PHARMACY

Rexall Pharma Plus pharmacists administered 190K flu shots this season

BY Antoinette Alexander

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — The team of pharmacists at Rexall Pharma Plus administered 190,000 of the more than 200,000 flu shots provided by pharmacists in Ontario this flu season, the Canadian retailer announced on Thursday.

Rexall Pharma Plus offered flu shots at all of its more than 250 Ontario pharmacies any time, with no appointment necessary. Rexall is Katz Group Canada’s flagship national chain.

“On behalf of the entire team at Rexall Pharma Plus, I would like to thank our exceptional team of pharmacists for their commitment to their patients’ health,” stated Frank Scorpiniti, CEO of Rexall Pharma Plus. “By providing flu shots any time at any of our Ontario pharmacies with no appointment necessary, our pharmacists made it easier than ever for Ontarians to receive their influenza vaccinations and protect themselves and their families from the flu. With the flu season still upon us, our pharmacists are always available until the end of the season.”

Ontario community pharmacists joined their colleagues in Alberta and British Columbia this flu season in helping to immunize patients against the influenza virus for the first time after the Government of Ontario expanded pharmacists’ scope of practice in October 2012.

The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that between 2,000 and 8,000 Canadians die each year from the flu and its complications, with thousands more becoming seriously ill and requiring hospitalization.


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PHARMACY

Cardinal Health develops patient-friendly heart health education program for community pharmacists

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health on Thursday announced it is providing free, downloadable materials to help community pharmacists educate patients about effective strategies for preventing cardiovascular disease.  “By using these patient-friendly heart health materials, community pharmacists can strengthen their relationships with patients and help save lives by educating their communities about how to prevent and recognize the symptoms of heart attacks and strokes," stated Ron Clerico, VP marketing for Cardinal Health’s Retail Pharmacy business. 

The materials include an interactive presentation which helps pharmacists educate patients about heart health, risk prevention and daily heart health management. The presentation also focuses on how patients can build their relationships with their local pharmacist to improve healthcare outcomes. There are also customizable posters, bag clippers and flyers to drive traffic to heart health educational sessions, patient informational handouts and recipe cards for heart-healthy meals.

Cardinal Health also offers a Specialized Care Center focused on heart health. “With our Heart Health Specialized Care Center, pharmacists can take an active role in improving healthcare outcomes for patients who are at risk of contracting cardiovascular disease,” Clerico said. “This unique combination of training, education, tools and support empowers pharmacists to position themselves as their community’s local destination – and trusted advisor – for heart health.” 


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Fred’s looking toward accelerating pharmacy growth in 2013

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s Super Dollar on Thursday reported sales for the five-weeks ended Feb. 2 were up 31% to $173.6 million. Comparable store sales were up 28.6%. 

On an adjusted basis, which eliminates the one week ended Feb. 2, sales were up 2% and same-store sales were flat, Fred’s added. 

"This improvement reflected the initiatives we have put in place in tobacco, programs to drive higher ticket amounts, and continued increases in pharmacy script growth," reported Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. "We look forward to the new year and our expansion in specialty pharmacy and clinical services, an acceleration of pharmacy acquisitions, our expansion of new auto and hardware product initiatives, and a roll out of new concepts, such as the smaller drug and dollar store," he added. "Considering Fred’s growth prospects in the rapidly changing pharmacy industry, along with our new general merchandise initiatives, we believe there are significant opportunities to drive higher sales and profits in 2013."

On an unadjusted basis, Fred’s also reported fourth quarter total sales increased 7% to $533.5 million. Comparable store sales increased 4.8%. And total sales for the 53-week fiscal 2012 increased 4% to $2 billion and full-year same-store sales were up 1.1% on an unadjusted basis. With the one week ended Feb. 2 extracted, adjusted total sales were flat for the fourth quarter and increased 2% for fiscal 2012. Comparable sales were down 2.8% for the fourth quarter and down 1.4% for the full year. 

During January, Fred’s opened two new stores, closed one store and closed one Xpress pharmacy. For the year, Fred’s added a net total of 12 new locations, consisting of 20 new stores and 6 new Xpress pharmacies, which was offset by the closing of 14 company-owned stores. The company also opened 24 new pharmacies in 2012 and closed 3, for a net addition of 21 pharmacies during the year.


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