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Longs reports drop in same store sales

BY Doug Desjardins

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. Longs Drug reported a 1.5 percent drop in same store sales for December.

Total retail sales were up 0.7 percent to $529 million from the same period last year. Front-end sales were to blame for the drop, with sales declining 2.8 percent in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Pharmacy sales for the 510-store chain were up 0.2 percent for the month.

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FDA committee to meet regarding Jerini’s Firazyr

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration’s Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee will meet Feb. 20 to discuss Jerini’s new drug application for Firazyr, which is used to treat attacks of hereditary angioedema, a genetic disease causing spontaneous and recurring edema attacks in various parts of the body.

If approved, Firazyr would be Jerini’s first product on the market and the first product approved in the U.S. to treat the disease, according to the company.

The company plans to start a Phase II clinical trial of Firazyr to treat drug-induced angioedema in 2008 to expand the drug’s indications.

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CVS announces light December sales, still on course for top end of guidance

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark announced on Thursday that sales in December were lighter than the company expected due to unfavorable weather, a weak flu season and a wobbly economy.

However, Tom Ryan, chairman, president and chief executive officer, noted that “given favorable operating expenses and improved margins, we expect to report diluted earnings per share on a GAAP basis for the fourth quarter 2007 in the range of 54 cents to 55 cents, and for the full year 2007 in the range of $1.91 to $1.92, at the high end of our previous guidance of $1.89 to $1.92.”

Same-store sales for the five weeks ended Dec. 29 increased 1.8 percent. Pharmacy same-store sales rose 2.4 percent, and were negatively impacted by about 470 basis points due to recent generic introductions. Front-end same-store sales rose 0.6 percent.

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