PHARMACY

CVS/pharmacy expands H1N1 inoculation program in California

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has expanded the availability of H1N1 flu vaccine to more than 220 stores throughout California, the pharmacy retailer announced Tuesday.

“We are pleased to be able to expand H1N1 vaccine availability to more CVS/pharmacy locations in California,” stated Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. “H1N1 flu is currently active in many communities and it is likely that we will see increased flu activity, as is typically the case, in January and February.”

Patients who are most at risk for contracting H1N1 and for complications resulting from the flu include pregnant women, individuals ages 6 months through 24 years, household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, and persons ages 25 through 64 years who have health conditions that are associated with higher risk of such medical complications from influenza as asthma and diabetes.

H1N1 flu vaccine is available from coast to coast in 28 states and Washington, D.C. at either CVS/pharmacy or at MinuteClinic. The vaccine is currently 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, 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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Walgreens offering H1N1 vaccinations at all pharmacies, Take Care Clinics nationwide

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. The once-scarce H1N1 vaccine now is available daily at all of the more than 7,100 Walgreens pharmacies and 350 Take Care Clinics throughout the country, Walgreens announced Monday.

With nearly all states lifting priority group vaccination restrictions, Walgreens is able to offer H1N1 vaccine to anyone in those states who wants a vaccination and who meets state age requirements. Priority group vaccination restrictions are still in effect in Hawaii only.

H1N1 vaccinations are available at Walgreens pharmacies on a walk-in basis when an immunizing pharmacist is on staff and also may be available by appointment. Additionally, Take Care Clinics at select Walgreens stores in 19 states have board-certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants who will provide vaccinations on a walk-in basis daily, pending vaccine availability. Age restrictions for pharmacist-administered vaccinations vary by state, while Take Care Clinics can immunize children ages 2 years and above.

“We share with government and health officials nationwide the goal of protecting as many people as possible from the H1N1 virus, while also helping to lessen the impact or prevent a third wave of H1N1 activity,” said Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. “Soon, anyone in the country who wants an H1N1 vaccination will be able to get one. And by offering convenient, affordable access to the vaccine, as well as other health and wellness resources, Walgreens continues to play an integral role in helping people stay well throughout the flu season.”

The cost for the administration of H1N1 vaccine at Walgreens and Take Care Clinics is $18. Vaccinations are covered by Medicare and may be covered by Medicaid and other insurance plans. Consumers are encouraged to check with their insurance provider for coverage details.

For the nearest Walgreens pharmacy, consumers can call 1-800-Walgreens or visit www.walgreens.com/flu. For Take Care Clinic locations, consumers should visit www.takecarehealth.com or call 1-866-Take-Care.

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Teva announces availability of Parkinson’s disease generic

BY Allison Cerra

NORTH WALES, Pa. A generic drug maker has announced the availability of a treatment of the signs and symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.

Pramipexole diHCl tablets are available in a 0.125-mg strength, in a bottle size of 63; and in 0.25-mg, 0.5-mg, 1-mg and 1.5-mg strengths in bottle sizes of 90. The generic is equivalent to Mirapex, which was developed by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.

“Our customers count on Teva for a continuous supply of new generic products,” said Maureen Cavanaugh, VP customer operations and marketing. “With the launch of pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets, we add another quality product to our broad line of affordable generic pharmaceuticals.”

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