PHARMACY

DDM refines service with DME, generics

BY Michael Johnsen


The pharmacies of tomorrow are expected to be more service-oriented, and Discount Drug Mart is preparing to be exactly that: a comprehensive pharmacy point of care. 


“We are really marketing pharmacy more now than we have in the past,” noted Tom McConnell, Discount Drug Mart VP and CFO. For every month since an October 2010 implementation of the pharmacy-focused marketing, and a $1.99 generic drug program covering 50 generics, Discount Drug Mart has been realizing comparable-prescription gains, he said. 


The regional operator has had an extensive durable medical equipment position since 2007, and that department has been expanded further to incorporate breast cancer products. “We have a separate department within home health care that deals with counseling [breast cancer patients],” McConnell said. 


Expanding retail clinic offerings is another initiative around which Discount Drug Mart is focused. In a partnership with the hospital network Parma Community General Hospital, the retailer has three retail clinics up and running now, with two to three more slated to open later this year.

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PHARMACY

ReportersNotebook — Chain Pharmacy, 5/2/11

BY Alaric DeArment

SUPPLIER NEWS — Hi-Tech Pharmacal announced the tentative approval by the Food and Drug Administration of levofloxacin oral solution in the 25-mg/mL strength, a generic antibiotic. Levofloxacin oral solution is a generic version of Johnson & Johnson’s Levaquin, which had sales of $6 million in 2010, according to IMS Health. Hi-Tech expected to receive final approval in June, when Johnson & Johnson’s patent expires.


The FDA has approved Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil), a drug made by GlaxoSmithKline and XenoPort, as a once-daily treatment for moderate-to-severe restless legs syndrome, the agency said.


The FDA announced the approval of AstraZeneca’s daily pill vandetanib for late-stage medullary thyroid cancer in patients whose disease is growing and causing symptoms, but who are ineligible for surgery, the agency said.


The Food and Drug Administration has approved Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals’ single-pill antiretroviral for HIV-1 patients, BI said. Viramune XR (nevirapine) is a single-pill, once-daily, extended-release formulation of nevirapine for use in combination with other antiretroviral drugs.

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Bartell benefits from HBW

BY Alaric DeArment

Bartell Drugs, a family-owned regional chain since 1890, has still got it. The chain has brought together health and personal care by sponsoring health and beauty events, the first of which happened in October 2010 and featured health screenings, cosmetic demonstrations and hairstyling tips. Another event is scheduled for the fall.


Vaccinations have featured prominently in the chain’s business as well, with in-store flu vaccinations and corporate flu clinics for area businesses, as well as international travel clinics at 10 stores. In December 2010, the company donated 4,000 flu vaccine doses to support pharmacy outreach programs at the University of Washington and Washington State University, in Pullman, Wash., providing vaccinations to nonprofit groups and Native American tribal communities.

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