PHARMACY

Costco pharmacy sales up in 2007

BY Doug Desjardins

ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco’s pharmacy sales were up again in 2007. According to preliminary results for its fiscal year ended Sept. 2, Costco’s pharmacy sales totaled $2.72 billion, an increase of 7.9% from 2006.

Prescription sales generated $1.347 billion in revenue–a 7.5% increase over last year – while OTC sales increased 8.1% to $1.370 billion. Costco also said it plans to open a second, central fill facility in 2008 but has not yet announced the location. It opened its first central fill center in Everett, Wash. in 2006. Costco will release its full year earnings on Oct. 11.

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GSK will supply over 30 million doses of flu vaccines to U.S. this season

BY Drew Buono

PHILADELPHIA The influenza virus vaccines Fluarix and FluLaval from GlaxoSmithKline will have a combined total of 30 million to 35 million doses supplied to the U.S. markets for the 2007-08 influenza season.

The vaccines will be delivered in phased approach for the rest of September and all of October with completion occurring at the end of October. “Providing an ample and steadily growing supply of flu vaccine has been a priority for GlaxoSmithKline since entering the U.S. market in 2004,” said David Pernock, senior vice president of GSK. “Over the years, GSK has significantly increased its influenza vaccine manufacturing capacity, and we have taken steps to improve the way this product is distributed to those who need it.”

Last year, the company sent about 25 million doses of the drugs for flu season.

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NACDS pledges to award at least $100,000 in scholarships

BY Drew Buono

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation is pledging to award at least $100,000 this year in scholarships, and has begun accepting applications.

Last year, 40 students were awarded a scholarship, an increase of three from 2005, and this year it looks like the foundation wants to add award the scholarship of $2,000 to at least 50 students. Also, some select recipients will receive named scholarships in the amount of $2,500, in addition to the $2,000 scholarship.

Applicants must be at least in their second year of pharmacy school, as well as have experience and the desire to work in a chain community pharmacy.

“The NACDS Foundation is continuously committed to advancing the pharmacy industry for the good of the public. An important part of our industry is its future, and that is what these students represent,” said Phil Schneider, NACDS Foundation president. The deadline for all applications is Oct. 19.

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