PHARMACY

CVS opens new Manhattan flagship store near Grand Central Station

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK CVS recently opened the doors to its new flagship Manhattan store that incorporates many of the elements of its Project Life design and has a large beauty department and skin care center.

The 24-hour store is located at 42nd Street and 3rd Avenue, just a stone’s throw away from a Duane Reade store that sits on the corner of 43rd and 3rd.

While other CVS locations in Manhattan incorporate some elements of the company’s Project Life design, this new location is by far the largest to do so, with its 12,000-square-foot footprint—quite large by New York City’s standards. CVS currently has just over 30 stores in the borough of Manhattan.

Developed with the idea that women are the company’s core shopper, the Project Life format includes such elements as lower gondolas and wider aisles to make it easier to shop, and these elements are clearly evident in this new flagship location.

Upon entering the store—which is in a prime traffic area, as it sits near Grand Central Station—shoppers are immediately greeted by a digital photo area on their left and a staffed Healthy Skincare Center, a European-style high-end beauty boutique, on their right, just past the grocery-style checkout and self-checkout lanes.

The large beauty department, which is called out by the light turquoise-colored overhead and shelf signage, also includes the Boots brand and an end cap featuring the retailer’s new exclusive 24.7 Skincare line. The 24.7 collection, which will be available nationwide in December, includes a targeted wrinkle treatment for $39.99; firming anti-aging eye serum for $29.99; smoothing anti-aging moisturizer for $29.99; daily purifying facial scrub for $15.99; and instant plump volumizing lip shine for $19.99.

The retailer also is clearly highlighting Lumene, the cosmetic and skin care brand from Finland that is found in the United States at CVS, as there is a large, illuminated display adjacent to the brightly lit Healthy Skincare Center. Also illuminated is the skin care aisle.

The pharmacy is located at the rear of the store. According to a company spokesperson, it is set up to house a MinuteClinic in-store health clinic. However, as of Nov. 30, a clinic was not in operation nor was there any signage indicating when an opening would take place. It would mark the first MinuteClinic in Manhattan.

In typical CVS fashion, the store is easy to shop as each department is color-coded and highlighted with signage that pops from the shelf and hangs overhead. For example, the beauty department has light turquoise-colored signage; the household area has darker blue/turquoise-colored signage; the health department is green; the food and beverage department is pink; and the digital photo area is orange.

The store, which has light-colored hardwood flooring around the perimeter that encases blue carpeting covering the center of the floor, also features a “coupon center” where shoppers can scan their ExtraCare loyalty card to see what savings are available.

Click here to see more photos.

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PHARMACY

RPCS to expand $3 generics program to Food Pyramid

BY Allison Cerra

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. A regional, employee-owned company is set to celebrate the successful one-year anniversary of its $3 generic drug program by expanding its services.

RPCS, based in Springfield, Mo., launched its $3 generics program last year at its 20 pharmacies located inside the corporation’s four regional chains: Ramey, Price Cutter, Price Cutter Plus and Smitty’s grocery stores.

For Black Friday this year, the company debuted a similar program at nine pharmacies in Food Pyramid stores in the Tulsa area.

The $3 price applies to specific generic drugs with up to a 30-day supply of commonly prescribed dosages. Quantities over 30 days or above recommended common dosages will be at usual and customary pricing.

Since its launch, RPCS’ pharmacists have filled more than 100,000 prescriptions.

“Senior citizens, as you would imagine, make up a large portion of customers taking advantage of the program,” Larry Storey, pharmacy administrator for RPCS, said. “However, we’ve found that everyone appreciates saving money. We’ve filled $3 generics for people from all walks of life and all age groups. We’ve actually saved the customer anywhere from $5 to $20 for each prescription on the list.”

The top five generics that customers are purchasing on the program are metformin, used to treat diabetes; hydrochlorothiazide, diuretic for cardiac patients; levothyroxine, for thyroid patients; lisinopril, to treat high blood pressure; and amoxicillin, an antibiotic.

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PHARMACY

UCB files application with FDA for new pain reliever

BY Allison Cerra

BRUSSELS, Belgium Belgian pharmaceutical group UCB said on Thursday that it has filed a drug application with the Food and Drug Administration for its pain-relieving drug, according to Reuters.

Lacosamide, designed to treat epilepsy and pain associated with diabetic neuropaths, was filed to become an additional therapy in the treatment of partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy and includes three formulations—tablets, syrup and intravenous injection, UCB said in a statement.

The drug’s proposed trade name is Vimpat.

UCB made a similar filing with the European Medicines Agency earlier this year, Reuters reported. The Belgian company already has blockbuster drug Keppra to treat epilepsy, although patent protection is set to expire in the United States by January 2009 and in Europe in May 2010.

Reuters also reported that the company’s other drug, with the proposed trade name Rikelta, is in Phase III trials to treat epilepsy and genetic epilepsy disorder Unverricht Lundborg Disease, while lacosamide is in Phase II trials for fibromyalgia, migraine prophylaxis and osteoarthritic pain.

UCB had also sought approval from the U.S. authorities for lacosamide to treat adults with diabetic neuropathic pain in tablet formation. The condition is often described as causing patients to feel a stabbing and burning sensation in the legs, feet or hands. Close to 7.7 million Americans suffer from the condition.

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