PHARMACY

CVS/pharmacy says loyalty card holders saved more than $1.8 billion in 2008

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy announced on Tuesday that members of its ExtraCare loyalty card program received more than $1.8 billion in ExtraCare savings and rewards throughout 2008.

In the final quarter of 2008 alone, ExtraCare cardholders earned nearly $70 million in Extra Bucks. The rewards program is the largest in the nation and has attracted more than 50 million active cardholders.

“CVS/pharmacy shoppers have been using the ExtraCare program to save money year after year, and these everyday savings really add up,” said John Barron, director of relationship marketing at CVS/pharmacy. “With more than $69 million in Extra Bucks being given to cardholders this month, we are reminding all of our customers not to toss out their receipts without first checking the bottom, or they might be throwing away free money.”

Cardholders have until Feb. 15 to receive their personal savings out of the more than $69 million in Extra Bucks currently being paid out to CVS/pharmacy shoppers.

By using the card, shoppers earn CVS/pharmacy dollars called Extra Bucks on nearly all purchases. Some Extra Bucks offers are instant coupons that print when a specially advertised product is purchased, and quarterly Extra Bucks rewards are issued to cardholders in January, April, July and October. All cardholders earn 2 percent back on non-prescription purchases and $1 Extra Buck for every two prescriptions purchased.

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PHARMACY

Researchers test administering medication using nanotechnology, gold

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Researchers have developed a way to use tiny particles of gold to control the administration of drugs for diseases such as cancer, according to a study published in the journal ACS Nano.

The researchers, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, created a device that shines infrared light on particles of gold coated with medicine.

The particles vary in size, causing them to melt at different rates depending on the intensity of the light.

The researchers said the device would allow medicine to target specific areas of the body at specific rates, thus minimizing damage to healthy tissue.

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N.J. tests new law requiring vaccinations for school-age children

BY Alaric DeArment

TRENTON, N.J. New Jersey will find out this week if its new law requiring flu vaccinations for schoolchildren has worked, according to published reports.

The state is the first in the country to require schoolchildren to receive flu vaccinations, between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. It required the children to receive the vaccinations by Dec. 31. Children who have not been vaccinated will not be allowed to attend school.

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