PHARMACY

Kmart Pharmacy kicks off flu prevention program

BY Allison Cerra

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart Pharmacy’s more than 900 walk-in flu clinics will be open through Nov. 15 for customers looking to purchase a seasonal flu vaccination.

Kmart customers can receive their flu shots for $25, while supplies last, from a trained practitioner, Kmart said. Additionally, the seasonal flu shots are free for Medicare Part B members. This year’s vaccine will protect against 2009 H1N1 and two other influenza viruses — an H3N2 virus and an influenza B virus. Furthermore, Kmart Pharmacy will offer the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine for patients ages 65 years and older for $45.

"Following a 2009 flu season that saw significant outbreaks, including the H1N1 virus, Kmart Pharmacy is encouraging customers to get their vaccinations early in the season, especially since there is an incubation period before becoming fully effective," said Robb Ayshford, divisional VP pharmacy administration for Kmart. "The Kmart Pharmacy walk-in flu clinics are family friendly, have knowledgeable on-site pharmacists that can answer flu- and health-related questions, and carry a range of supplies to help customers stay healthy during the winter season."

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Walgreens offers pertussis immunizations in select Calif. stores

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. In response to the outbreak of pertussis, or “whooping cough,” in California, one drug store chain is offering pertussis vaccinations to its customers at more than 150 select stores throughout the state.

Walgreens said that its pharmacists in California can administer pertussis immunizations (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis-Tdap vaccine) to anyone age 9 years or older with no appointment necessary. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the California Department of Public Health have recommended that Californians get vaccinated to prevent the spread of pertussis, which is said to be the worst epidemic the state has seen in the past 50 years.

“We share in the recommendations of state and federal health officials that the best thing people can do to keep themselves and their families healthy during this epidemic is to get vaccinated,” said Bill Hose, California market VP for Walgreens. “In addition to children, who are the most vulnerable, those who care for or are in contact with children should also be immunized, and we’re continuing to stress these important statewide recommendations to our patients, customers and the general public.”

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FDA to review Actos for bladder cancer risk

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration said Friday it had begun a safety review of Takeda’s Type 2 diabetes treatment Actos (pioglitazone) after receiving five-year data from a 10-year study Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America is conducting on the drug showing that some patients taking it could be at risk for bladder cancer.

 

The results showed no overall association between taking Actos and risk of bladder cancer, but there was an increased risk among those taking the drug for the longest period of time and in those taking it at the highest cumulative dose. The FDA said it had not concluded that the drug increases patients’ bladder cancer risk.

 

 

Actos belongs to the same class as GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia (rosiglitazone), which has come under fire lately after being linked to heart problems in patients, though the drug remains available in the United States.

 

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