PHARMACY

CutisPharma, Rite Aid partner to offer compounding services

BY Michael Johnsen

WOBURN, Mass. CutisPharma, which develops products for prescription compounding, on Wednesday announced a partnership with Rite Aid that will enable the chain to offer compounding services chainwide.

CutisPharma reported it will begin distribution of its FIRST Unit-of-Use Prescription Compounding Kits, which features pre-measured and pre-weighed components.

“Our FIRST Unit-of-Use compounding kits are user-friendly, save compounding time by over 70 percent and can be compounded by a Rite Aid pharmacist while the patient waits, increasing Rite Aid customer satisfaction and eliminating the need for an extra trip to the pharmacy,” stated Indu Muni, chairman and chief executive officer of CutisPharma.

In addition, a single National Drug Code number assigned for the entire kit for each product simplifies the third-party reimbursement process and reduces audit related adjustments, CutisPharma claimed.

According to CutisPharma research, it is estimated that approximately 30 million retail and hospital outpatient compounded prescriptions are prepared annually in the United States. About 1 percent of all prescriptions are compounded; and the U.S. market alone for compounding, at the consumer level, represents an estimated $1 billion annually.

CutisPharma currently has nine proprietary prescription compounding kits in the market, including five strengths of progesterone suppository compounding kits; two testosterone kits; one hydrocortisone kit; and one Magic Mouthwash kit.

The company plans to introduce several more compounding kits in late 2008 and 2009.

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PHARMACY

Los Angeles pharmacies report no quake damage

BY Doug Desjardins

LOS ANGELES A 5.4 magnitude earthquake shook Los Angeles on Tuesday but caused no injuries or damage at area drug stores, though a few CVS stores were forced to shut down temporarily.

“A couple of our stores were closed temporarily to clean up merchandise that fell off the shelves during the quake,” said CVS director of public relations Mike DeAngelis. “But we haven’t received any reports of stores significantly damaged by today’s earthquake.”

As of 3:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday, none of the major area retailers including Walgreens, Rite-Aid and Longs Drug reported any damage to stores. The quake centered in the Chino Hills area outside Los Angeles caused some water mains to break but no major structural damage to bridges, buildings or roads. 

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Jewel-Osco launches pharmacy discount plan

BY Doug Desjardins

MELROSE PARK, Ill. Jewel-Osco stores have launched an unprecedented tie-in between their pharmacies and supermarkets with the Prescription Plus program that offers discount coupons for frequent pharmacy purchases.

Jewel-Osco pharmacy customers will receive a 10 percent discount coupon for every five prescriptions they fill at any one of 184 Jewel-Osco stores in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. The coupons can be redeemed at the checkout stand for purchases made in the supermarket.

“Prescription Plus is Jewel-Osco Pharmacy’s way of responding to tough economic challenges many of our customers face today,” said Tom Rousonelos, vice president of Osco pharmacy operations. “Jewel-Osco aims to offer the most value-added pharmacy experience available.”

The plan will also count transferred prescriptions and refills toward the five prescriptions needed for the discount coupon. Supervalu indicated there are some restrictions on redeeming the coupons at checkout but was not specific.

In addition to prescriptions, the purchase of other services offered at Jewel-Osco pharmacies including immunizations and screenings will apply to Prescription Plus discounts.

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