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E-prescriptions hit 4 million mark at Walgreens in October

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK The United States has long been a laggard in healthcare information technology, but the country lately has undergone a Cambrian explosion of e-prescribing, as numbers from Walgreens and the e-prescribing network Surescripts demonstrate. The $19 billion that the federal stimulus package offers as an incentive to adopt HIT likely will accelerate the trend.

 

Walgreens reported Tuesday that the number of prescriptions filed electronically through an e-prescribing program the company started in 1992 reached 4 million in October – a 185% increase over last October – and is projected to reach 45 million by the end of the year. That number was 15 million in 2008.

 

 

Further evidence comes from the e-prescribing network Surescripts, which reported in October that more than 140,000 physicians, physician assistance and nurse practitioners now transmit prescriptions electronically. At the end of last year, by contrast active e-prescribers numbered 74,000 and hit the 100,000 mark in May.

 

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Shoppers Drug Mart sees sales growth in Q3

BY Allison Cerra

TORONTO Canada-based Shoppers Drug Mart saw net earnings increase 6.6% to $157.92 million, driven by strong sales growth, improved purchasing synergies and a continued emphasis on cost reduction, productivity and efficiency, the company said Wednesday.

The retailer said it continued to experience strong sales growth in all regions of Canada. Excluding tobacco products, same-store sales increased 4.8%. During the quarter, prescription sales rose 9.7% to $1.37 billion, accounting for 49.1% of the company’s sales mix. On a same-store basis, prescription sales were up 5.8%, driven by strong growth in the number of prescriptions filled, while increased generic use continued to have a deflationary impact on sales growth in the category.

Front-store sales meanwhile rose 6.2% to $1.41 billion. Excluding tobacco products, front store same-store sales increased 3.9%.

Jurgen Schreiber, president and CEO stated, “We are pleased with our third quarter results and our performance thus far in 2009, as we continue to deliver growth in these challenging economic times. The strength of our pharmacy programmes and services, combined with effective front store merchandising and marketing initiatives, have us well-positioned heading into the holiday season and the final weeks of 2009.”

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Report: Giant Eagle overhauls small-box store

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Giant Eagle has completed the overhaul of its small-box Giant Eagle express concept just 22 months after launching the format, DDI Magazine reported.

DDI reports that, according to Kevin Srigley, Giant Eagle’s SVP new formats, the changes were based on considerable sales analysis and customer feedback over the course of the store’s first 15 months in operation. The renovated store now places a greater focus on offering high-quality meal solutions for busy shoppers.

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