PHARMACY

Merck closer to acquiring Inspire

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Merck has cleared a hurdle in its effort to buy eye care company Inspire Pharmaceuticals for $430 million, the company said Thursday.

The expiration of the waiting period mandated by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 brings Merck one step closer to acquiring Inspire.

Merck announced its intention to buy Raleigh, N.C.-based Inspire for $5 per share on April 15.

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PHARMACY

Navarro Discount Pharmacy launches mobile app

BY Antoinette Alexander

MIAMI — Navarro Discount Pharmacy, which operates 28 stores in the Miami area, has launched a free pharmacy mobile application for its customers.

The new Navarro Rx App, m.navarro.com, is available for cell phones and smartphones, including iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile 7 (coming soon), and also supports two-way interactive SMS messaging.

The mobile app enables customers to manage their prescriptions and related health information directly from their mobile device. Features include:

  • The ability to view and reorder active prescriptions;

  • Reminders via two-way SMS, email, push notifications and mobile calendar integration;

  • The ability to get pickup reminders when prescriptions are ready;

  • Automatic delivery of refill reminders;

  • Dosage reminders;

  • The ability to request refills and track refill status by SMS or phone app;

  • Store maps and locators, including nearest pharmacy locations; and

  • The ability to manage doctor and other key health information.

"Making a mobile app available for customers is yet another way we are enhancing the customer experience at Navarro," said Albert Garcia, EVP pharmacy operations.

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Walgreens to acquire Carle RxExpress pharmacies

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has inked a deal to acquire 10 Carle RxExpress pharmacies from The Carle Foundation, an integrated network of healthcare services based in East Central Illinois.

The drug store chain said it plans to continue operating six of the acquired pharmacies and close three locations, whereby prescription files and inventory will be transferred to nearby Walgreens pharmacies. The remaining location will be consolidated with 1-of-the-6 pharmacies that will continue to operate. Walgreens also said it plans to hire a majority of the current Carle RxExpress employees and will interview all RxExpress employees who apply for positions.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Walgreens said it expects the transaction to be completed in July.

“We are pleased to maintain convenient access to high-quality pharmacy, health and wellness services for Carle RxExpress patients across East Central Illinois,” said Scott Haynes, Walgreens market VP for Central Illinois. “We are working with Carle to make this transition as seamless as possible and quickly introduce our new customers to the expanded services that have helped build Walgreens’ reputation for patient care in the region. We also look forward to welcoming many of Carle’s staff members who will help us continue its tradition of service to these communities.”

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