PHARMACY

National Cancer Institute says breast cancer gene can run in the family

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON National Cancer Institute scientists last week confirmed that genes for factors contributing to susceptibility for breast cancer can be inherited, citing new research in mice and five independent collections of human breast tumors.

“Our earlier studies clearly established that inherited factors also play an important role in metastatic progression and can help distinguish which tumors have a propensity to metastasize,” said author Kent Hunter, head of NCI’s Metastasis Susceptibility Section in the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics. “Hopefully in the future we will be able to determine which women are more likely to have a tumor that would metastasize, and we could then tailor therapy specifically for them, avoiding the use of harsh treatments for those with a low probability of metastasis.”

The new findings support earlier results and appear in the Jan. 1 issue of Cancer Research.

The research team that reported these findings is from the Center for Cancer Research at NCI, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

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CVS Caremark expands H1N1 vaccinations to more locations

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark is now providing H1N1 flu vaccinations at select CVS/pharmacy locations in Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania and New York, as well at MinuteClinic locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The eight states are among many that have lifted priority group restrictions, allowing all patients to be eligible to receive the shot while supplies last.

“Our customers depend on CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic for their health care needs, so we are pleased to be able to expand H1N1 vaccine availability to these additional states,” stated Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. “H1N1 flu is currently active in many communities across the country and it is likely that we will see increased flu activity, as is typically the case, in January and February.”

CVS Caremark continues to expand the availability of H1N1 vaccine in its stores and retail health clinics across the country and the vaccine now is available in 28 states and Washington, DC at either CVS/pharmacy or at MinuteClinic.

H1N1 vaccine is being offered at:

  • Select CVS/pharmacy locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii (Longs Drugs stores), Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
  • MinuteClinic locations in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The cost of the H1N1 flu vaccination shot at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic is a $15 administration fee, which may be covered by insurance.

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Giant Food launches free antibiotic prescription program

BY Antoinette Alexander

LANDOVER, Md. Giant Food is launching a free antibiotic prescription program that will run from Jan. 2 to March 21 in all Giant pharmacies.

The program covers 36 generic antibiotics in nine basic categories. The retailer is supporting the program with television ads, physician outreach, in-store communication and an expanded Web presence.

“Free antibiotics is the latest good news our pharmacies are offering the public,” stated Andrea Astrachan, consumer advisor for Giant Food. “We also offer up to a 90-day supply on over 350 commonly prescribed generic drugs for only $9.99.”

The company operates 182 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. Within its 182 stores, 163 have full service pharmacies.

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