PHARMACY

CVS Caremark expands H1N1 vaccinations to more locations

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark is now providing H1N1 flu vaccinations at select CVS/pharmacy locations in Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania and New York, as well at MinuteClinic locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The eight states are among many that have lifted priority group restrictions, allowing all patients to be eligible to receive the shot while supplies last.

“Our customers depend on CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic for their health care needs, so we are pleased to be able to expand H1N1 vaccine availability to these additional states,” stated Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. “H1N1 flu is currently active in many communities across the country and it is likely that we will see increased flu activity, as is typically the case, in January and February.”

CVS Caremark continues to expand the availability of H1N1 vaccine in its stores and retail health clinics across the country and the vaccine now is available in 28 states and Washington, DC at either CVS/pharmacy or at MinuteClinic.

H1N1 vaccine is being offered at:

  • Select CVS/pharmacy locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii (Longs Drugs stores), Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
  • MinuteClinic locations in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The cost of the H1N1 flu vaccination shot at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic is a $15 administration fee, which may be covered by insurance.

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PHARMACY

GTx seeks approval for prostate cancer drug

BY Alaric DeArment

MEMPHIS, Tenn. GTx has submitted an approval application to the Food and Drug Administration for a drug to prevent bone fractures in prostate cancer patients using androgen deprivation therapy, the Memphis, Tenn.-based drug maker announced Tuesday.

The drug, toremifene, is an oral selective estrogen receptor modulator. The company wants to make the drug available in the 80 mg strength. 

“[Androgen deprivation therapy] has helped improve survival for men with advanced prostate cancer,” GTx chief executive officer Mitchell Steiner said in a statement. “Unfortunatley, ADT may cause unintended serious estrogen deficiency side effects, such as high risk of fractures, which can shorten survival.”

Steiner said that toremifene would be the first cancer care agent for preventing fractures in men receiving ADT if approved. 

Ipsen has licensed European rights for toremifene from GTx and will submit an approval application in 2009. 

A phase 3 trial of 1,382 prostate cancer patients receiving ADT indicated that toremifene reduced morphometric vertebral fractures compared to placebo. GTx has requested priority review from the FDA for toremifene due to the lack of a drug for decreasing bone fractures in patients receiving ADT.

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Giant Food launches free antibiotic prescription program

BY Antoinette Alexander

LANDOVER, Md. Giant Food is launching a free antibiotic prescription program that will run from Jan. 2 to March 21 in all Giant pharmacies.

The program covers 36 generic antibiotics in nine basic categories. The retailer is supporting the program with television ads, physician outreach, in-store communication and an expanded Web presence.

“Free antibiotics is the latest good news our pharmacies are offering the public,” stated Andrea Astrachan, consumer advisor for Giant Food. “We also offer up to a 90-day supply on over 350 commonly prescribed generic drugs for only $9.99.”

The company operates 182 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. Within its 182 stores, 163 have full service pharmacies.

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