Kerr Drug launches statewide Flugram influenza vaccination program
RALEIGH, N.C. Kerr Drug is partnering with Novartis Vaccines to develop a program that will allow patients to reserve flu vaccinations before and during the flu season.
FluGram, a gift-giving program, allows customers to purchase the vaccination for themselves and their loved ones during October and November at all participating Kerr Drug pharmacies, as well as online at kerrdrug.com, the company announced Thursday.
“By making it easier to get an influenza vaccination, Kerr Drug is helping to protect the health of our customers and their families,” said Diane Eliezer, director of marketing for Kerr Drug.
The new FluGram program is designed to make flu vaccinations more convenient and accessible for all. Purchasers can help protect those they love, who might not ordinarily seek an influenza vaccination on their own, by “giving the gift of health” through pre-paid influenza vaccination cards. Card holders can visit Kerr Drug to receive their influenza vaccination from a qualified health professional.
“The Influenza vaccination is the best protection we have to help prevent the spread of this contagious disease,” Eliezer said. “This is the first time we’ve offered this type of vaccination program, so our pharmacy teams are excited about the one-of-a-kind gift card.”
McKesson announces plans to acquire Oncology Therapeutics for $575 million
SAN FRANCISCO McKesson Corp. announced plans Thursday to buy fellow cancer drug distributor Oncology Therapeutics network for $575 million, according to the Associated Press.
Based on IMS health data, McKesson expects annual sales of oncology drugs to double in the next four years to $60 billion. Oncology Therapeutics also distributes drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and hepatitis C, seeing about $3 billion in annual sales.
The acquisition would be McKesson’s second major purchase this year, the first being a $1.1 billion takeover of Per-Se Technologies, a health care administrator. Both purchases indicate an upswing for the company, which in January 2005 had to set aside more than $1 billion to resolve shareholder lawsuits revolving around a $12 billion acquisition of health-services software maker HBO & Co., which revealed only after the sale that it had been highly overvalued.
To help boost its stock price, the Associated Press reported, McKesson unveiled plans to spend an additional $1 billion in buying back its own shares. The company has already burned through $684 million of the $1 billion authorized in an earlier stock repurchase program announced in May.
Pfizer hires two scientists to boost research operations
NEW YORK Pfizer has hired two senior scientists and promoted a third to help rejuvenate its lackluster research operations.
Briggs Morrison, M.D., a senior vice president of research at Merck, Pfizer’s rival, will become chief of clinical development. Corey S. Goodman, M.D., who recently stepped down as chief executive of Renovis, a biotech company, will become the head of a new biotech center based in San Francisco. Martin Mackay, M.D., the former deputy head of research at Pfizer will become chief of global research and development.
The company is trying to establish a new drug pipeline after having a disappointing couple of years in its research and development departments, which saw very few products, hit the market, while Merck saw a boom in product development.