Chains urge flu shots during National Influenza Vaccination Week
National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 2 to 8, and big-name chains are encouraging patients to stop by and get protected against the flu. Both CVS Health and Rite Aid on Monday highlighted the availability of flu shots nationwide as part of the week of awareness, which began in 2005.
After a particularly strong flu season last year, CVS Health commissioned a Harris Poll survey that found 66% of respondents saying they get a flu vaccine every year or plan to get one this year — an increase of 5% over last year.
“Flu levels are typically at their highest between December and February, and while we are seeing an increased number of vaccinations this year, it’s important to remind those who have not yet gotten vaccinated that there is still time to do so,” said Papatya Tankut, CVS Health vice president of pharmacy affairs. “With the flu typically spreading to many communities this time of year and people gathering for the holidays, it is especially important for families to get vaccinated to ensure they remain healthy through the holiday season and into 2019.”
Rite Aid noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend flu shots for most healthy Americans age 6 months old or older, including pregnant women.
“When it comes to the flu, prevention is better than treatment, and our more than 6,000 Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacists stand ready to help people protect themselves from the flu this year,” said Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy. “When you get a flu shot, you’re not only protecting yourself, you’re also helping to protect the others around you from getting the flu. We encourage everyone to take this opportunity to get vaccinated from the flu and help keep our communities flu-free this year.”
Rite Aid said it is offering a quadrivalent flu vaccine, a standard trivalent flu vaccine and FLUAD, a trivalent vaccine with an adjuvant meant for patients 65 years old and older. It noted they are covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare Part B, without an appointment during pharmacy hours.
CVS Health said the flu shot is available at its more than 9,800 CVS Pharmacy stores and 1,100 MinuteClinic locations, seven days a week, with no appointment needed.
Albertsons partnership brings ‘clinic of the future’ to Arizona Safeway stores
Two Safeway stores in the Phoenix area are kicking off a new partnership between Albertsons and Akos Med Clinic, whose artificial intelligence- and augmented reality-powered self-guided medical stations are now available to shoppers. Akos said it planned to expand the offering to 50 Safeway locations throughout Arizona by the middle of 2019, as well as to such other states as Colorado.
“Safeway is a local community grocery store and pharmacy that cares about the health and wellness of our customers,” said Joe Leyba, Albertsons director of pharmacy operations for the southwest region. “Our vision is that the Akos Med Clinic will increase access to care and help customers experience a one-stop shop for all their nutritional and medicinal needs.”
The medical station guides patients, who are sitting in front of a computer screen and a rack of medical tools, through self-administered steps to collect such data as weight, temperature, blood pressure and blood oxygen content, as well as images of their ear, nose and throat, and sounds of their chest, lungs and abdomen. The process is designed to take less than 15 minutes, and their work-up is sent, along with potential illnesses and treatment options, to an Akos provider who engages with the patient through a video consultation to confirm the collected info, verify the diagnosis and confirm or change the treatment plan. There also will be an on-site healthcare professional to assist if needed, Akos said.
The medical station, which combines Akos’ virtual health platform with AdviNow Medical’s technology, can help diagnose and treat such illnesses as sinus infections, earaches, sore throats, rashes and urinary tract infections.
“In a time when digital health is rapidly evolving, we are excited to bring this unprecedented approach to virtual medical care,” said Kishlay Anand, Akos CEO and co-founder. “At Akos, we’re committed to improving access to high-quality medical care and this partnership will expand our telehealth offering beyond the capabilities of our telemedicine app by placing these clinics where consumers regularly shop.”
Lupin launches generic nystatin, triamcinolone acetonide cream
Lupin has launched nystatin and triamcinolone acetonide cream 100,000 units/gm 0.1 %, having received an approval from the Food and Drug Administration earlier.
Lupin’s nystatin and triamcinolone acetonide cream is the generic of Taro Pharmaceuticals’ nystatin and triamcinolone acetonide cream.
The product is indicated for the treatment of cutaneous candidiasis.
Nystatin and triamcinolone acetonide cream had a market value of $54.3 million, according to September 2018 IQVIA data.