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CVS Caremark launches a new Droid app

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has released the Caremark.com Droid application, which provides Android users with access to the Drug Information Database to learn about various prescription drugs and allows CVS Caremark plan members to log in and manage their prescriptions online.

The free app can be used with Android 2.1 OS and above phones. Caremark.com has had an iPhone application available since July 2010, and this new Android application further broadens CVS Caremark members’ mobile access to their prescription information.

"At CVS Caremark we continue to find ways to engage and communicate with our members using new technologies to manage their prescriptions and keep them connected," stated Tim Kurth, VP e-business at CVS Caremark. "The availability of an Android app enables us to provide our plan members with convenient access to their Caremark.com accounts through their preferred mobile devices."

Any Android user can download the application and use the Drug Information function. This function will connect users to the Drug Information Database where they can research particular prescription medications, get information about how to take them, learn about available generic drug alternatives, see an image of the drug, learn about side effects and precautions and more.

CVS Caremark PBM members can use the application to register on Caremark.com or log in to their existing Caremark.com accounts from their Androids. Once they are logged in, members can perform a variety of functions, including:

  • Refill a prescription;
  • Check prescription order status;
  • View prescription history;
  • Easy mail-service prescription refills;
  • Online new prescription requests;
  • Check drug coverage and cost; and
  • Locate a network pharmacy.

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Report: Amazon tests public delivery lockers in Seattle, New York retailers

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Online retailer Amazon is testing robotic delivery lockers that people can use to receive items they order from the website, according to published reports.

Wired magazine reported online that the company was conducting the tests in Seattle and New York at Rite Aid and 7-Eleven stores, as well as other locations. The new service would allow people to select a locker location for delivery and then go to retrieve their items automatically using a six-digit code.

Wired noted that the concept made ordering from Amazon more convenient because it would allow customers to pick up their packages on the way home instead of having to wait for them to arrive at their homes.

UPDATE: Rite Aid spokesman Eric Harkreader told Drug Store News that a "handful" of Rite Aid stores were participating in the test, though he could not offer additional details. "To speculate beyond the test, I think, would be premature," he said.

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Research: Aspirin may play role in fighting colon, prostate cancers

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — New research published in the October 2011 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch suggested aspirin may play a role in fighting cancer, the publication announced Wednesday.

Aspirin inhibits the action of two enzymes in the body — cox-1 and cox-2. One of these, cox-2, triggers the production of chemicals that cause fever, create inflammation in joints and other tissues and aggravate pain. Research suggests that these same cox-2 enzymes may have a role in certain cancers. Cox-2 appears to promote the growth of new blood vessels to support the rapid growth of tumors, and also may interact with various growth factors to stimulate the multiplication of malignant cells. It also appears to inhibit apoptosis, a natural defense mechanism that helps prevent runaway tumor growth by triggering cell death by suicide.

The information about cox-2 inhibitors and human cancer still is under study, but scientists have discovered that many of the most aggressive colon cancers have unusually high levels of cox-2, as do many prostate cancers. In addition, randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that cox-2 inhibitors help prevent people at high risk of colon cancer from producing the benign polyps that give rise to nearly all colon cancers.

A British study analyzed fully completed, high-quality randomized trials of aspirin. When analyzed together, these trials showed that daily aspirin reduced the risk of dying from cancer by 21%. Seven-of-the-8 trials provided enough information to permit analysis of individual patients and specific cancers. Aspirin was most effective against gastrointestinal cancers, reducing the risk of death by 54%.

It’s too soon to recommend routine aspirin use to prevent cancer, stated Harvard Men’s Health Watch. But people at high risk of cancer, particularly colon cancer patients, people with colonic adenomas and individuals with a strong family history of colon cancer, should discuss the issue with their doctors.

Though not included in the Harvard Men’s Health Watch report, other over-the-counter medicines that also inhibit the cox-2 enzyme include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Prescription-only cox-2 inhibitors include Celebrex (celecoxib) and the older pain reliever Mobic (meloxicam).

 


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