PHARMACY

Walgreens offers pertussis immunizations at Colorado stores

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With the state of Colorado experiencing an increase in the number of reported whooping cough cases, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been encouraging vaccination to help increase immunity and stop the spread of the disease.

In response to this, Walgreens on Thursday announced that it now is offering immunizations that provide protection against pertussis (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis-Tdap vaccine) at all of its more than 150 stores throughout the state, every day, with no appointment necessary.

“We support the recommendations of health officials that one of the best things people can do to keep themselves and their families healthy during this pertussis outbreak is to get vaccinated,” stated Howard Atlas, Colorado market VP for Walgreens. “There is strong awareness about the benefits of the vaccine, and hopefully we can continue to see a decline in the number of cases statewide through more people heeding the health department’s advice.”

Walgreens pharmacists in Colorado can administer immunizations to anyone ages 9 years and older, and immunizations are available during pharmacy hours at all locations.

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PHARMACY

Weis goes mobile for on-the-go customers

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Thursday announced the launch of a mobile version of WeisMarkets.com offering customers access to its weekly circular, online ordering options for gift cards and party platters, prescription refills and a new Healthy Living section.

The mobile version of WeisMarkets.com also offers access to the ePharmacy section, where customers can register for prescription refills at the Weis pharmacy of their choice. And customers easily can access the company’s Healthy Living section, where they can submit food and nutrition questions to Weis Markets’ registered dietitians, learn about Weis’ Healthy Bites program, find recipe ideas and research wellness topics.

The mobile version also offers smartphone users improved access, and is optimized for fast browsing and downloading, the mid-state Pennsylvania grocer stated.

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Kinray acquisition drives Cardinal Health’s Q2

BY Allison Cerra

DUBLIN, Ohio — Second-quarter revenue for Cardinal Health rose 2%, thanks in part to its acquisition of pharmaceutical distributor Kinray.

Revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010, totaled $25.4 billion, compared with the prior-year period. Similarly, Cardinal Health’s earnings per share from continuing operations jumped 21% to 69 cents.

Cardinal Health said its acquisition of Kinray extended the company’s reach to the independent pharmacy community "by adding approximately 2,000 pharmacy customers," Cardinal Health chairman and CEO, George Barrett, said. Cardinal Health also added that its acquisition of Yong Yu in China built on the company’s foray into the international healthcare market.

Breaking down its second-quarter results, the company’s pharmaceutical segment experienced a 2% boost in revenue — thanks to nonbulk customers — to $23.2 billion. Segment profit increased 11% to $289 million, which was attributed to stronger generic sales and sourcing initiatives.

Revenue for the medical segment declined 1% to $2.2 billion, primarily driven by previously disclosed fiscal 2010 customer losses and a strong flu season in the prior-year period. Segment profit was $102 million, even with the prior year, Cardinal Health reported.

In related news, the healthcare services company also disclosed early renewal of a distribution agreement with Walgreens to supply pharmaceuticals to the retailer’s national network of retail pharmacies.

Cardinal Health raised its full-year guidance with an earnings-per-share range of $2.54 to $2.60.

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