PHARMACY

Fred’s dip in pharmacy sales brings down bottom line in June

BY David Salazar
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s on Thursday reported its June sales figures, posting a 2.3% decrease in total sales for the five weeks ended July 2, totaling $208.5 million, compared to last June’s $213.3 million. Comparable store sales also saw a drop of 1.3%, where last June there was a 1.6% rise. 
 
The company’s total sales for the first five months of FY2016, however, are showing a 3.8% increase over the same period last year, posting $923.2 million in total sales. Year-to-date comps grew by 0.1%, compared to a 0.8% increase for the period last year. 
 
Commenting on the numbers, Fred’s CEO Jerry Shore noted that the front-store performance in June was strong, due largely to growth in health and beauty, seasonal merchandise, apparel, toys, lawn and garden and electronics. Shore said the company continues to face challenges when it comes to paper, chemicals and food. But the biggest thing Shore identified as curbing front-store sales is pharmacy. 
 
“Lower pharmacy sales reflected the industry-wide slowdown in specialty pharmacy sales attributable to the demand for Hepatitis C drugs as well as a decline in retail sales and scripts, which underscored calendar shifts that benefited May to the detriment of June,” Shore said, noting that the company hopes to expand high-margin offerings and turn around weak categories by the end of Q3, while looking forward in pharmacy. 
 
“We expect the retail pharmacy department will remain resilient as our labor management program continues to have a positive impact on our cost to fill,” Shore said. “Additionally, the pressured Hepatitis C segment should benefit from new Hepatitis C drugs being introduced in July as well as longer-term company strategies to expand additional therapies.”
 
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Diplomat clinical services manager gets oncology pharmacist certification

BY David Salazar
FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Pharmacy announced this week that Kelly Procailo, the company’s clinical oncology manager inside its Clinical Services department has received certification as a Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist (BCOP) from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. 
 
Procailo joins some 1,900 oncology pharmacists in the United States. At Diplomat, she oversees therapeutic and medication protocols and decision tools, drives policy and procedural development and provides clinical support for all oncology initiatives. She also serves on the University of Michigan’s College of Pharmacy board of governors and is a member of the Hematology and Oncology Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 
 
“We are proud of Dr. Procailo's accomplishment," Diplomat SVP clinical services and human resources Gary Rice said. “She brings additional knowledge and experience to the Diplomat oncology team that will ultimately improve patient care initiatives and programs.”
 
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Health Canada allows immediate access to Narcan nasal spray

BY David Salazar
OTTAWA — Canada’s minister of health on Wednesday signed an interim order that will bring immediate access to Narcan (naloxone) nasal spray. The order allows the nasal spray, made by Adapt Pharma, to be imported from the U.S. and sold in Canda, where only the injectable version of the opioid overdose reversal drug had been available. 
 
Health Canada is currently reviewing an application for the nasal spray’s authorization to be sold in the country, but health minister Jane Philpott said the interim order will ensure access during the review period and potentially save lives. 
 
“The number of opioid overdoses in Canada is nothing short of a public health crisis,” Philpott said. “First responders, police and family members need immediate access to formats of naloxone that are easy to use so that needless deaths can be prevented. Extraordinary measures are required to address this crisis, so I have asked my department to conduct an expedited review of nasal naloxone for sale in Canada, and to enact this temporary measure that allows access to a product from the US while our review is underway.”
 
The nasal spray will be provided alongside English and French instructions for use. Besides making Narcan nasal spray available, Canada’s government has been educating citizens about safe use, storage and disposal of prescription drugs while increasing inspections to keep drugs from being diverted from pharmacies and improving surveillance data on prescription drug abuse. The government has also been working with First Nations communities to enhance prevention and treatment of opioid-related issues. 
 
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