PHARMACY

Dr. Reddy’s launches sirolimus tabs

BY Ryan Chavis

HYDERABAD, India — Dr. Reddy's Labs on Tuesday announced the launch of sirolimus tablets in 1-mg and 2-mg dosage strengths. The drug is the generic version of Rapamune. 
 
According to the Food and Drug Administration, Rapamune is indicated to prevent rejection in patients 13 years of age and older who have received a kidney transplant. Rapamune tabs had sales in the United States of $206 million for the 12 months ending August 2014, according to IMS Health. Dr. Reddy's sirolimus tabs are available in bottle counts of 100. 
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PHARMACY

Rite Aid October sales up 5%

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid on Thursday announced sales results of $2 billion for the four weeks ended Oct. 25, representing an increase of 5%. Same-store sales increased 5.5% over the prior-year period. October front-end same-store sales increased 2%. Pharmacy same-store sales, which included an approximate 228 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions, increased 7.1%. Prescription count at comparable stores increased 4.9% over the prior-year period.
 
Prescription sales accounted for 70.1% of drug-store sales, and third-party prescription sales represented 97.5% of pharmacy sales.
 
Same-store sales for the 34-week period ended Oct. 25 increased 4% over the prior-year period. Front-end same-store sales increased 0.9%, while pharmacy same-store sales increased 5.4%. Prescription count at comparable stores increased 3.4% over the prior-year period.
 
Total drug-store sales for the 34 weeks ended Oct. 25 increased 3.5% with sales of $17 billion. Prescription sales represented 68.9% of total drug-store sales, and third-party prescription sales represented 97.5% of pharmacy sales.
 
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Study: Community pharmacists ready to offer personalized medicine services, but need education

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The majority of independent community pharmacists are interested in incorporating personalized medicine services into their practices, but they require further education before this is possible, according to a study published in the September/October issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacist Association. Future initiatives should focus on the development of comprehensive education programs to further train pharmacists, the authors of the study concluded.
 
According to the report, 3-in-4 pharmacists expressed interest in offering personalized medicine services. But when asked to describe their knowledge of pharmacogenomics and readiness to implement such services, more than half said they were not knowledgeable on the subject and would not currently be comfortable making drug therapy recommendations to physicians or counseling patients based on results of genetic screenings without further training and education. 
 
Respondents identified cost of providing the service, reimbursement issues, current knowledge of pharmacogenomics, and time to devote to the program as the greatest barriers to implementing personalized medicine services.
 
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