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How patients choose a preferred pharmacy

BY Rob Eder

More than 90% of pharmacy patients have a preferred pharmacy — and for 98% of that group, it isn’t mail order. But how do patients choose a preferred pharmacy, you ask? According to an exclusive survey of nearly 800 patients, conducted by AccentHealth and DSN in late July and early August, after convenience/location (among the top three factors selected by 75% of patients), the second most critical reason is customer service (top three for 57% of patients). This is strong indication that pharmacy retailers need to pump more investment into pharmacy customer engagement and efforts to transform the drug store from just a dispensary of prescriptions to a destination for a broader array of health services.

To see more Patient Views, click here.

Patient Views is a new, exclusive consumer insights feature that will be appear in every edition of DSN magazine and the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M. If you could ask 4,000 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to reder@lf.com.

What is your preferred pharmacy type?

Source: AccentHealth. To view the methodology, click here.

 

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Costco posts strong August sales

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Club retailer Costco Wholesale posted sales of $7.4 billion for the month of August, reporting an 8% sales increase over August 2011 and an increase in comps that beat analysts’ expectations.

Same-store sales for the chain during the four-week period that ended Sunday increased by 6% over the same period a year ago, reaching the high end of Citi’s forecast of 4% to 6% and exceeding Guggenheim Partners’ 4% forecast.

Still, Guggenheim analyst John Heinbockel wrote in a report on the results that the retailer’s international comps were not as strong, though the company plans to open new stores in Korea and Taiwan. "Costco’s August sales remained strong in the United States, with one- and two-year gains, ex-gasoline, at the high end of recent ranges, while international comps, ex-Fx, continued to soften hitting their lowest level since September 2009," Heinbockel wrote.

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FDA approves Linzess for chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for treating bowel diseases made by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, the agency said Thursday.

The FDA announced the approval of Linzess (linaclotide) capsules for chronic idiopathic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in adults. Chronic constipation affects an estimated 63 million people in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health; chronic idiopathic constipation occurs when patients’ condition doesn’t respond to standard treatment. An additional 15.3 million people have IBS.

"No one medication works for all patients suffering from these gastrointestinal disorders," Office of Drug Evaluation III deputy director Victoria Kusiak said. "With the availability of new therapies, patients and their doctors can select the most appropriate treatment for their condition."


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