Midwest chain a ‘First Stop’ for cash-strapped
Lewis Drug, which was established in 1942 as the first self-service drug store in South Dakota and the surrounding region, continues to see success with its loyalty program, and is gearing up for the opening of new stores.
The company, which operates 32 stores in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, continues to promote its First Stop Pharmacy Club hybrid card program. Looking to appeal to cash-strapped shoppers, it is marketed as: “Prescriptions for less than $1 a week.”
The card program, which launched in late 2008, offers cardholders a 30-day supply of more than 400 generic drugs and select antibiotics for $4, and a 28-day supply of select oral contraceptives for $12. When customers sign up for the card, they receive a $10 coupon to be used anywhere in the store. There’s a one-time $10 sign up fee to join.
“It is very successful,” Mark Griffin, Lewis Drug president and CEO, said of the card program. “We wanted something that sets us apart and makes us different from everyone else.”
Meanwhile, Lewis Drug is expecting to open two additional locations this year, including a store in Sioux Falls on a 6-acre complex that will be adjacent to a medical clinic. The ground is expected to be broken for the complex this spring.
The new store that will be adjacent to a medical clinic certainly isn’t the first of its kind for Lewis Drug. Griffin said there are about four similar locations throughout Sioux Falls.
Headquarters: Sioux Falls, S.D.2009 sales: $149 million% change vs. 2008: 2%No. of stores: 32*No. of stores with Rx: 32*Avg. store size: 45,000 sq. ft.**Rx sales: $74.5 million% of sales from Rx: 50%Sales per store: $10.2 million*** Includes Lewis Drug/Lewis Family Drug stores ** Lewis Drug formatSource: Company reports, Drug Store News
Schnucks’ O’Brien to serve on Department of Agriculture advisory committee
ST. LOUIS An executive from Schnuck Markets will serve on an advisory committee of the Department of Agriculture, Schnucks said this week.
Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Schnucks VP produce and floral Mike O’Brien would be one of 25 people appointed to a two-year term on the USDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. O’Brien is also vice chairman of the Produce Marketing Association.
“I am honred to represent Schnuck Markets and the retail produce industry as a member of this committee,” O’Brien said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute and to make a difference for families across the nation.”
The committee, originally chartered in 2001, advises the secretary of agriculture on industry issues related to fruits and vegetables.
Gilead commences phase 3 trial for single-tablet HIV treatment
FOSTER CITY, Calif. Gilead Sciences has started a late-stage clinical trial of an investigational 4-in-1 treatment for HIV, the drug maker said.
Gilead announced the initiation of a phase 3 trial of its “Quad” HIV drug, a single-tablet treatment that combines elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. The study will compare the Quad regimen with the standard of care among adults with HIV-1 who have not taken antiretroviral treatments. The company is also investigating cobicistat as a standalone boosting agent for antiretroviral drugs.
“We are pleased to announce that the Quad phase 3 clinical program is underway,” Gilead EVP research and development and chief scientific officer Norbert Bischofberger said. “Efficacy and safety results from the phase 2 study suggest that the Quad may represent an important new option for patients with HIV.”