January retail pharmacy comparable sales to be challenged by tough Rx comparisons, weak economy
NEW YORK — Tough comparisons against a robust flu season last year and the continued lackluster economy may put a chill in pharmacy comps for the month of January, wrote Credit Suisse research analyst Ed Kelly in a note published Wednesday.
"We believe front-end drug store sales were challenged in January, as a difficult comparison versus the peak of last year’s epic flu season, continued consumer weakness, competitive pressures and a lack of inflation likely affected results," he wrote. "[And] we believe script growth for the chain drug stores was weak in January, as the prior year materially benefitted from heightened levels of flu prescriptions and shots. While flu activity has been tracking above baseline levels, trends are still well below the level seen a year ago."
Citing IMS Health data, Kelly reported that prescription growth through the first three weeks of January was down 70 basis points versus flat in December.
However, comparable sales will still skew positive. Credit Suisse projects Rite Aid’s total comparable sales to be up approximately 0.5%. Rite Aid reports January sales on Jan. 30. And Walgreens’ total same-store sales is expected to climb 2.5% in January when the company reports January sales next week.
Roxane announces telmisartan tablets
COLUMBUS, OH — Roxane Labs announced the launch of telmisartan tablets USP. The product is available in unit dose packages of 30 tablets.
Roxane Labs’ telmisartan is the authorized generic of Micardis tablets from Boehringer Ingelheim. The product, which used to treat high blood pressure, is available for immediate shipment to wholesalers and pharmacies nationwide.
GPhA names VP international affairs
WASHINGTON — The Generic Pharmaceutical Association on Tuesday announced the hiring of Jonathan Marks as VP international affairs. Marks brings to GPhA more than 20 years of experience, including previous roles within the Department of Commerce.
"Jonathan’s wide range of experience in trade policy, international intellectual property and international business development are key growth areas for our association and its members as the generic industry expands globally," stated Ralph Neas, GPhA president and CEO. "Jonathan’s expertise will be instrumental in GPhA efforts to promote access to more affordable generic medicines at home and abroad.”
Marks’ areas of focus at GPhA will include ensuring that Trans Pacific Partnership provisions and other international agreements embrace patient access to generics, as well as reinforce the importance of maintaining consistent international nonproprietary names for biosimilars and reference biologics.
During Marks’s tenure at the Commercial Service, he was posted to U.S. Embassies in Russia, Hungary, Germany and Romania, as well as the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China.
He is the recipient of numerous awards from the Department of Commerce for exemplary achievements in the international arena, including the National Export Initiative Award and the Under Secretary for International Trade Award.
Marks, who speaks several foreign languages, graduated from Connecticut College with a major in Chinese and earned a law degree with emphasis on international and tax law from the University of Connecticut School of Law.