PHARMACY

CVS Caremark highlights energy-saving measures

BY Drug Store News Team

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark detailed its efforts to better manage its energy consumption and reduce its carbon emissions in the company’s just-released “2009 Corporate Social Responsibility” report.

To reduce consumption at its stores, CVS Caremark focused on several initiatives in 2009, including installing more efficient lighting and new roofs designed to reflect heat, and integrating its first energy management systems.

In other moves, the company evaluated renewable energy sources, built new facilities to LEED standards and/or environmental considerations and reduced fuel consumption in its distribution networks.

Three lighting projects in the states of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania yielded the highest savings of 2,640 MWh, 3,480 MWh and 1,850 MWh, respectively. In addition, the retail pharmacy chain rolled out its computer-controlled energy management system in 50 stores in Florida, and will expand the system to 250 locations in 2010.

In the area of transportation, CVS Caremark has reduced the driving speed of its private fleet to 63 miles per hour, and consolidated its deliveries, which has eliminated 6,541 routes across the network. This resulted in nearly 1.2 million fewer miles driven and a savings of 218,730 gallons of fuel. It also prevented the emissions of 2,260 tonnes of CO2.

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PHARMACY

Asda to sell cancer drugs on ‘not-for-profit’ basis

BY Alaric DeArment

LEEDS, U.K. A retailer in the United Kingdom said Thursday it would become the first to sell cancer drugs to customers at cost.

Asda, one of the country’s largest retailers and a division of Walmart, said it would sell the drugs on a “not-for-profit” basis. For example, AstraZeneca’s lung cancer drug Iressa (gefitinib) will sell for $3,112.73, compared with prices ranging from more than $3,734.92 to $4,671.97 at other retailers, based on present currency exchange rates.

“The crippling cost of paying privately for cancer treatments has forced many people to spend their savings or even re-mortgage their house to pay for these essential drugs,” Asda superintendent pharmacist John Evans said. “We are the first retailer to recognize this injustice and to do something about it, and we are calling on other retailers to follow our lead.”

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Salix receives patent for IBS treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

RALEIGH, N.C. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to Salix Pharmaceuticals for a drug to treat irritable bowel syndrome, Salix said Thursday.

The patent, 7,718,608, will protect the drug Xifaxan (rifaximin) until August 2019. Salix is producing and marketing the drug under license from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

“The issuance of the ‘608 patent is yet another example of how we have strengthened the intellectual property protection for rifaximin over the past 18 months,” Salix CEO Carolyn Logan said. “We view patent protection as an essential component of our product life-cycle management strategy to protect the indications in development as well as the products in our portfolio.”

Salix’s announcement comes the day after Soligenix received a patent for beclomethasone dipropionate, also for IBS.

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