PHARMACY

Pharmacy drives higher percentage of grocery store numbers

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WAYNE, Ind. Drug stores are the traditional sources for all things pharmaceutical, but grocery stores are moving in to challenge their dominance, according to The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Ind.

As prescription sales grow in proportion to overall sales, supermarkets have begun positioning themselves as health shops, as well. Cincinnati-based Kroger, for example, hopes to edge itself into the market with a cholesterol-reducing milk sold under its Active Lifestyle private label while also selling anti-cholesterol medication.

According to the Food Marketing Institute, drug sales at supermarkets increased by 3.4 percent, to 9.4 percent, between 1997 and 2007. Also, between 1996 and 2006, the number of supermarket pharmacies increased from 6,155 to 10,163, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

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AARP Web site offers users health information tools

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Users of AARP’s Web site now have access to health tools that provide consumers with health information, AARP announced Thursday.

The tools are designed to help users understand health symptoms and conditions, as well as find doctors and hospitals.

“Online tools like this truly empower those who may be seeking health information for themselves and family caregivers to more easily navigate today’s healthcare options,” said Nataki Clark, AARP’s director of online marketing. “Consumers can take advantage of these resources in order to maintain their independence as they age and live the most vibrant lives possible.”

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Kmart signs on with eRx Network for its claims services

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WORTH, Texas Kmart Pharmacy has selected eRx Network as its business partner for claims switching, editing and reporting services, eRx announced Friday.

The company provides its services to more than 40,000 retail pharmacies across the country and has provided retail pharmacies with claims management services since 2001.

“We are very pleased to expand our partnership with Kmart Pharmacy,” eRx President and chief executive officer Murray Lyle said. “We are committed to providing our customers with industry leading support, expertise and technology offerings to enable their pharmacies to focus on patient care.”

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