PHARMACY

CVS/pharmacy’s new iPad App features 3-D virtual store, digital pharmacy experience

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy has launched a first-of-its-kind interactive app, delivering a virtual 3-D digital drug store experience for customers using Apple iPads.

With the new CVS iPad app, customers can explore a virtual 3-D CVS/pharmacy and access services from the pharmacy, ExtraCare, photo center and MinuteClinic, as well as browse departments to shop.

Designed to present a fun and interactive pathway to shop CVS/pharmacy and fill prescriptions, the CVS iPad app was developed using technologies that bring to life a customized drug store that customers can access with their fingertips, on-the-go or from the comfort and privacy of their own home. 

"As a pharmacy innovation company, CVS/pharmacy is committed to deploying new and emerging digital technologies that empower our customers on their path to better health," stated Brian Tilzer, SVP and chief digital officer for CVS/pharmacy. "The new CVS iPad app provides the millions of customers who visit CVS.com on a tablet device each month with a virtual feeling of visiting their neighborhood CVS/pharmacy from their home or on the go. Our app makes it unbelievably easy for customers to shop, fill prescriptions, manage their ExtraCare accounts and more through a highly personalized experience and 3-D realism."

Available for free on iTunes, the CVS iPad app incorporates an interactive, user-friendly, virtual CVS/pharmacy interface that relies on gesture-based movements that are native to touchscreen tablet environments. Tapping on popular areas of the store from the home screen will launch mini apps for different parts of the store, including:

  • Pharmacy services with enhanced prescription management: With the swipe of a finger, customers can scroll through all their prescriptions in a matter of seconds and take actions, including scheduling refills and viewing prescriptions available for pickup. Caregivers can manage prescriptions for themselves and their families using native tablet functionality, such as drag-and-drop, and easily sort by patient name and refill status. Patients also can view prescription details instantly with zoom-in detail screens and scan-in refills using the iPad camera (supported on iPad 3 and above).

  • ExtraCare with coupon center: Shoppers can sign in to manage their ExtraCare savings and rewards by clicking the ExtraCare Coupon Center. The ExtraCare mini app allows visitors to check their balances or sign up for additional ExtraCare programs, such as Beauty Club, ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes and ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards. Similar to the in-store experience, customers are encouraged to make the ExtraCare Coupon Center their first stop to receive new coupons and personalized offers. On the CVS iPad app, they can view what offers are available with easy rotating display and animations, and then choose to send them directly to their ExtraCare card or print them.

  • Weekly ad: Customers looking for deals or customers who prefer to plan ahead can view the weekly circular for their preferred location by using the GPS locator or entering their ZIP code. In addition, customers can search the ad by category or brand, or search for a specific product and build shareable shopping lists.

  • Catalogue style shopping: Users can shop and search the full CVS.com product catalog, sorted by category. Shoppers can also access weekly deals to take advantage of new offers every day on popular household essentials, beauty products, health needs and gifts.

  • Photo center: App users can upload photos from their tablet camera roll to be printed for pickup that very same day at a local CVS/pharmacy. Customers can also see various other photo products available in-store.

  • MinuteClinic: Users can quickly locate the nearest MinuteClinic or access a variety of informational resources on the types of services and minor illness exams offered, as well as check the various kinds of insurance accepted.

CVS/pharmacy stated that in the coming months it will introduce support for additional tablet platforms and will continue to enhance the CVS iPad app.


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FDA approves Novartis antibacterial treatment for cystic fibrosis

BY Alaric DeArment

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment for managing a type of bacterial infection in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Swiss drug maker Novartis announced the approval of Tobi Podhaler (tobramycin inhalation powder) for managing cystic fibrosis patients with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or Pa bacteria, in the lungs.

Novartis called the product the only FDA-approved dry-powder inhaled antibacterial for Pa in the United States, and the company said it shortened the time needed to administer the drug by 70% in clinical trials. In other treatments, tobramycin is administered using a nebulizer.

"This is good news for the CF community," Cystic Fibrosis Foundation president Robert Beall said. "Managing daily CF treatments is a challenge for people with CF."

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Actavis can launch generic version of Crestor in 2016, under deal with AstraZeneca

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Generic drug maker Actavis has reached a deal with AstraZeneca that will allow it to launch a version of a drug used to treat cholesterol in three years, Actavis said Monday.

Under a deal to settle a patent-infringement lawsuit, Actavis will be allowed to launch its generic version of Crestor (rosuvastatin calcium) tablets in the 5-mg, 10-mg, 20-mg and 40-mg strengths 67 days before July 8, 2016, when the drug’s market exclusivity for use in children expires, at a fee of 39% of net sales to AstraZeneca.

Actavis also can launch rosuvastatin zinc alternate salt starting on May 2, 2016, but the company said it had made no decision regarding a potential launch.

"This agreement ensures that consumers will benefit from an earlier launch of a rosuvastatin calcium product and eliminates ongoing litigation and uncertainty of marketplace acceptance of a non-generically substitutable product if Actavis had proceeded to launch the alternative product," Actavis president and CEO Paul Bisaro said.

Crestor had sales of $4.4 billion in 2011, according to IMS Health. 

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