PHARMACY

CDC reports cases of rotavirus decreased in last six months

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Cases of rotavirus disease decreased significantly in the U.S. between November 2007 and May 2008, according to findings published in the latest issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Merck has responded to the results by saying that more monitoring and investigation are needed to determine whether the decrease is related to its rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq. RotaTeq, which the Food and Drug Administration approved two years ago, is the only rotavirus vaccine widely used in the U.S.

The CDC announced Wednesday, however, that it would add GlaxoSmithKline’s newly approved vaccine Rotarix to a list of routine vaccinations for children.

Rotavirus causes most cases of severe diarrhea in children. According to the CDC, it results in the death of 20 to 60 children a year and the hospitalization of 50,000.

RotaTeq had sales of $190 million in the first quarter of 2008, according to Merck financial data.

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Take Care opens two Columbus locations

BY Antoinette Alexander

COLUMBUS , Ohio Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has opened two in-store health clinics at Walgreens stores in the Columbus area.

Take Care Health Systems now has 15 clinics in the state, including six in the Cincinnati area, seven in the Cleveland area and two in the Columbus area. Additional expansion is planned for the Columbus area this year.

“Take Care Health Clinics have been very well-received in Ohio since opening clinics in Cincinnati and Cleveland late last year,” stated Peter Miller, president and chief executive officer.

Take Care Health Systems is part of Walgreens new Health and Wellness division, alongside Walgreens newly acquired I-trax/CHD Meridian Healthcare and Whole Health Management, providers of worksite health centers that operate under the name Take Care Employer Solutions. Including Take Care Health clinics, the Walgreens Health and Wellness division manages approximately 550 worksite health and wellness centers and retail health clinics.

Take Care Health Systems currently manages 183 clinics in 23 markets throughout 14 states.

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Take Care could see 16 new clinics in Colorado by year-end

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, is expanding its presence in Colorado to include up to 16 clinics by the end of 2008.

The company currently manages three clinics in the Denver area. Additional Colorado expansion will include locations in the Denver area, as well as new markets Boulder-Longmont and Colorado Springs.

“Take Care Health clinics have been very well-received in the Denver area—our first Colorado market—since opening in May,” stated Peter Miller, president and chief executive officer. “Nationwide, Take Care Health providers have offered high-quality, affordable and convenient health care to more than a half a million patients, with exceedingly high patient satisfaction ratings. We believe that residents throughout Colorado will also find value in our patient-first model of care.”

Take Care Health Systems currently manages 181 clinics in 22 markets throughout 14 states.

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