Flu shot distribution by retail pharmacy increases 36%
DEERFIELD, Ill. An increased awareness and concern around the flu caused a spike in the use of retail pharmacies as vaccination resources, according to data unveiled by Walgreens on Thursday.
As the retail pharmacy continues to play an increasingly important role in trying to drive higher rates for flu immunizations in all 50 states, seasonal flu shots administered by pharmacists grew 36% this flu season, capturing about 10% of the total administered nationwide, according to researched conducted by Wolters Kluwer.
Walgreens, which currently boasts 7,100 pharmacies and more than 350 Take Care Clinics nationwide, revealed that it administered more than 7.4 million flu shots this season.
The drug store chain also revealed that 97% of its 250 surveyed pharmacy customers said that a convenient location was an important factor in their overall flu shot satisfaction. Additionally, 97% felt that having hours of operation that fit with their schedule was an important factor.
“Our goal is to make it easier for people to get flu shots and a wide range of other immunizations through our expansive network of immunizing pharmacists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens EVP pharmacy. “This flu season has further proven that patients appreciate and value the convenience, accessibility and affordability of community pharmacy and retail health clinics for immunizations, information and a variety of other health and wellness services.”
After flooding, power outage in Rhode Island, CVS/pharmacy up and running
WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has restored the pharmacy computer system in its stores after massive flooding in Rhode Island caused a national computer system outage that impacted all of the chain’s 7,000 pharmacies.
CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis told Drug Store News that service was restored to its pharmacies Tuesday evening between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
For the most part, stores were able to fill prescriptions, but they were unable to process the insurance claims. As a result, pharmacists were instructed to complete all prescription requests and keep records for insurance purposes.
The CVS headquarters in Woonsocket lost power mid afternoon. It was one of several office complexes affected by flooding problems at local power substations, according to a local news report. The power loss caused the widespread computer outage.
FDA: Stalevo may increase male patients’ risk of cancer
SILVER SPRING, Md. Data from a long-term clinical trial may indicate a possible cancer risk in men taking a drug for treating Parkinson’s disease, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.
The agency notified healthcare professionals and patients that it was evaluating data from the STRIDE-PD trial indicating a possible risk of prostate cancer in patients taking the Novartis drug Stalevo (carbidopa, levodopa and entacapone). It cautioned, however, that it had not concluded that a risk existed and that other clinical trials evaluating Stalevo and a related drug, Comtan (entacapone), did not show an increased prostate cancer risk.
Novartis issued the following statement in response to the FDA report: “Novartis is coordinating with the FDA as it evaluates data from the STRIDE-PD study related to an unexpected imbalance in reports of prostate cancer cases. STRIDE-PD was conducted in patients with early Parkinson’s disease to investigate a potential new indication outside the terms of the current label. Previous controlled clinical trials have not found an increased risk of prostate cancer.”
Stalevo and Comtan had collective sales of $217 million in 2009, according to Novartis financial reports.