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Fostering health with immunizations, MTM

BY Antoinette Alexander

Save Mart, which operates 115 pharmacies within its 244 stores, continues to bolster its pharmacy operations as it sets its sight on medication therapy management and immunizations.

“We want to take advantage of all of the MTM programs that are available.… We want to make sure that our pharmacists are participating in MTM,” said Michele Snider, senior director of pharmacy.

Furthermore, in May, the company will kick off MTM for its own employees. Its pharmacy department will be providing MTM to employees who use Save Mart pharmacies. To further promote the health and wellness of its associates, the company has implemented several internal initiatives, such as a healthy eating plan for meetings, discounts at fitness clubs and gyms, and associates are encouraged to participate in charity walks.

SAVE MART

Headquarters: Modesto, Calif.2009 sales: $4.8 billion% change vs. 2008: -5.9%No. of stores: 244No. of stores with Rx: 115Avg. store size: 60,000 sq. ft.Rx sales: $235.5 million% of sales from Rx: 4.9%Sales per store: $19.7 millionSource: Company reports

In addition, the company is encouraging its pharmacists to be trained in providing immunizations. By this flu season, about 75% of the company’s pharmacists will be trained to give immunizations. While the current focus is on seasonal flu and pneumonia, it eventually may expand into other immunizations, such as hepatitis.

Snider noted that the company continues to partner with Kellogg’s for the “Ask the Pharmacist” radio spots on Fresno, Calif.’s, KMJ radio station. This program provides health-and-wellness information for commuters, and the spots also play inside Save Mart stores.

Save Mart continues to offer patients its “19-Minute Promise.” Through this program, the pharmacy promises to fill a prescription in 19 minutes. If the pharmacy exceeds that time, the customer receives a $10 gift certificate for dinner and Redbox movie rental.

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Schnucks’ O’Brien to serve on Department of Agriculture advisory committee

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS An executive from Schnuck Markets will serve on an advisory committee of the Department of Agriculture, Schnucks said this week.

Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Schnucks VP produce and floral Mike O’Brien would be one of 25 people appointed to a two-year term on the USDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. O’Brien is also vice chairman of the Produce Marketing Association.

 

“I am honred to represent Schnuck Markets and the retail produce industry as a member of this committee,” O’Brien said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute and to make a difference for families across the nation.”

The committee, originally chartered in 2001, advises the secretary of agriculture on industry issues related to fruits and vegetables.

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Gilead commences phase 3 trial for single-tablet HIV treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

FOSTER CITY, Calif. Gilead Sciences has started a late-stage clinical trial of an investigational 4-in-1 treatment for HIV, the drug maker said.

Gilead announced the initiation of a phase 3 trial of its “Quad” HIV drug, a single-tablet treatment that combines elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. The study will compare the Quad regimen with the standard of care among adults with HIV-1 who have not taken antiretroviral treatments. The company is also investigating cobicistat as a standalone boosting agent for antiretroviral drugs.

“We are pleased to announce that the Quad phase 3 clinical program is underway,” Gilead EVP research and development and chief scientific officer Norbert Bischofberger said. “Efficacy and safety results from the phase 2 study suggest that the Quad may represent an important new option for patients with HIV.”

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