PHARMACY

CVS/pharmacy targets Hispanic shoppers with rebranded Miami locations

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The fruits of CVS Health’s acquisition of Navarro Discount Pharmacy last year are emerging as the company has rebranded a dozen stores in South Florida as CVS/pharmacy y más stores.

Twelve CVS/pharmacy y más stores, including 11 remodeled CVS stores and one brand new store, feature a bilingual staff and bilingual signage, the addition of more than 1,500 well-known Hispanic brands — such as Café la Llave, Agustin Reyes and Fabuloso — and new services unique to a national retail pharmacy.

“The goal of CVS/pharmacy y más is to create an environment where our Hispanic customers feel at home and can receive CVS/pharmacy’s best in class pharmacy services along with personalized products and services to better meet their diverse needs,” stated Gabriel Navarro, chief of Hispanic Consumer Growth at CVS/pharmacy. “The “y más” signifies the availability of more products and services that are important to the Hispanic consumer and an overall shopping environment that is more tailored to the Hispanic consumer, with warmer and more personal customer service.”

Additional unique features to CVS/pharmacy y más include —

  • New Navarro Fragrance Counter: A fully staffed fragrance counter featuring a large assortment of designer fragrances priced lower than department stores.
  • Enhanced Value: Competitive pricing on hundreds of products and more value sized/family sized products.
  • New Services: A digital service center featuring an authorized dealer and payment center for metroPCS, bill payments services for utilities, phone and cable, and money transfer services to a wide variety of countries.
  • Later this summer, an OTC Health Solutions Counter will provide customers with a dedicated space to pick up OTC products that are covered by their health insurance provider.
  • Cafecito (Cuban coffee) will be served at the pharmacy at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., daily.

CVS/pharmacy y más stores can be found at the following locations in the Miami area:
 
• 12180 SW 8th St. (New store)
• 2500 SW 22nd St.
• 8720 W. Flagler St.
• 9720 SW 8th St.
• 650 NW 27th Ave.
• 690 NW 57th Ave.
• 2599 SW 147th Ave.
• 1200 W 68th St., Hialeah
• 10700 NW 74th St., Doral
• 7199 SW 117th Ave., Kendall
• 101 Hialeah Drive, Hialeah
• 2780 Campbell Dr., Homestead

To celebrate the launch of CVS/pharmacy y más, free weekly events will be held for the community at all 12 stores through June 13.

South Florida marks the first market in which the brand has launched and, according to local reports, is expected to be introduced in additional U.S. cities going forward.

The move comes as little surprise as the retailer continues to test an array of changes to further enhance its front-store clustering efforts, which, according to CVS Health executives, includes a number of store resets that leverage the knowledge gained from the acquisition of Navarro Discount Pharmacy, a South Florida chain that caters to the Hispanic consumer.


“We are gaining insights about how Navarro merchandises products differently in every category and we’re leveraging their expertise to learn more all about the services, products, value and atmosphere that resonate with the Hispanic cluster,” said Foulkes. “… We intend to use the Navarro expertise to help us make our existing Hispanic stores across the CVS chain even more relevant to the customers we are serving every day,” Helena Foulkes, EVP and president of CVS/pharmacy, told analysts during the company’s Annual Analyst Day in December in New York City.

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PHARMACY

CIPA Study: Many Americans continue to buy meds from Canada to curb costs

BY Antoinette Alexander

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — In a new survey of approximately 2,700 American customers, the Canadian International Pharmacy Association found continued demand for safely ordering prescription medications online from licensed Canadian pharmacies.

Approximately 64% of respondents purchase some or all of their health maintenance medications from a non-U.S. pharmacy because of the costs of filling the prescriptions. Another 22% said medications are not covered under their insurance plan. 

Many news reports and independent studies have documented the issue of dramatically rising medication prices and challenges Americans experience in affording their prescriptions. Twenty-five percent of survey respondents underscored this issue by acknowledging that lack of money has kept someone in their household from filling prescriptions during the last year, according to the findings. Approximately 30% reported having to skip doses, split pills, or take similar actions to restrict their use of prescribed medications because of high costs.

Customers reported spending $250 per month per prescription on average to order a 90-day supply of prescription medications for personal use, and saving approximately $246 (or 50%) per month by importing their medications from Canadian pharmacies.

According to the research, Americans predict serious health consequences without this option. Approximately 32% say they would only be able to fill some medications. Another 11% would not be able to purchase any of their medications. Previous reports have highlighted the issue of patients going off medications or rationing and the resulting harm to health along with the costs to the health care system. Further, since many who import their medications from Canada are seniors on Medicare, non-adherence and the resulting health implications and costs are a burden to the American taxpayer, researchers stated.

A majority of respondents (86%) reported their age as 55 years or older. In addition, 57% say their health insurance is self-funded and that they must fully cover the costs of their medications.

CIPA is an association of licensed retail pharmacies that sell 90-day supplies of pharmaceuticals and maintenance medications (but not controlled substances) to both Canadians and Americans with a valid prescription.
 

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Actavis’ Namenda IR must remain on market, appeals court rules

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK – The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Friday upheld a lower court‘s decision ordering Actavis to keep its Alzheimer's treatment Namenda IR on the market until generic competition is available. 
 
Actavis has a newer once-daily formulation, Namenda XR, and had planned on switching patients to the new drug before the Namenda IR patent expires in October, according to reports. Generic equivalents could be on the market as soon as July, The Wall Street Journal reported
 
“While we are disappointed by the Court's decision to uphold this ruling, we intend to continue our strong efforts to convey the significant benefits of Namenda XR to physicians, patients and caregivers,” said Brent Saunders, CEO and president of Actavis. “Patient demand for Namenda XR is currently trending at more than 50% of the total product line's days of therapy and growing, underscoring the strong physician, patient and caregiver demand for our once-daily product.”
 
The Department of Health and Human Services reported in early May that pulling Namenda IR from the market completely could cost Medicare and its beneficiaries $6 billion over the next decade.
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