The Co-operative Group acquires more than 50 pharmacies in the UK
MANCHESTER, England The UK’s third largest chain, the Co-operative Group, announced today the purchase of more than 50 outlets in the north of England, marking the largest-ever pharmacy deal in the history of the company.
“This is a very significant deal and one which underlines our healthcare business’ position as one of the fastest-growing pharmacy chains in the UK,” said Peter Marks, chief executive of The Co-operative Trading Group. “I am delighted that with this acquisition we will add such a large number of high quality pharmacies to our existing network. Not only do they complement the branches we already have, but this is a welcome and major expansion in our heartlands in the north of England.”
The acquisition brings the group’s total number of pharmacies, branded as either Peak Pharmacy or Tims and Parker, to 779. It is the first major deal since The Co-operative Group and United Co-operatives merged this past summer, and is predicted to earn the company ?51 million ($105 million) annually
The 51 branches, in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, were purchased from the PCT Healthcare group, which operated around 100 pharmacies prior to the deal. PCT will continue to operate the others.
This acquisition is one in a number of recent big moves for The Co-operative Group. It has more than doubled its number of pharmacies since 2004, adding 190 from acquisitions and nearly 250 through it’s merger with United Co-operatives. The merger also created the world’s largest consumer co-operative, with 2.5 million active trading members and more than 80,000 employees.
“We have an innovative and fast-growing healthcare business, and one which will continue to lead the way,” added Marks. “We are looking forward to bringing our cooperative difference, as a consumer-owned organization, to the communities served by our new pharmacies.”
RPCS to expand $3 generics program to Food Pyramid
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. A regional, employee-owned company is set to celebrate the successful one-year anniversary of its $3 generic drug program by expanding its services.
RPCS, based in Springfield, Mo., launched its $3 generics program last year at its 20 pharmacies located inside the corporation’s four regional chains: Ramey, Price Cutter, Price Cutter Plus and Smitty’s grocery stores.
For Black Friday this year, the company debuted a similar program at nine pharmacies in Food Pyramid stores in the Tulsa area.
The $3 price applies to specific generic drugs with up to a 30-day supply of commonly prescribed dosages. Quantities over 30 days or above recommended common dosages will be at usual and customary pricing.
Since its launch, RPCS’ pharmacists have filled more than 100,000 prescriptions.
“Senior citizens, as you would imagine, make up a large portion of customers taking advantage of the program,” Larry Storey, pharmacy administrator for RPCS, said. “However, we’ve found that everyone appreciates saving money. We’ve filled $3 generics for people from all walks of life and all age groups. We’ve actually saved the customer anywhere from $5 to $20 for each prescription on the list.”
The top five generics that customers are purchasing on the program are metformin, used to treat diabetes; hydrochlorothiazide, diuretic for cardiac patients; levothyroxine, for thyroid patients; lisinopril, to treat high blood pressure; and amoxicillin, an antibiotic.
UCB files application with FDA for new pain reliever
BRUSSELS, Belgium Belgian pharmaceutical group UCB said on Thursday that it has filed a drug application with the Food and Drug Administration for its pain-relieving drug, according to Reuters.
Lacosamide, designed to treat epilepsy and pain associated with diabetic neuropaths, was filed to become an additional therapy in the treatment of partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy and includes three formulations—tablets, syrup and intravenous injection, UCB said in a statement.
The drug’s proposed trade name is Vimpat.
UCB made a similar filing with the European Medicines Agency earlier this year, Reuters reported. The Belgian company already has blockbuster drug Keppra to treat epilepsy, although patent protection is set to expire in the United States by January 2009 and in Europe in May 2010.
Reuters also reported that the company’s other drug, with the proposed trade name Rikelta, is in Phase III trials to treat epilepsy and genetic epilepsy disorder Unverricht Lundborg Disease, while lacosamide is in Phase II trials for fibromyalgia, migraine prophylaxis and osteoarthritic pain.
UCB had also sought approval from the U.S. authorities for lacosamide to treat adults with diabetic neuropathic pain in tablet formation. The condition is often described as causing patients to feel a stabbing and burning sensation in the legs, feet or hands. Close to 7.7 million Americans suffer from the condition.