PHARMACY

CDC report shows rise in number of Americans dealing with HIV

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The number of people living in the United States with HIV increased by 11 percent between 2003 and 2006, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But this doesn’t indicate an increase in infections; rather, it?s because treatments have prolonged the lives of patients, according to the study, published Friday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Between 2003 and 2006, the number of people in the United States living with HIV increased from 994,000 to 1.1 million.

About half of patients were men who have sex with men, while about 18 percent were intravenous drug users. About half of new infections come from people who don’t know they are infected.

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Walgreens reports increase in sales for September

BY Jenna Duncan

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens today reported that its sales for the month of September totaled $4.85 billion, up 10 percent from the same month last year. Calendar year-to-date, sales totaled $44.35 billion reflecting an increase of 9.9 percent from last year’s total of $40.36 billion.

The company also said that comparable-store sales, covering stores open for at least one year, increased by 4.7 percent. Front-end comp-store sales increased 1.3 percent, the company reported. Walgreens credited front-end sales numbers to strong beauty and consumables sales.

According to Walgreens, pharmacy sales comprised 67.2 percent of total sales for September. September pharmacy sales increased 11.2 percent, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 6.5 percent. Comparable pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 2.4 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Total prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 3.5 percent.

In September, Walgreens cut the ribbon on 36 stores, including three relocations, and acquired three stores.

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FDA approves new treatment for HIV

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new combination therapy for HIV from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Bristol announced Wednesday.

The treatment, which combines 300 mg of the drug Reyataz (atazanavir sulfate) with 100 mg of ritonavir, is for people with untreated HIV, also known as treatment-naive patients.

“Boosted Reyataz provides healthcare professionals a newly approved, once-daily dosing option as part of combination therapy for patients naive to HIV therapy,” said Dr. Elliott Sigal, Bristol’s executive vice president, chief scientific officer and president for research and development.

The treatment is based on the 48-week CASTLE study, which demonstrated that the once-daily combined therapy was similar in efficacy to the twice-daily combination of lopinavir and ritonavir.

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