PHARMACY

Ritzman Pharmacies acquires five Mast Pharmacies locations

BY Michael Johnsen

WADSWORTH, Ohio — Ritzman Pharmacies and Mast Pharmacies on Monday announced the completed acquisition of all Mast-owned pharmacies to Ritzman Pharmacies.  

The Mast pharmacies previously operated under the name of Wooster Rx in Wooster, Ohio, and Mast Pharmacy in Berlin, Millersburg, Shreve and Sugarcreek, Ohio, but will be converted to Ritzman banners, the companies stated. 

"For 33 years, Mast Pharmacies has strived to always put the customer first. We are looking for this merger to provide the best for Mast customers and staff, continuing our tradition of customer service. I am confident that Ritzman will provide this," Rod Mast, owner of Mast Pharmacy, stated. 

"Mast and Ritzman are both locally owned businesses that share the same values, which makes this collaboration a natural fit," Eric Graf, Ritzman Pharmacies CEO, said. 

Mast indicated that ongoing changes in government regulations for pharmacies will require a greater need for administrative support to manage and assure compliance — Ritzman Pharmacies has the structure and personnel in place to handle new regulations.  

Mast will remain active in a consultative role with Ritzman Pharmacies, the companies noted.

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PHARMACY

MinuteClinic enters Northern California, Coastal Southeastern North Carolina

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has announced that the first MinuteClinic locations in Northern California and the Bay Area have now opened inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.  

Three MinuteClinic locations are now operating in Foster City, San Jose and Sunnyvale CVS/pharmacy stores. Four additional clinics will begin to treat patients in November in Burlingame, Campbell, Mountain View and Santa Clara.

There are 35 MinuteClinic locations elsewhere in California, spanning from the San Fernando Valley to San Diego. MinuteClinic’s entry into Northern California is part of the company’s national expansion plan to open 150 clinics nationwide in 2013.

"Since opening the first clinics in Southern California in 2007, MinuteClinic has helped expand access to high-quality, convenient and affordable care to thousands of residents who have visited convenient CVS/pharmacy locations near where they live and work," stated Andrew Sussman, MinuteClinic president and CVS Caremark SVP/associate chief medical officer. "MinuteClinic can help support the primary care medical home in California at a time when the nation faces physician shortages coupled with increased patient demand as a result of the [Patient Protection and] Affordable Care Act and an aging population."

Approximately half of MinuteClinic patients are seen on evenings, weekends and holidays, Sussman noted. And those patients who visit MinuteClinic without a primary care physician — which is about half of the patients that MinuteClinic sees — are provided a list of physicians in the area who are accepting new patients.

In other company news, MinuteClinic has also announced the opening of its first location in Coastal Southeastern North Carolina on Market Street in Wilmington. Additional clinics in Carolina Beach and Leland are expected to open in late October. The Wilmington clinic marks MinuteClinic’s 54th in North Carolina.

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Vivus’ Qsymia appears to cut diabetes risk in some patients

BY Alaric DeArment

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Patients taking a drug used for weight loss were able to reduce their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

According to data from a 475-patient study published in the journal Diabetes Care, Vivus’ Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate) reduced the annualized incidence rate of Type 2 diabetes by up to 78.7% in high-risk, overweight or obese patients with prediabetes or metabolic syndrome. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person has elevated blood sugar and a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

"These data demonstrate that medically assisted weight loss is highly effective in preventing progression to diabetes in an at-risk population, and underscores the observation that 10% weight loss achieves beneficial effects on metabolism and risk factors in patients with prediabetes and metabolic syndrome," University of Alabama nutrition sciences department chairman and study lead author Timothy Garvey said.

 

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