PHARMACY

Walgreens posts September comp sales gain of 7.4%

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday posted September sales of $5.9 billion, an increase of 8% as compared with the same month in fiscal 2013.

Total front-end sales increased 4.1%, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2.9%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 0.8% while basket size increased 3.7%.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 9.6% in September and increased 6.7% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. This year’s September had one additional Monday and one fewer Saturday compared with September 2012. These calendar shifts positively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 290 basis points.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores also were positively impacted by 80 basis points due to more flu shots versus last year and were negatively impacted by 20 basis points due to lower incidence of flu in this year’s September.

September pharmacy sales increased by 10.4%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 10.2% percent and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 7.3%. Calendar day-shift adjusted comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 70 basis points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, and were positively impacted by 50 basis points due to more flu shots versus last year. 

Pharmacy sales accounted for 65% of total sales for the month.

Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season to date were more than 1.9 million versus approximately 1.6 million last year.

Sales in comparable stores increased by 7.4% in September. Calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 190 basis points, while generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 50 basis points.

Walgreens opened 17 stores during September, including eight relocations, and closed one.

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PHARMACY

Pharmacy tech certifications pass half-million mark, PTCB says

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board has issued more than half a million certifications, the group said Wednesday.

The PTCB said the number of certifications it had granted was 503,620 as of June 30. Last year alone, 39,729 candidates passed the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam.

"Passing the half-million mark is an exciting milestone in the growth of PTCB’s nationwide certification program," PTCB executive director and CEO Everett McAllister said. "The PTCB [Certified Pharmacy Technician] credential represents an excellent pathway to employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians. It enables them to stay current and be prepared to meet the requirements of the occupation as our healthcare system evolves."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, pharmacy technician employment is likely to increase more than 32% between 2010 and 2020, compared to the bureau’s projected 14% growth for all occupations during the same period.

 

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Navarro offers information about ACA

BY Alaric DeArment

MIAMI — Navarro Discount Pharmacy is reaching out as an information resource about the implementation and rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the 33-store chain said Wednesday.

Navarro, based in Miami and the largest Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain in the country, said several healthcare companies would be available at its stores to explain insurance options, costs and other important information. The chain also will offer free health screenings like glucose testing, blood-pressure monitoring and others.

"Our continuing goal is to provide options to our customers and assist them in any way we can to make informed decisions," said Manuel Leon, VP of Navarro subsidiary OTC Health Solutions; more than half a million members of the subsidiary receive benefits through insurance companies for OTC health products. "As a community pharmacy, our customers already have strong relationships with our pharmacists, who are the logical choices to liaison with customers and insurance company representatives when healthcare questions arise."

The company also will support a community-wide healthcare education effort for Hispanics by sponsoring Univision’s "Salud es Vida" event, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Expo. The event will provide consumers with up-to-date information on the options available under Florida’s health insurance marketplace, with health insurance companies, community pharmacies, government officials, local radio and television personalities and healthcare providers attendees and free health screenings, exercise demonstrations and healthy cooking instructions.

 

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