HEALTH

In letter, NACDS thanks senator for supporting Tricare

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA A group representing the drug retailing industry commended a senator’s support of the military healthcare program Tricare.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who serves as chairman of the Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he did not support proposed Tricare premium increases, which would offset the healthcare costs that the Department of Defense have been struggling with. In reponse to this, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores sent a letter to the senator, which said that he exhibited "tremendous leadership in protecting access to healthcare providers and services for Tricare beneficiaries."

NACDS said its position on the matter was in line with the subcommittee, which believes "that savings are more likely to be found through improving business practices and encouraging preventive care, rather than increasing premiums, co-payments, and other beneficiary cost sharing," NACDS wrote to Webb.

The group added that the emphasizing the role of pharmacists in health care is just one of the ways healthcare costs can be curbed, as medication nonadherence costs the nation up $290 billion a year in expenditures, according to the New England Healthcare Institute.

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Rite Aid posts same-store sales decline

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Thursday posted a same-store sales decrease of 1.7% for the four weeks ended Oct. 23, representing a front-end comparable sales decline of 1.3% and a 1.8% drop in same-store pharmacy sales.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores decreased 1.9% over the prior-year period.

Both front-end and pharmacy same-store sales were negatively impacted by a significantly weaker cough, cold and flu season compared with the same period last year, when news of an H1N1 pandemic was dominating the airwaves.

Total drug store sales for the four-week period decreased 2.7% to $1.9 billion. Prescription revenue accounted for 68.5% of drug store sales, and third-party prescription revenue represented 96.2% of pharmacy sales.

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GSK Consumer Healthcare applauds FDA’s workshop on NRT products

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare on Thursday commended the Food and Drug Administration for holding a scientific workshop this week that focused on the risks and benefits associated with the long-term use of nicotine-replacement therapy products.

 

GSK, the manufacturer of smoking-cessation products NicoDerm and Nicorette, suggested the workshop is a first step in supporting language in the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which called upon the FDA to "consider approving the extended use of nicotine-replacement products — such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum and nicotine lozenge — for the treatment of tobacco dependence."

 

 

As a result of the FDA’s review of long-term use, GSK has submitted a statement into the FDA public docket on its position regarding the long-term use of NRT. GSK believes that using NRT products to quit smoking is far safer than continuing to smoke. NRT products offer a step-down therapy that doubles a smoker’s chances of quitting versus attempting to quit smoking “cold turkey.” Additionally, several other countries already encourage the use of NRT products for longer durations to keep people tobacco-free.

 

 

Smoking is the No. 1 preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. More than 46 million Americans smoke. Research indicated about 70% of smokers want to quit at any given time, but the success rates remain suboptimal. Tobacco use causes more than 400,000 deaths in the United States each year, and approximately 8.6 million Americans have chronic illnesses related to smoking.

 

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