PHARMACY

Kerr Drug gears up for H1N1 outbreak

BY Allison Cerra

RALEIGH, N.C. Regional pharmacy chain Kerr Drug is gearing up for an H1N1 outbreak this spring, despite reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that only four states are experiencing widespread activity.

Kerr Drug is encouraging its customers to get vaccinated by offering flu shot clinics in its stores as well as employer sites and community events.

“Kerr Drug has an adequate supply of H1N1 vaccine so we are able to provide the vaccine to anyone (ages 14 years or older) who wants it,” said Joe Heidrick, R.Ph, PharmD and Director of Operations for KDI Health Solutions, the clinical subsidiary of Kerr Drug. “Those are high risk include children and young adults, pregnant women and people with chronic health problems such as asthma and heart disease.”

For more information, visit www.kerrdrug.com.

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Publix joins H1N1 efforts during National Influenza Vaccination Week

BY Michael Johnsen

LAKELAND, Fla. To coincide with National Influenza Vaccination Week, Publix Pharmacies announced Wednesday an inoculation offer of the H1N1 vaccine for $10. The special pricing for the vaccine will remain in effect until the vaccine supply is depleted. Customers do not need an appointment for the vaccination, but are encouraged to call their local Publix Pharmacy to ensure an immunizing pharmacist is on duty and vaccine supply still is available.

In addition, every customer who receives an H1N1 vaccine from a Publix Pharmacy will also receive a coupon good for a $10 Publix gift card with a new or transferred prescription.

“While influenza is unpredictable, we know that if more people are vaccinated, the disease is less likely to spread in the upcoming months,” stated Maria Brous, Publix media and community relations director. “Our Publix Pharmacists are committed to the total health and wellness of our customers and their families.”

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FDA finds Spiriva does not raise risk of heart attack, stroke

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. Data from a recent review of a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease do not support allegations that it raises the risk of stroke, heart attack or death, the Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday.

The FDA reviewed a 5,992-patient study of the Spiriva HandiHaler (tiotropium), made by Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim as a treatment for COPD, a disease that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

In March 2008, an FDA Early Communication described data submitted by one of the companies suggesting a small increased risk of stroke in patients who had taken the inhaler’s active ingredient. An update in October of that year highlighted two additional publications suggesting an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and death in patients using the drug.

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