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Supermarket shows Rx southern hospitality

BY Mike Duff

The 151-unit Brookshire Grocery chain added and upgraded pharmacy operations at stores throughout its market area in 2009. Among its initiatives, which also included informational health-and-wellness expos, the chain added a free antibiotic and discount generic drug program last year.

“Our generic program includes more than 400 drugs,” company spokesman Sam Lanier noted. “We have 30-, 60- and 90-day supplies—based on usual day’s supply—for $3.99, $6.99 and $9.99, respectively. There are about 50 entries on our Free Antibiotics Program, which includes varying strengths of about a dozen or so antibiotics.”

In early October 2009, Brookshire opened up a brand new, 31,000-sq.-ft. store in Seagoville, Texas, that provided enough space for a pharmacy operation. A few weeks later, Brookshire celebrated a grand reopening of its store in Forney, Texas. Beyond an additional 2,200 sq. ft., the store also gained an upgraded pharmacy drive-through.

In June 2009, Brookshire debuted a newly remodeled 62,000-sq.-ft. Super 1 Foods store in Lafayette, La., offering an expanded pharmacy relocated to the front of the store. The new configuration provided for a wider selection of health-and-beauty products, and established sections devoted to diabetes, sleep and therapeutic aids and supplies. It also added drop-off and checkout areas to pharmacy; additional office space for health services and consultations; and durable medical equipment, a category not often offered in supermarket pharmacies.

In January 2009, the company renovated a 38,500-sq.-ft. store in Shreveport, expanding the pharmacy operation and adding a drive-through.

Brookshire’s commitment to expanding pharmacy was evident in the launch of a new concept store—Fresh by Brookshire’s, a 55,000-sq.-ft. supermarket, opened in south Tyler, Texas, on Feb. 16. The new format was developed for shoppers with a taste for gourmet food, but also houses an expansive selection of wellness items and a full-line pharmacy.

BROOKSHIRE GROCERY

Headquarters: Tyler, Texas2009 sales: $2.12 billion% change vs. 2008: -3.6%No. of stores: 151No. of stores with Rx: 112Avg. store size: 40,000 sq. ft.Rx sales: $296.8 million% of sales from Rx: 14.0%Sales per store: $14 millionSource: Company reports

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Schnucks’ O’Brien to serve on Department of Agriculture advisory committee

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS An executive from Schnuck Markets will serve on an advisory committee of the Department of Agriculture, Schnucks said this week.

Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Schnucks VP produce and floral Mike O’Brien would be one of 25 people appointed to a two-year term on the USDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. O’Brien is also vice chairman of the Produce Marketing Association.

 

“I am honred to represent Schnuck Markets and the retail produce industry as a member of this committee,” O’Brien said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute and to make a difference for families across the nation.”

The committee, originally chartered in 2001, advises the secretary of agriculture on industry issues related to fruits and vegetables.

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Gilead commences phase 3 trial for single-tablet HIV treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

FOSTER CITY, Calif. Gilead Sciences has started a late-stage clinical trial of an investigational 4-in-1 treatment for HIV, the drug maker said.

Gilead announced the initiation of a phase 3 trial of its “Quad” HIV drug, a single-tablet treatment that combines elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. The study will compare the Quad regimen with the standard of care among adults with HIV-1 who have not taken antiretroviral treatments. The company is also investigating cobicistat as a standalone boosting agent for antiretroviral drugs.

“We are pleased to announce that the Quad phase 3 clinical program is underway,” Gilead EVP research and development and chief scientific officer Norbert Bischofberger said. “Efficacy and safety results from the phase 2 study suggest that the Quad may represent an important new option for patients with HIV.”

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