PHARMACY

Shoppers Drug Mart to acquire 19 Paragon pharmacies, three central fills

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO — Canadian retailer Shoppers Drug Mart is looking to acquire 19 retail pharmacies and three central fill pharmacies located in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba from Paragon for about $75 million in cash.

The completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of Paragon’s shareholders, acceptance by the TSX Venture Exchange and certain other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in third quarter 2012.

The acquisition of the Paragon retail pharmacies, along with the central fill locations that service the long-term care market, will expand Shoppers’ retail presence in western Canada and will provide a platform for the company’s MediSystem Technologies business to enter the British Columbia and Manitoba markets.

"This acquisition is a very good fit for Shoppers Drug Mart and is consistent with our stated growth objectives in retail pharmacy and long-term care," stated Domenic Pilla, president and CEO of Shoppers. "We look forward to welcoming the pharmacists and employees of Paragon to the Shoppers family, and together continuing to meet the needs of the patients and customers they serve."

There are more than 1,206 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in each province and two territories. The company also licenses or owns 57 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and eight upscale beauty destinations operating as Murale. The company also owns and operates 63 Shoppers Home Health Care stores, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services.

In addition to its retail store network, the company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network, a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and patient support services; and MediSystem Technologies, a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities.

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PHARMACY

NACDS maintains message to Capitol Hill on value of community pharmacy

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Wednesday that, for the second time over the course of one week, it has engaged with a congressional committee to tell the story of community pharmacy’s value in improving patient health and reducing costs, and it has submitted a statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance for the hearing Wednesday titled “Progress in Healthcare Delivery: Innovations from the Field.”

“Community retail pharmacies are at the front line in the healthcare system, interacting with patients on a daily basis,” NACDS said in its statement to the committee.  “Community pharmacists are uniquely qualified through their comprehensive education and training to significantly reduce the problem of poor medication adherence.”
 
NACDS also recently urged the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to look to community pharmacy as an important partner in the healthcare delivery system.
 
NACDS is emphasizing the ways that community pharmacists interact with patients to improve their health, as well as help them lower their health costs through medication counseling services, such as medication therapy management; expanding the ability of pharmacists to administer vaccinations in the Medicare Part D program; and increasing the utilization of generic drugs as additional ways to improve health and reduce costs.
 
Reinforcing the importance of community pharmacy care in the statement to the Senate Committee on Finance, NACDS said, “NACDS thanks the committee for allowing us to share our comments on the role of community pharmacies in improving patient care and reducing healthcare costs through healthcare delivery system reform.”


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FDA approves treatment for vaginal fungus infections

BY Alaric DeArment

ALLEGAN, Mich. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic treatment made by Perrigo for fungal infections of the vagina, the company said.

Perrigo announced the approval of butoconazole nitrate 2% vaginal cream, a generic version of KV Pharmaceutical’s Gynazole-1, used to treat vulvovaginal candidiasis, an infection caused by Candida fungus. KV voluntarily discontinued selling the drug in January 2009 due to manufacturing problems.

The drug maker said it was the first company to file a complete regulatory application for the drug with the FDA, thus entitling it to 180 days of market exclusivity. Perrigo will launch the drug at the end of the year under a collaboration with KV.

Gynazole had annual sales of $28 million before its voluntary discontinuation, according to Wolters Kluwer Health.


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