest preferred pharmacy networks and offers lower member co-payments for prescriptions filled at any one of the almost 14,000 combined Walgreens, Walmart and Target pharmacy locations. The preferred network pharmacy benefit design allows members to receive free Tier 1 formulary prescriptions (most generics and select branded drugs) when filled at any Walgreens, Walmart or Target pharmacy before reaching the coverage gap or “donut hole.” As a result, First Health Value Plus will potentially provide hundreds of dollars in annual savings to Medicare beneficiaries and be a competitive alternative versus the lowest premium stand-alone Part D plan that includes a deductible.

“In these challenging economic times, we believe our new Part D plan brings great value to beneficiaries and the Medicare program by establishing broad access to prescriptions through the most recognized names in the pharmacy and retail business, low monthly premiums, and no deductible, all of which are important to seniors," stated Nancy Cocozza, SVP Medicare at Coventry Health Care.

Also as part of the offering, Coventry will be mailing vouchers to enrolled First Health Value Plus members for health and well-being products, such as multivitamins and calcium tablets, which can be redeemed at any preferred pharmacy. "For the first time, we’ve also included value-added well-being items that are available only through our preferred partners," Cocozza noted.


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Rite Aid to deliver flu shots to commuters at Grand Central Terminal

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid will sponsor a flu vaccination clinic at New York’s Grand Central Terminal to help prevent flu and raise money for a charity for families affected by 9/11, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

The "Rite Aid Shield Yourself, New York" event will take place at Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall on Wednesday and Thursday, from the morning through the evening, with pharmacists on hand to administer shots.

For every flu shot administered at the event, Rite Aid will donate $3 to Tuesday’s Children, a nonprofit that supports families of 9/11 victims and first responders. In addition, the company will distribute free donation tickets to commuters passing through the hall, donating $3 to the charity for everyone who presents a Grand Central Terminal donation ticket when purchasing a flu shot or flu shot gift card at any Rite Aid store.


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FDA approves Sagent antibiotic

BY Alaric DeArment

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic antibiotic made by Sagent Pharmaceuticals, Sagent said.

The drug maker announced the approval of clindamycin injection, which the company said was the 12th product approved under its joint venture with Strides Arcolab, under which Strides is responsible for developing and supplying injectable products that Sagent markets in the United States.

The market for injectable clindamycin this year is about $65 million, according to IMS Health.


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