PHARMACY

Low flu incidence a drag on February sales at Rite Aid, but comparable sales still up 1.5%

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid on Thursday posted a 1.5% increase in same-store sales for the five weeks ended March 1. February front-end same-store sales decreased 1.8%, of which 0.5% was attributable to a decrease in sales of flu-related over-the-counter products. Pharmacy same-store sales, which included an approximate 138 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions, increased 3.1%. 

For the 13-week quarter, Rite Aid recorded a same-store sales increase of 2.1%. Front-end same-store sales decreased 0.7% while pharmacy same-store sales increased 3.5%. Prescription count at comparable stores decreased 1.8% over the prior-year period.

For the five-week period prescription count at comparable stores decreased 1.4% over the prior-year period, of which 1.3% was attributable to a decrease in flu-related prescriptions.

Total drug store sales for the five-week period increased 2.4% to $2.5 billion. Prescription sales accounted for 69.1% of drug store sales, and third party prescription sales represented 97.3% of pharmacy sales.

Total drug store sales for the 13 weeks ended March 1, 2014 increased 2.2% with sales of $6.6 billion. Prescription sales represented 67.5% of total drug store sales, and third party prescription sales represented 97.1% of pharmacy sales.

Year-to-date Rite Aid has generated $25.4 billion in sales, representing a 0.5% increase. 

 

 

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Grand View Research: Global mHealth market to exceed $20 billion by 2020

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — Grand View Research projects that the global mHealth market will reach well in excess of $20 billion from a base of $2 billion in 2012, as part of a recent market research study. Between 2014 and 2020, the firm estimates a CAGR of 47.6%. 

In 2012, monitoring services represented the largest segment, accounting for about 63% of the overall market share. Monitoring services include independent aging solutions, chronic disease management and post acute care services, as well as devices such as body trackers that are employed to monitor vital signs.

In addition to monitoring services, key mHealth services analyzed and reported in the study include diagnostic services and healthcare systems strengthening. Other services primarily comprise wellness and prevention, and are focused on elderly care, drug abuse prevention, healthy living, smoking de-addiction and child care. 

These mHealth services will be most prevalent in large urban centers. Growing urbanization and purchasing power has resulted in proliferation of smartphones and related devices, along with 3G and 4G networks, which is expected to be a significant driving force for the industry on a global scale, Grand View Research reported. 3G and 4G LTE networks enable services such as high-speed data transfer and video calling, which helps in rapid delivery of telemedicine services. 

And rising incidences of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart ailments and diabetes is also a key contributor to growing demand, the firm added. Changing lifestyle and increasing aging population has resulted in growing prevalence of diseases, and mobile applications help patients control and manage them efficiently. 

However, security concerns and the need to maintain a secure infrastructure to ensure data safety and privacy may negatively impact the market over the next six years, Grand View Research cautioned. 

 

 

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Fred’s focus is on pharmacy and Hometown Auto & Hardware departments going forward

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s Super Dollar on Thursday posted $157.5 million in sales, representing a decline of 1%, for the four weeks ended March 1. Comparable store sales for the month decreased 2.2% compared with a decrease of 1.5% in the prior-year period.

“In the pharmacy department, we will continue to accelerate new pharmacy acquisitions and focus on our plan for EIRIS Health Services, Fred’s specialty pharmacy unit, which is experiencing solid script and sales growth in this fast-expanding segment of the pharmacy industry," noted Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO.

Fred’s also plans to implement its reconfiguration plan in 60 to 80 stores with the Hometown Auto & Hardware department and seasonal expansions.

The decline in sales was credited to weather, as "extreme cold temperatures, ice and snow across the southeast during February were major factors behind the lower-than-expected comparable store sales for the month," Efird said. "Like January, this weather disrupted consumer shopping trends, resulting in store closings and reduced operating hours at a significant number of our locations. Despite the weather, we continued to see positive comparable store sales during February in the Hometown Auto & Hardware, pet and pharmacy departments."

During February, Fred’s opened two new pharmacies within existing stores.

 

 

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