PHARMACY

Bi-Lo announces seasonal flu shots, Rx discount card program

BY Allison Cerra

MAULDIN, S.C. A regional supermarket chain is kicking off two new health-and-wellness initiatives, just in time for the upcoming flu season.

Bi-Lo announced Friday a seasonal flu vaccination program at its pharmacies, as well as a new prescription discount card. The seasonal flu vaccinations will cost $30 and are available at a discounted rate of $27 for customers that present their My Bi-Lo BonusCard, the retailer said.

Meanwhile, Bi-Lo’s prescription discount card, which will kick off Oct. 1, provides deep discounts on prescriptions and is good for the entire family’s prescription needs. The card costs $5 per year, and upon signing up, customers will receive a Bi-Lo gift card worth $5 to go toward all Top Care health and beauty products. Customers can save up to 75% on generic prescriptions and 25% on brand-name prescriptions. The program builds on the chain’s existing $4/$10 generic drug plan.

“Bi-Lo is dedicated to providing great care and consultation to all of our customers,” said Curtis Hartin, senior director of pharmacy for Bi-Lo. “It is important now more than ever to stay protected with this year’s vaccine, and with these two new programs, our knowledgeable pharmacists are ready to provide shoppers more ways to save without having to sacrifice cost or quality of their care.”

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PHARMACY

Walgreens offers pertussis immunizations in select Calif. stores

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. In response to the outbreak of pertussis, or “whooping cough,” in California, one drug store chain is offering pertussis vaccinations to its customers at more than 150 select stores throughout the state.

Walgreens said that its pharmacists in California can administer pertussis immunizations (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis-Tdap vaccine) to anyone age 9 years or older with no appointment necessary. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the California Department of Public Health have recommended that Californians get vaccinated to prevent the spread of pertussis, which is said to be the worst epidemic the state has seen in the past 50 years.

“We share in the recommendations of state and federal health officials that the best thing people can do to keep themselves and their families healthy during this epidemic is to get vaccinated,” said Bill Hose, California market VP for Walgreens. “In addition to children, who are the most vulnerable, those who care for or are in contact with children should also be immunized, and we’re continuing to stress these important statewide recommendations to our patients, customers and the general public.”

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FDA to review Actos for bladder cancer risk

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration said Friday it had begun a safety review of Takeda’s Type 2 diabetes treatment Actos (pioglitazone) after receiving five-year data from a 10-year study Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America is conducting on the drug showing that some patients taking it could be at risk for bladder cancer.

 

The results showed no overall association between taking Actos and risk of bladder cancer, but there was an increased risk among those taking the drug for the longest period of time and in those taking it at the highest cumulative dose. The FDA said it had not concluded that the drug increases patients’ bladder cancer risk.

 

 

Actos belongs to the same class as GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia (rosiglitazone), which has come under fire lately after being linked to heart problems in patients, though the drug remains available in the United States.

 

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