PHARMACY

Drugstore.com reports earnings for Q3 2008

BY Michael Johnsen

BELLEVUE, Wash. Drugstore.com on Wednesday reported net sales of $87.8 million for the quarter ending Sept. 28, up 8.5 percent year-over-year, driven by over-the-counter order growth, and a net loss of $3.6 million, or $0.04 per share.

“We posted a solid third quarter, with strong beauty growth, record gross margins and adjusted EBITDA improvement of 76 percent over the prior-year period to surpass $3.6 million,”Dawn Lepore, chief executive officer and chairman of Drugstore.com said. “Overall beauty revenues increased over 20 percent from the prior-year period, aided by 32 percent growth in our Beauty.com business. Importantly, we are also continuing to see the benefits from our focus on our profitability initiatives as OTC margins improved 230 basis points to 31.6 percent year-over-year.”

According to the click-and-ship retailer, core OTC revenues grew by 12.2 percent to $60.8 million in the quarter. OTC net sales grew by approximately 12.1 percent to $61.2 million.

Drugstore.com served approximately 325,000 new customers during the quarter, up approximately 6 percent over the same period in the prior year. The company is approximately 600,000 new customers away from reaching the 10-million customers served mark, the company noted.

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AHIMA applauds Barack Obama for campaign success

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO The American Health Information Management Association has congratulated Barack Obama on his election as president of the United States, calling for reform of the healthcare system.

“Given the president-elect’s strong statements in support of health information as a key to expanding healthcare coverage while improving quality and controlling costs‹most recently during his infomercial last week—AHIMA is understandably optimistic,” AHIMA chief executive officer Linda Kloss said in a statement. “We urge the Obama administration to pursue the imperative of a 21st century health information platform that offers providers, payers and patients the accurate, integrated and secure electronic information they need to make decisions of utmost importance.”

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GlaxoSmithKline consolidates U.S. headquarters, announces layoffs of 1,000

BY Jenna Duncan

PHILADELPHIA GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Abreva, Aquafresh toothpastes, Nicorette, Sensodyne and Tums will cut its workforce by about 1,800 jobs and make Research Triangle Park in North Carolina its permanent North American headquarters, replacing the current U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, reports said today.

GlaxoSmithKline has had duel headquarters in the United States since the merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham was finalized in 2000, The Wall Street Journal today reported.

Today, GSK said that it will cut 1,800 positions, laying off about 1,000 people and eliminating hundreds of vacant positions, reports said.

GSK’s global headquarters are in London. The company is currently in the midst of belt-tightening in many departments due to growing pressure from the quickly expanding generic drug market and a decline in drug sales.

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