PHARMACY

Duane Reade to provide H1N1 vaccinations to local college

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Duane Reade is teaming up with Hunter College, the largest senior college in the CUNY system, to make it easier for Hunter College students, faculty and staff to receive H1N1 vaccinations.

The announcement comes during National Influenza Immunization Week, which is a federally designated time period intended to encourage Americans to get vaccinated, particularly against H1N1.

Under the program, Duane Reade will provide discounted vaccinations to those members of the Hunter College community who present a valid ID and a voucher at the Duane Reade H1N1 clinic location on 74th Street and 3rd Avenue. In addition, Hunter College president, Jennifer Raab, has agreed to fully fund the first 1,000 vaccinations that Duane Reade will set aside for Hunter students, faculty, and staff. Raab will also join several students in receiving the vaccination at the Duane Reade location on Wednesday.

“We are very pleased that we were selected to perform this important public service for Hunter College students,” stated Frank Scorpiniti, SVP pharmacy operations. “As we know, it is very important for all New Yorkers — particularly younger generations who are especially vulnerable — to remain vigilant in protecting themselves from the H1N1 virus.”

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New report projects sales of Parkinson’s disease drug will reach $500 million

BY Alaric DeArment

WALTHAM, Mass. A drug made by Boehringer Ingelheim for treating Parkinson’s disease could have sales of up to half a billion dollars, according to a new analysis.

According to a report released Tuesday by market research firm Decision Resources, BI’s extended-release formulation of pramipexole will have peak-year sales of between $250 million and $500 million in major pharmaceutical markets. The drug was launched in Europe in 2009 and is expected to enter the market in the United States this year.

In the beginning, according to the report, launches of generic formulations of the immediate-release version of pramipexole and competition from GlaxoSmithKline’s and SkyePharma’s Requip XL (ropinirole CR) and generic versions of immediate-release Requip will put a damper on sales of pramipexole ER. However, physician familiarity with the drug and preference among physicians and patients for once-daily dosing will cause a “significant” increase in sales.

“Given physician comfort in prescribing pramipexole for Parkinson’s disease and the convenience of once-daily dosing that it would offer, we expect that pramipexole ER will take much of pramipexole IR’s patient share,” Decision Resources analyst Sami Fam said. “In the short term, we expect pramipexole ER will lose some patient share to ropinirole CR given that ropinirole CR was the first of the two agents to launch. But over the long term, physicians’ slight preference for pramipexole over ropinirole should help to boost pramipexole ER’s uptake.”

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Report: Weis Markets acquires local Medicine Shoppe pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis recently acquired a Medicine Shoppe pharmacy in the Binghamton, N.Y., market, local newscaster News Channel 34 (owned by Newport Television) reported early Tuesday morning.

Weis Markets currently has 120 in-store pharmacies at other locations and is considering more at its Broome County locations, the report noted.

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