PHARMACY

Study: Deaths related to chickenpox-causing virus decrease, thanks to vaccine

BY Alaric DeArment

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. — Chickenpox is the scourge of many a schoolchild and usually a convenient, if itchy and feverish, reason to stay home for several days, but it also has been fatal for many who catch it — until recently.

According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, since a vaccine for varicella, the virus that causes chickenpox, became available in 1995, deaths from the virus have been virtually eliminated.

Using data from the National Center for Health Statistics, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the annual average rate of deaths that had varicella as the underlying cause declined by 88%, from 0.41 per million between 1990 and 1994 to 0.05 per million between 2005 and 2007.

Among patients younger than 50 years of age, the death rate declined by 96%, including 97% for children and adolescents younger than 20 years of age. Among children ages 1 to 9 years, only six deaths were reported between 2002 and 2007, compared with 13 to 16 deaths per year before the vaccine’s introduction.

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Target opens three retail clinics in Twin Cities market

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS — Target opened on Monday three new retail-based health clinics in the Twin Cities as part of its expansion plan announced earlier this year.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, Target announced earlier this year plans to open eight new clinic locations this year in the Twin Cities (four clinics), Chicago (three clinics) and Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Fla., areas (one clinic) by the end of July. The first of the new clinics opened in the Twin Cities on March 2.

According to a local news report, three new Twin Cities locations opened on Monday.

Earlier this year, Target stated that it would have 44 Target Clinic locations by the end of July.

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Taro sees sales, profits spike in Q2

BY Alaric DeArment

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. — Israeli generic drug maker Taro Pharmaceutical Industries got a big boost in sales and profits during second quarter 2011, according to a financial report released Tuesday.

Taro reported sales of $111.6 million, a 14.2% increase, compared with second quarter 2010. In addition, profits were $35.7 million, a $19.3 million increase over the same period last year.

“These results reflect our continuing efforts to improve our business model and processes as we pursue operating efficiencies, cost efficiencies and speed-to-market of quality products,” Taro interim CEO Jim Kedrowski said. “We are focused on the successful execution of these important strategic and business development opportunities in order to remain well-positioned for future growth.”

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