PHARMACY

Kroger promotes fuel savings

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Kroger said that its family of stores is offering new ways for its customers to save on gas.

The retailer said that customers can earn fuel discounts when they purchase select gift cards, and also when they fill certain eligible prescriptions.

Kroger noted that the discounts vary by state and that its prescription fuel savings promotion is not being offered to Arkansas pharmacy customers.

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PHARMACY

Costco CFO: Pharmacy prices to drop off due to generics

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale EVP, CFO and director Richard Galanti told investors during the company’s third quarter 2011 earnings call last week that average prices in pharmacy probably would decline due to the introduction of generic versions of branded drugs.

“[The] only area where you are going to see some average price declines is probably in pharmacy where, and we’ve all read about it, there is some very well-known branded items that are going to become generic this coming year,” Galanti said.

Analysts have long predicted that the loss of patent protection for several branded drugs over the next few years, often known as the patent cliff, will lead to widespread commoditization of the pharmaceutical market.

The Issaquah, Wash.-based retailer reported third-quarter sales of $20.2 billion, compared with $17.4 billion in third quarter 2010, as well as profits of $324 million, compared with $306 million the year before.

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Taro reports rise in Q1 sales

BY Allison Cerra

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. — Taro realized a 21% increase in net sales for its first quarter, the drug maker said.

The company said it raked in net sales of $107.7 million, an increase of $18.7 million. Diluted earnings per share totaled 58 cents, compared with 21 cents in the prior-year period.

Operating income for Taro increased 84.4% to $33.4 million, or 31% of net sales, compared with $18.1 million, or 20.3% of net sales, in 2010.

During the period, Taro received three abbreviated new drug applications from the Food and Drug Administration.

"While continual progress is being made, our focus is to ensure that this improvement is sustainable," Taro’s interim CEO Jim Kedrowski said. "Considerable effort will continue to be concentrated on improving our processes to deliver quality products on time and [to] build our pipeline, through [research and development], in order to meet the growing customer demand. As the Taro management team moves the company forward, the progress in our performance is expected to be consistent and gradual."

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