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Grocer gains healthcare partners to polish Rx

BY Antoinette Alexander

Grocer Albertsons continues to focus heavily on pharmacy and health and wellness, as evidenced by its new pharmacy management system.

ALBERTSONS

Headquarters: Boise, Idaho2009 sales: $3.37 billion% change vs. 2008: -11%No. of stores: 222No. of stores with Rx: 211Avg. store size: 55,000 sq. ft.Rx sales: $843 million% of sales from Rx: 25%Sales per store: $15.2 million

Source: Drug Store News

In an effort to better partner with its patients, Albertsons has a new pharmacy management system through an agreement with PDX and affiliates Rx.com and the Nationwide Health Information Network. The implementation of the Rx.com electronic pharmacy record facilitates complete chainwide drug utilization review checking, and allows patients the convenience of shopping at any Albertsons pharmacy. In addition, NHIN provides submissions, reconciliations and collections services for Albertsons.

The company noted that its Rx-tra Savings program, launched in October 2008, is well-received and continues to grow. The program provides pharmacy patients with discounts on all generic and brand-name medications, and offers up to a 30-day supply of more than 500 generic medications for $4.99 and up to a 90-day supply for $10.99.

Albertsons continues to partner with HealthFair, a provider of mobile medical screenings. There were more than 80 clinics scheduled in March and April. HealthFair clinic screening packages include heart disease prevention, stroke and aneurysm prevention, prostate cancer, cholesterol and diabetes.

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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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