PHARMACY

Advisory Research to tender its Longs shares in light of CVS Caremark standing offer

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO Advisory Research, a top Longs Drug Stores shareholder, announced on Friday that, in light of Walgreens’ withdrawal of its unsolicited bid to acquire Longs and “the turmoil in the markets,” it would tender all of Longs’ stock into the CVS Caremark tender offer.

Advisory Research will tender all of its clients’ holdings of Longs, which represents about 3 million shares or about 9.2 percent of Longs’ outstanding shares.

This latest news from Advisory Research marks a shift in that the group, and some other Longs shareholders, had stated earlier that it would not support the CVS deal, citing a low offer price.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, Walgreens this week withdrew its offer to acquire Longs, citing repeated refusals by Longs’ management to have a discussion and the deterioration of the nation’s economy in recent weeks.

Longs’ management had already approved CVS’ plans to buy for $2.9 billion, including debt, Longs’ 521 retail locations in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona, as well as its PBM services. On Sept. 5, the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act expired, satisfying a condition to the closing of CVS’ offer.

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Zebra to provide industry printer services to Managed Healthcare Associates

BY Alaric DeArment

VERNON HILLS, Pa. A company that provides printing services for the healthcare industry and the country’s largest alternate-site GPO have signed a three-year agreement to provide barcode and card printers.

Zebra Technologies will provide Managed Healthcare Associates with its printers, as well as supplies and service agreements, at almost 500 of MHA’s member facilities for identification, tracking and access-control applications.

“Increasing patient safety is among the highest priorities in healthcare today,” MHA contract coordinator Kelly Decker said. “Having effective information technology in place is a key step in building a culture of safety that enables providers to improve outcomes and quality of care throughout their organizations.”

According to the Institute of Medicine, at least 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events happen every year in the United States, thought bar coding has been shown to reduce dangerous and expensive medical errors.

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Drug adherence study shows that patients suffering despression often go off medication

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A company that provides patient adherence and education programs released a study recently that examined adherence rates among patients on SSRI/SNRI antidepressant therapy.

The study, by Burlington, Mass.-based Adheris, found that patients new to antidepressant treatment and those who had restarted therapy after a lapse of six months or more were twice as likely to discontinue therapy in the first 30 days of treatment versus patients previously dispensed an antidepressant.

It also found that the greatest differences in the duration of antidepressant use were not among patients using different drugs, but among patients taking the same drug with different levels of prior experience with antidepressants.

The study appears in the September issue of the journal Clinical Therapeutics. It included more than 211,000 patients taking SSRI/SNRIs from 1,157 retail pharmacies across the country.

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