NACDS expresses support of ‘chairman’s mark’ of Senate bill to reauthorize PDUFA
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores expressed its support for the legislative package that will serve as a starting point for the reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act in a letter to the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
NACDS wrote to committee chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and ranking member Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., saying “We applaud your leadership in drafting legislative proposals that will ensure that Americans’ prescription medications and medical devices continue to be safe and effective. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of the patients we serve.”
The “chairman’s mark” of the bill will provide the baseline for the committee’s debate and consideration of amendments. The bill includes provisions to further enhance the safety and integrity of the prescription drug manufacturing process, to deter prescription drug counterfeiting, to address drug shortages and to assist the blind and visually impaired in accessing prescription label information.
Regarding prescription drug manufacturing provisions, NACDS wrote, “these important enhancements include increased oversight, inspections and audit of both domestic and foreign facilities involved with drug manufacturing, as well as those facilities that prepare active and inactive ingredients used in drug products. Also importantly, [the Food and Drug Administration] will have long-sought authority to destroy any drug refused admission into the U.S. if the drug has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death. We believe this authority is critical to support FDA’s mission.”
The bill’s counterfeiting provisions would increase penalties for the “reprehensible acts” of adulterating a prescription drug or dealing in counterfeit prescription drugs. Provisions related to drug shortages would provide the FDA with advance notice from manufacturers so that the FDA may better respond, prevent and mitigate drug shortages. The bill also would create a working group to develop best practices for assisting the blind and visually impaired with accessing prescription label information.
Shoppers Drug Mart posts Q1 results
TORONTO — Canadian pharmacy retailer Shoppers Drug Mart announced on Thursday a boost in first-quarter sales and earnings, driven, in part, by gains at the front end.
“We are encouraged by our first-quarter operating and financial results. This is a solid performance and a good start to the year in what remains a challenging economic and regulatory environment,” stated Domenic Pilla, president and CEO. “Together with our associate owners and their teams at store level, we continue to work through the impact of regulatory reforms on our business, while never comprising on our commitment to providing the best in patient care and customer service.”
First-quarter sales totaled C$2.39 billion, up 2% compared with the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 1.5%.
Pharmacy sales were C$1.17 billion in the first quarter, an increase of 1.6% compared with the same period last year, as growth in the number of prescriptions filled continues to be partially offset by a reduction in average prescription value. On a same-store basis, prescription sales rose 1.1% during the quarter.
The company stated that the decrease in average prescription value can be largely attributed to a reduction in generic prescription reimbursement rates, the result of recently implemented and ongoing drug system reform initiatives in certain jurisdictions of Canada, along with increasing generic prescription utilization rates.
At the front end, sales were C$1.23 billion, up 2.5%. The increase was led by strong sales gains in cosmetics and convenience categories, notably food and confection. Shoppers noted that its store network development program, which resulted in a 4.2% increase in selling space compared with a year ago, also was a contributing factor to sales growth in the front of the store. Front-end same-store sales increased 2%.
Net earnings for the quarter totaled C$119 million compared with C$118 million in the year-ago period. On a fully diluted basis, net earnings per share were 56 Canadian cents, compared with 54 Canadian cents in the year-ago period.
Walmart becomes first-ever retailer to launch online ‘pay with cash’ option
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has launched a "pay with cash" service that offers cash payment options for online orders at Walmart.com in the United States.
Walmart is the first major retailer to offer online purchases without the need for banking services or a credit, debit or prepaid card.
The retailer said that the majority of its in-store transactions are paid in cash or cash equivalent, including debit cards, with just 15% of transactions paid in credit. The "pay with cash" program will allow the same payment options online, which is expected to appeal to the retailer’s customer base.
To use the option, a shopper places an order on Walmart.com and, during checkout, selects the "cash" option and a shipping preference. The customer immediately receives an order number on the order confirmation page and an email receipt with the order number. The item is reserved in the system.
The customer has 48 hours to take the printed order form to any cash register of any Walmart store or Neighborhood Market.
Once cash payment is completed in the store and received, shipping then occurs via "Site to Store" or to a preferred address.