PHARMACY

Kroger eyes more stand-alone Rx kiosks

BY Jim Frederick

CINCINNATI Within the parking lots of some of its existing stores, Kroger is expanding in a new direction, in search of a bigger share of the nation’s prescription market.

Kroger is appealing to local governments to add freestanding, drive-up pharmacy kiosks to at least two of its locations in Ohio and Virginia, according to news reports. If successful, the fledgling project could give the supermarket and pharmacy giant another, albeit modest, weapon in the battle for pharmacy market share.

The kiosks, planned for Kroger stores in Roanoke, Va., and Gahanna, Ohio, would operate as remote, stand-alone pharmacy dispensing outlets in the parking lot in front of the store, according to The Roanoke Times and ThisWeek community newspapers, which serve the central Ohio region. They would replace as many as a dozen parking spaces within a mid-lot island.

The kiosks would operate like a drive-through pharmacy. Customers could drive up to the kiosk, drop off prescriptions and receive prescription drugs from a pharmacy inside the Kroger supermarket via pneumatic tube.

Kroger operates a handful of the kiosks in locations around the United States where its stores can’t accommodate a traditional drive-through pharmacy, according to the news reports. Separately, Kroger said it will release its second-quarter results Sept. 14.

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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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