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Duane Reade unveils new print ads

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Duane Reade unveiled this week its second wave of print ads throughout New York as part of its business transformation that has been under way since late 2008.

The ads can be seen on buses, subways, phone kiosks, billboards and other outdoor space throughout the city. The campaign tagline is “Your City. Your drugstore. Duane Reade.” The Gotham-inspired black and white ads reflect that New York’s drug store understands the nature of life in this city and what it takes to survive day in and day out.

“The campaign is a highly visible part of the many positive changes underway at Duane Reade,” stated Joe Jackman, acting chief marketing officer. “With this latest wave of creative, we’re continuing to communicate directly with New Yorkers to establish a unique voice for our brand. As Duane Reade is part of the fabric of life in the city, we think it?s important that this dialogue take place on the streets, on city subways and buses and in our stores. Moreover, we are delighted that our customers are telling us that the ads really resonate and feel right.”

One ad, for example, reads: “For the city that never sleeps, we have something for that too.” Another reads: “Where the toughest people get the softest toilet paper.” Another ad reminds people that Duane Reade is the largest drug store chain in New York City and reads: “Germs are everywhere. And so are we.”

The campaign, created by advertising agency DeVito/Verdi, was originally launched in July 2009 with print ads blanketing Manhattan and the outer boroughs. The initial ads that kicked off the campaign encouraged New Yorkers to think of Duane Reade as their hometown drug store, with ads that carried such lines as “The one place even tourists can find,” and “Prescriptions. Easier to get than taxicabs.”

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Amgen, GSK, Novartis win top drug industry award

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Biotechnology company Amgen won a 2009 Prix Galien Award for a drug used to treat a rare autoimmune bleeding disorder, the Prix Galien USA committee announced Thursday.

The Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based drug maker won the Prix Galien USA Best Biotechnology Product award for Nplate (romiplostim), the first treatment specifically developed for chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura and the first peptibody protein approved by the Food and Drug Administration. ITP results from a low number of platelets, causing the blood to fail to clot as it should and resulting in purple bruises on the skin and mucous membranes.

British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline also won the Best Biotechnology Product award, for Promacta (eltrombopag), used to treat thrombocytopenia.

Novartis won the Best Pharmaceutical Product award for the cancer drug Gleevec (imatinib mesylate). French pharmacist Roland Mehl started the Prix Galien in 1970, and it was brought to the United States in 2007. The award is meant to recognize technical, scientific and clinical research achievements in the development of medicines and medical technologies.

“The 2009 Prix Galien USA winners represent what is possible when basic scientific research translates into drug development and discovery,” New York University School of Medicine professor and Prix Galien USA committee chairman Gerald Weissmann said in a statement. “We all benefit from the research that provides new treatments for the millions of cancer patients worldwide and for patients living with rare blood diseases.”

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Wegmans ranks high on J.D. Power and Associates 2009 National Pharmacy Study

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. The results of J.D. Power and Associates 2009 National Pharmacy Study were recently released, with Wegmans Pharmacy ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Supermarket Pharmacies,” Wegmans announced earlier this week.

More than 12,000 consumers participated in the web-based study that was conducted in May and June of this year. Seven key factors were measured:  pharmacists, non-pharmacist staff, convenience, medication availability and information, store layout and design, cost competitiveness and remote ordering convenience.

“This recognition is special because it shows just how much our employees care for our customers each and every day,” stated Wegmans CEO Danny Wegman.  “The relationships our pharmacy people build with our customers are truly meaningful.”

In addition to supermarket pharmacies, mass merchandisers and chain drug stores were ranked in separate categories. Wegmans’ score of 865 (out of a possible 1,000) was the highest among all pharmacies in the supermarket category.

Wegmans opened its first pharmacy at its Lyell Avenue store Rochester in 1972.  Today, the company operates pharmacies in all of its stores, with 400 pharmacists and 1,600 pharmacy technicians on staff.

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