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CVS/pharmacy survey: Less than half of Americans more likely to get flu shot this year

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — According to a new survey from CVS/pharmacy, less than half of those surveyed (46%) were more likely to get a flu shot this year following last season’s late flu outbreak. However, many more (59%) said they consider it a social responsibility to get the flu shot every year in order to keep their community healthy and minimize the spread of the influenza virus.

"It is important for people to get the flu shot annually because it is the most effective way to prevent the spread of influenza to others, and your immunity from the virus declines over time," stated Papatya Tankut, VP of pharmacy affairs at CVSCaremark. "The results of our consumer survey demonstrate the heightened awareness among Americans to get vaccinated, and CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic are two of the most convenient places to get a flu shot."

Convenience is a major driver in a consumer’s decision about where to receive a flu shot. Nearly half (47%) of the respondents agree that it is inconvenient to make an appointment for a flu shot.

CVS Caremark stated that this season more than 7,500 CVS/pharmacy stores and 650 MinuteClinic sites inside select CVS locations will be providing flu shots every day, including evenings and weekends, no appointment needed. All CVS/pharmacy and most MinuteClinic locations are offering flu vaccinations this week, and all locations will have the vaccine in stock by the end of August.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone who is at least 6 months old get a flu shot as soon the vaccine is available.

The survey also indicated that 80% of respondents who have ever received a flu shot would recommend the high-dose flu vaccine to a friend or family member over the age of 65 years, knowing that it increases the immune system’s response for added protection against the flu virus.

For customers 65 years or older, CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic offer the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine. The high dose vaccine contains four times the antigens as the seasonal flu vaccine in order to provide better protection for this age group, who are at greater risk of developing severe illness from the flu.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • More than 60% agree that they feel more susceptible to the flu virus when traveling;
  • Nearly 2-out-of-5 respondents agree that they are more likely to get a flu shot when flu outbreaks are reported in the news; and
  • More than half of those who have ever received a flu shot did so because they believe it keeps them healthy and safe.

Health insurance plans, including Medicare Part B, typically cover the full cost of a flu shot. CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic can directly bill many national and regional health plans that cover all or part of the cost of a flu shot.

Customers will receive a 20% off CVS/pharmacy Shopping Pass when they get a flu shot at CVS or MinuteClinic. The Shopping Pass can be used with CVS/pharmacy’s ExtraCare card to save 20% off non-pharmacy purchases up to $100.

The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CVS/pharmacy from June 18 to 20 among 2,084 adults, ages 18 years and older.

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Boehringer Ingelheim study to assess safety and effectiveness of oral anticoagulants

BY Jason Owen

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Boehringer Ingelheim, a research-based, global pharmaceutical company, today announced a multi-year agreement with Brigham and Women’s Hospital on a long-term study program to assess comparative effectiveness and safety, as well as prescribing patterns, of oral anticoagulants, including Pradaxa, for the reduction of stroke risk in U.S. patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Brigham and Women’s Hospital is an internationally recognized teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School known for its excellence in patient care, medical research and training of outstanding young health professionals.

The objective of the study program is to better understand the real-world safety and effectiveness of warfarin and newer oral anticoagulants, including Pradaxa. Brigham and Women’s Hospital will analyze claims data from UnitedHealth Group’s research database, which is managed by one of the largest healthcare companies in the United States, serving more than 80 million individuals worldwide.

"It is our hope that the results of this study program will improve awareness that stroke risk related to NVAF is a growing public health issue and increase understanding of real-world experiences with new oral anticoagulants on the market to reduce stroke risk," said Sebastian Schneeweiss, vice chief, division of pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and professor of medicine and epidemiology, Harvard Medical School. "This research will allow us to produce additional data over several years that will help the medical community and patients understand the risks and benefits of anticoagulants used to reduce the risk of stroke associated with non-valvular atrial fibrillation."

The study program demonstrates the commitment of Boehringer Ingelheim and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to research that analyzes real-world data to help enhance patient health and ensure patients with NVAF have additional information about treatments available to help reduce the risk of debilitating and potentially fatal strokes, the company stated. In addition to this study program, Boehringer Ingelheim launched the Gloriatm-AF registry program in April 2012, a worldwide registry with the aim of understanding the long-term use of OAC therapy in the reduction of NVAF-related stroke-risk in a real-world setting.

"Our support of the study program being conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a sign of our shared commitment to help improve healthcare delivery and outcomes for the estimated five million patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation in the U.S. who are at increased risk for stroke," said Sabine Luik, M.D., senior vice president, medicine and regulatory affairs, U.S. regional medical director, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "As a science-based company, Boehringer Ingelheim considers patient safety and education as top priorities, and we remain dedicated to research and education which fosters greater public health."


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Bi-Lo, Winn-Dixie announce 10-week price freeze on hundreds of items

BY Jason Owen

GREENVILLE, S.C. and JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Bi-Lo and its subsidiary Winn-Dixie announced on Thursday the companies will freeze prices over a 10-week period on hundreds of products across categories throughout its stores, starting with many items aimed at back-to-school shoppers.

“We are working hard to provide our customers the products they want at prices they can afford,” said Mary Kellmanson, Bi-Lo’s senior vice president of marketing. “Add a great selection of high-quality products, combined with extra attention to customer service, and we believe we’ve made shopping better and more affordable for our customers.”

The first wave of Price Locks coincide with back to school, not only helping customers save on every day grocery and household items, but helping get the family ready for school even easier and more affordable. Items frozen and offered at great prices for at least the next 10 weeks include Dove Soap, Ritz Crackers, Skippy Peanut Butter, Red Baron Pizza, Classico Pasta Sauce, Duncan Hines Brownies, Del Monte vegetables, Special K Bars, Scott Bath Tissue, Era Liquid Detergent, Oscar Meyer Selects, and Hormel Cooked Ham. Customers can learn more about Price Locks by visiting Bi-Lo.com.

In addition to Price Lock, Bi-Lo offers a comprehensive suite of savings programs, including the Bi-Lo Bonuscard and savings tied to its Fuelperks! fuel rewards program; $4/$10 generic pharmaceuticals; and weekly sales solutions including BOGOs, 10-for-$10s, Make-A-Meals, and What-A-Deals. Bi-Lo also offers eCoupons, a convenient way to load savings to Bi-Lo Bonuscard and have them redeemed automatically with a swipe of the card, right at the register.


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