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Hamacher identifies six front-end growth drivers for independents

BY Michael Johnsen

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Hamacher Resource Group identified six categories — first aid, eye/ear care, sun care, smoking cessation, durable medical equipment (including incontinence products) and foot care — that are selling better in independent pharmacies over chain pharmacies as part of a white paper released Thursday.

Of these, sales of first aid products, eye/ear care solutions and smoking deterrents more than doubled in independent pharmacies versus chain pharmacies. Hamacher credited first aid growth to manufacturers focusing on selling through to customers of independent pharmacies. Growth in eye care and ear care products can be attributed to an aging baby boomer. And in eye care, a side effect of several prescription remedies is dry eye, a condition for which consumers typically don’t consult their physician. And the increase in smoking cessation sales reflects an increased interest in self-care, the white paper noted.

The white paper outlines strategies independent pharmacists can explore to better capitalize on these opportunities. The study was completed with the support of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

The white paper, titled  “Supply Chain Collaboration:  Maximizing Health, Beauty, and Wellness Product Sales in Independent Pharmacy,” can be downloaded by clicking here


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Vertex seeks approval for cystic fibrosis drug

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Vertex Pharmaceuticals has filed for Food and Drug Administration approval of a drug for cystic fibrosis, the company said.

Vertex announced the submission to the FDA of an application for approval and priority review of Kalydeco (ivacaftor), which it said was potentially the first medicine to target the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, namely mutations in the CFTR gene that causes defective or missing CFTR proteins that inhibit the flow of salt and water across cell membranes and lead to mucus buildup.

If the FDA grants Vertex’s request for priority review, it will reduce the amount of time needed to review the application from 10 months to six months.

"Kalydeco represents a completely new approach to the treatment of CF  by targeting the underlying cause of the disease," Vertex president, chairman and CEO Matthew Emmens said. "This is our second new drug application in less than a year, which is a significant achievement and underscores our commitment to developing new medicines for people with serious diseases."

The FDA approved Vertex’s hepatitis C drug Incivek (telaprevir) in May.


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First lady to showcase fresh-food offering at Chicago-area Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — First Lady Michelle Obama will be visiting with mayors from 10 U.S. cities on Oct. 25 at a Chicago-area Walgreens, according to published reports.

First Lady Obama, along with Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, will be discussing her "Let’s Move" campaign to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity.

The Walgreens hosting the First Lady has been expanded with a fresh food assortment as part of that chain’s 1,000-store pledge to alleviate urban food deserts. The locations offer more than 750 new food items, including fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meats and fish, pasta, rice, beans, eggs, whole grain cereals and other healthy meal components.

 

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