PHARMACY

Kerr Drug kicks off flu shot campaign

BY Allison Cerra

RALEIGH , N.C. Regional pharmacy chain Kerr Drug is kicking off its immunization program early this year to meet the demand for flu shots.

Customers ages 14 years and older now can receive the 2010-2011 flu vaccine by Kerr Drug’s specially trained immunizing pharmacists, no appointment necessary. No payment is required by those with Medicare Part B, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Blue Cross Federal, NC State Health Plan and Humana Gold Choice. For all others, flu shots cost $30 each.

“People only need to get one flu shot this year because the 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against the H1N1 as well as two other types of influenza expected to be seen during the season,” said Debbie Pruss, a Kerr Drug pharmacist in Raleigh’s North Hills store. “We encourage everyone to follow the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s] new recommendations for flu vaccines. With immunizations available during almost all operating hours, it has never been easier to get a flu shot.”

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East Coast Rite Aids stock up emergency supplies in preparation of Hurricane Earl

BY Drug Store News Team

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid stores along the East Coast have stocked up on such supplies as bottled water, batteries, flashlights, small lanterns, candles, film and one-time-use cameras useful for insurance purposes, duct tape and masking tape, coolers, canned foods and other emergency provisions to help residents plan ahead for possible effects of Hurricane Earl.

Many Rite Aid stores also have emergency generators on stand-by in case of power outages, so that the stores can keep operating if possible.

If evacuated, residents or vacationers can visit any Rite Aid location nationwide for their prescriptions. The company?s satellite-linked computer network assures that a complete customer prescription history will be available at any Rite Aid store.

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Walgreens, Omnicare ink deal to trade long-term care pharmacy, home infusion businesses

BY Drug Store News Team

COVINGTON, Ky., and DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens announced a deal on Friday with Omnicare, a leading provider of pharmaceutical care for the elderly, in which Omnicare will acquire all of the assets of Walgreens’ long-term care pharmacy business. In exchange, Walgreens will acquire all of the assets of Omnicare’s home infusion business. The deal is expected to be complete before Nov. 15. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“By divesting our long-term care pharmacy business, we are able to have a stronger focus on our overall growth strategy while taking advantage of a specific opportunity to grow our infusion services,” said Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. “Acquiring Omnicare’s infusion business allows us to expand into currently underserved markets, while also strengthening our position in existing markets. As the nation’s largest provider of home infusion services, we are well-positioned to support the rapidly expanding specialty drug pipeline that requires infusion.”

Walgreens will acquire Omnicare’s six home infusion locations in Maryland, Nevada, Virginia, Pennsylvania and California, one compounding pharmacy location in Nevada and one home care management location in Maryland. Omnicare will acquire all of the assets at Walgreens long-term care pharmacy locations in Colorado, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Maryland.

“We are pleased with this transaction, as it allows us to redeploy our resources towards a growth opportunity that better leverages our core competencies and further expands our presence in the growing senior care market,” said Omnicare’s interim president and CEO James Shelton. “We look forward to welcoming Walgreens long-term care pharmacy customers onto the Omnicare platform. As Omnicare customers, they will have access to an enhanced range of services that supports improving health outcomes for the residents they serve.”

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