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A first look at Walgreens first Alaskan store: Photos from the grand opening

BY Drug Store News Team

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens’ foray into Alaska became official on July 12 with the grand opening of its new store in Wasilla. The event also marks the company’s presence in all 50 states.

The Wasilla store, along with two Anchorage locations that will open in August, includes products from local vendors, ranging from coffee and moose nuggets to ulus and fishing supplies, according to a company press release. All three Walgreens Alaska stores opening this summer will offer drive-through pharmacies, as well as heated sidewalks, heated parking spaces for people with disabilities and heated aprons around the front doors.

“With an aging population and baby boomers in their 60s, Alaska’s demand for pharmacy services is growing every year,” said Bruce Philipp, Walgreens district manager for Alaska. “We’ll help meet that need with services that aren’t currently offered in the state, such as 24-hour prescription service and drive-through pharmacies that are especially helpful to the elderly, parents of small children and people who have their pet in the car with them. We even can provide medications for your pets to make caring for them easier, too.”

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NCPA announces new FSA service

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK There are a number of conclusions you can glean from the NCPA’s announcement, which runs counter to a Senate proposal to remove over-the-counter medicines as reimbursable expenses under flexible spending accounts/health savings accounts as a way to help pay for healthcare reform.

 

For example, Finpago helped quantify the value of that FSA customer. If the average pharmacy sells more than $60,000 per year in OTC products under an FSA plan, then industry wide, that means retail pharmacy captures some  $3.3 billion in FSA-related sales per year.

 

 

Pair that sales figure with the fact that 14.8% of American households have an FSA account (National Center for Health Statistics) and you get 16.5 million families saving pre-tax income dollars on some $3.3 billion in sales across more than 55,000 retail pharmacy outlets. That’s a burgeoning market of some consequence. And it’s a health benefit that has been utilized at greater rates thanks both to the inclusion of OTCs and the convenience of FSA debit cards.

 

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Washington, Mo., government votes to move PSE products to Rx-only

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON, Mo. Retailers and suppliers are again facing disparate legislation around the sale of pseudoephedrine products as more state (and now local) governments consider switching PSE products to prescription-only from their current behind-the-counter status.

Local city council for Washington, Mo., in Franklin County last week voted that PSE products can only be sold by prescription within city limits by a vote of six in favor and two opposed.

The motion was passed following a brief presentation by Sgt. Jason Grellner, commander of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit, and Andrew Zupan, a pediatrician in favor of the switch.

The state of California is considering similar legislation; Senate bill No. 484 passed through the Senate last month but failed to pass out of an Assembly Public Safety committee as amended on June 30, though the committee will be revisiting the piece of legislation.

According to published reports, the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri is considering legal action if the city ordinance is not repealed. “It sets a dangerous precedent,” Tony Rothert, legal director for the Missouri chapter of the ACLU told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday. “Here it’s just allergies, but next time it could be something more, like birth control.”

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