PHARMACY

Jewel-Osco launches pharmacy discount plan

BY Doug Desjardins

MELROSE PARK, Ill. Jewel-Osco stores have launched an unprecedented tie-in between their pharmacies and supermarkets with the Prescription Plus program that offers discount coupons for frequent pharmacy purchases.

Jewel-Osco pharmacy customers will receive a 10 percent discount coupon for every five prescriptions they fill at any one of 184 Jewel-Osco stores in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. The coupons can be redeemed at the checkout stand for purchases made in the supermarket.

“Prescription Plus is Jewel-Osco Pharmacy’s way of responding to tough economic challenges many of our customers face today,” said Tom Rousonelos, vice president of Osco pharmacy operations. “Jewel-Osco aims to offer the most value-added pharmacy experience available.”

The plan will also count transferred prescriptions and refills toward the five prescriptions needed for the discount coupon. Supervalu indicated there are some restrictions on redeeming the coupons at checkout but was not specific.

In addition to prescriptions, the purchase of other services offered at Jewel-Osco pharmacies including immunizations and screenings will apply to Prescription Plus discounts.

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Eisai receives not approvable letter for Aquavan

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration has denied approval for a sedative for patients receiving minor medical procedures, according to published reports Friday.

The FDA sent Eisai a not-approvable letter for Aquavan, citing insufficient evidence showing that health-care providers without training in general anesthesia could use it safely.

Aquavan (fospropofol disodium injection) was developed by MGI Pharma, which Eisai bought for $3.9 billion in January.

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Sanofi-Aventis to acquire Acambis in $550 million deal

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis will buy United Kingdom-based Acambis in an agreement announced Friday.

Sanofi-Aventis will pay $550.7 million for the British vaccine maker, or $3.79 a share.

Sanofi-Aventis has had a partnership with Acambis since November through its subsidiary, Sanofi Pasteur. The two companies were commercializing vaccines against dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and West Nile virus. Acambis is also developing vaccines against flu and herpes and won a 10-year, $425 million contract with the United States government to supply a smallpox vaccine.

“This mutually beneficial acquisition is a logical step building upon Sanofi Pasteur and Acambis’ decade-long partnership on key projects to develop and market vaccines of the future,” stated Wayne Pisano, chief executive officer of Sanofi Pasteur.

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