HEALTH

Walgreens continues vitamin D giveaway program with Aetna, United Way

BY Allison Cerra

COLUMBIA , S.C. (May 27) One of the nation’s largest drug store chains has teamed up with a healthcare benefits company and a community solutions provider to raise awareness of the need for adequate vitamin D intake.

Walgreens, Aetna and United Way of the Midlands are continuing their efforts through a vitamin D giveaway program extension, which initially was kicked off earlier this year. The vitamin D awareness efforts will donate more than 25,000 samples, the companies said.

“We are pleased to continue our participation in this program to drive awareness around a health concern that’s seldom discussed in many communities,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens market VP. “Our goal is for more people to be informed that supporting a proper diet and healthy lifestyle with a vitamin D supplement is a simple step that can have long-term health benefits.”

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McKesson’s drug-distribution business aids Q2 growth

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO Healthcare and distribution company McKesson reported Wednesday that the Distribution Solutions segment of its business drove second-quarter growth.

Revenues for McKesson rose nearly 1.5% to $27.5 billion for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with the year-ago period. Similarly, the company’s second-quarter earnings rose from $1.11 per share in second quarter 2009 to $1.25 per share.

For its Distribution Solutions business, McKesson said revenues were up 2% in the second quarter, with gross profit rising to $1.09 billion from $960 million in second quarter 2009. The company attributed the increased gross profit margin to an improved mix of higher-margin products and services, including sales of OneStop Generics.

“I’m pleased with the outstanding performance in our Distribution Solutions and the ability of our team to consistently provide higher-value products and services to our customers,” said John Hammergren, McKesson chairman and CEO. “In particular, the market-leading generics programs that we have across all of our distribution businesses continue to play a significant role in our margin expansion.”

McKesson also saw additional increases across its U.S. pharmaceutical distribution, where revenues were up 1% for the quarter, as well as its medical-surgical distribution revenues, which rose 5%. The company also noted, however, that revenues were down 3% for its Technology Solutions segment.

Hammergren said that the company continues to expect to earn between $4.72 and $4.92 per diluted share for its fiscal guidance.

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NACDS Foundation supports NCL’s medication adherence awareness campaign

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The charitable arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced its $1 million contribution to the National Consumers League’s medication adherence awareness campaign.

 

NACDS Foundation said that the NCL is leading the national multimedia effort targeting people with chronic conditions and healthcare practitioners — with additional intensive outreach in a handful of markets across the country — to inform consumers of the possible health and financial burdens that can be experienced when medication is not correctly taken.

 

Poor medication adherence is estimated to cost the healthcare system $290 billion a year, according to the New England Healthcare Institute.

 

“Helping to raise public awareness about the importance of taking prescriptions as prescribed by their doctors is one of our top priorities at the NACDS Foundation, and we are proud to be a major supporter of the campaign,” said Edith Rosato, president of the NACDS Foundation. “It is vital to public health to chip away at the hurdles preventing consumers from taking medication as prescribed and improving their health and lowering overall healthcare costs. The Foundation looks forward to actively engaging in the campaign and helping to ensure its success.”

 

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