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Walgreens donation helps provide 35,000 doses of flu vaccine to at-risk populations in Laos and Nicaragua

BY DSN STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens today announced a donation to the Pan American Health Organization to help make 35,000 doses of flu vaccine available to at-risk populations in Laos and Nicaragua, building upon a successful public-private initiative to help create greater access to seasonal flu vaccine in developing countries.

Working with PAHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the collaborative effort will help the countries develop or expand their vaccination programs. Its primary focus will be target populations identified as high risk for flu complications, including pregnant women. In addition, the effort will help bring guidance to a third country, Uganda, in establishing a future influenza vaccination program. The donation furthers Walgreens’ commitment to provide vaccines to populations in need, one year after the drug store chain collaborated with the CDC and World Health Organization to donate flu vaccines to Laos. Last year in Laos, more than 90% of the donated flu vaccine was administered over a two-week period, and in follow-up surveys, a vast majority of people said they’d get vaccinated again.

“Last year’s success was an example of what public-private partnerships can accomplish. This year, this partnership has been able to expand further with new donors and new partner countries. Because of this, people at risk for severe influenza will be protected for the first time,” says Dr. Joseph Bresee, chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch in CDC’s Influenza Division.

“Flu shots and adult immunizations are a great example of how we’re transforming the role of community pharmacy, and through this donation, we hope to help improve immunization rates among more populations in need in other parts of the world,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “Flu arrived earlier and was more severe in the U.S. this past season. By collaborating with government and health officials, we’ve had an opportunity to create greater access to vaccines in underserved communities across America, and this effort furthers our mission to help more people get, stay and live well.”

Following this year’s program, the Lao Ministry of Health and Nicaragua Ministry of Health will work with the CDC to conduct evaluations of the impact of the vaccination programs. Understanding the benefits of influenza vaccination will help build commitments for sustainable vaccine programs in the partner countries.

Walgreens donated $10 million worth of seasonal flu vaccine vouchers this flu season to the Department of Health and Human Services to help drive immunization rates among underserved populations throughout the country. HHS also assisted the drug store chain in the distribution of seasonal flu vaccine vouchers in select markets throughout the country the last three years, which provided free flu vaccinations for the uninsured and underinsured.


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NPD Group: Growth in men’s fragrance sales fueled by larger sizes, gift sets

BY Antoinette Alexander

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Sales of U.S. prestige men’s fragrances are on the rise, according to recent research by global information company The NPD Group.

Sales of U.S. prestige men’s fragrance increased 6% to $953 million, from May 2012 to April 2013, compared with the same time period last year, according to The NPD Group’s U.S. fragrance industry.

The 2013 Men’s FragranceTrack study by The NPD Group indicates that 63% of adult males ages 18 years to 64 years wear fragrance at least occasionally, with 23% indicating they use it all of the time, and 40% of men who wear a scent have just one bottle at home that they use. Conversely, nearly 40% of males ages 18 years to 64 years never use fragrance.

“Men are creatures of habit when it comes to their scent selection, remaining loyal to what they know and like,” stated Karen Grant, VP and senior global industry analyst for The NPD Group. “While they are driven primarily by practical factors, and are less focused on choosing scents because of an emotional appeal, such as being memorable, romantic or different, men’s fragrance decisions are heavily influenced by the key people in their lives.”

Seventy-two percent of adult male fragrance wearers started using fragrance when they were 17 years old or younger. Almost 40% of male teen fragrance wearers, ages 13 years to 17 years, were influenced by their fathers to wear fragrance, and even more chose to wear a fragrance to impress a girl.

Among male adults, when choosing a scent, the most important factor was that a woman/partner liked it. Men also shop for a long-lasting fragrance that can be worn every day and for all occasions. "Clean," "masculine" and "fresh" round out the attributes cited among the most important to men when selecting a fragrance.

Out of those men that made a fragrance purchase in the past year, 25% purchased a pre-packaged gift set as a result of the perceived value, and the ancillaries included in the set. Larger fragrance sizes present a value proposition as well. Unit sales of men’s fragrance, in sizes 6.7 oz. and up, increased 12% from May 2012 to April 2013 compared with the previous year. These larger sizes represented more than 6% of dollar sales during the same timeframe.

“Men, and those who purchase fragrance for them, are spending 4% more on fragrances than they did a year ago, specifically on more expensive gift sets, and on larger size bottles. With a quarter of adult men who wear fragrance saying that they never purchase it for themselves, fragrance becomes the perfect, low-stress gift for the man in your life. His scent selections don’t vary much, his requirements are generally basic, and if you like it, it is almost certain he will like it,“ Grant stated.

“The drivers behind men’s fragrance decisions are not complicated, but they are specific, and reaching the male fragrance consumer is as much about reaching the people around him as connecting with the man himself,” Grant added.

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BioScrip to acquire CarePoint Partners for $223 million

BY Alaric DeArment

ELMSFORD, N.Y. — BioScrip will acquire a Cincinnati-based home infusion company for $223 million, BioScrip said Monday.

BioScrip, an Elmsford, N.Y.-based specialty pharmacy provider, said the acquisition of CarePoint Partners Holdings would complement its business, as both companies are providers of home-infusion services. CarePoint Partners is expected to generate about $160 million in annual sales and serves about 20,500 patients each year, with 28 sites in nine states on the East Coast and Gulf Coast regions. Combined, the two companies will serve about 100,000 patients.

"CarePoint Partners is a highly regarded infusion company with a national reputation for clinical excellence, high-quality customer service and superior patient care," BioScrip president and CEO Rick Smith said. "With its strong clinical capabilities, CarePoint Partners has delivered consistent, long-term growth and is now one of the 10 largest home infusion companies."

 

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