PHARMACY

Market Street Pharmacies expands its services for flu season

BY Antoinette Alexander

FRISCO, Texas Market Street Pharmacies and its in-store clinics, through a new partnership with Dallas-based MedicalEdge, are expanding their services this cold and flu season.

As a complimentary service, Market Street pharmacies are expanding the grocer?s whole-health commitment to its guests by offering free antibiotics and prenatal vitamins to North Texans through its “Free to Feel Better” program.

The program covers 60 of the most prescribed generic antibiotics and up to a year’s worth of prenatal vitamins at no cost. A valid prescription is required.

In addition, through its partnership with MedicalEdge, the Living Well ExpressCare Centers have enhanced capabilities. The new arrangement enables the staff to examine, diagnose and treat symptoms of common illnesses such as strep throat, sinus infections and the flu, as well as refer serious or urgent cases to a specialist in the Dallas-Forth Worth area.

“We’re proud to offer guests some relief from the burdens and pressures the cold and flu season can bring as well as the other medical necessities throughout the rest of the year,” stated Tim Purser, business director of pharmacy for United Supermarkets LLC. “Our certified nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants and pharmacists are eager to help members of our communities receive the care they need in a timely and convenient manner. In addition to filling prescriptions while Market Street guests shop, our pharmacy staff is trained and ready to answer questions about vitamins, supplements, diabetic supplies and medications.”

Services provided by MedicalEdge at the ExpressCare clinics include glucose testing, pregnancy testing, school and camp physicals, diabetes screening, blood pressure checks and common vaccinations.

Shoppers can take advantage of the “Free to Feel Better” program at any of Market Street?s six Dallas-Forth Worth locations or at the in-store Living Well ExpressCare clinics at the Coppell, Frisco and Plano, Texas stores.

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PHARMACY

IMS Health forecasts growth in U.S., global pharmaceutical markets

BY Alaric DeArment

NORWALK, Conn. Strong near-term growth in the U.S. pharmaceutical market will drive growth in the global pharmaceutical market, according to a forecast by market research firm IMS Health.

In its IMS Market Prognosis report, the firm forecasted market growth of 4% to 6% on a constant dollar basis next year, exceeding $825 billion, with an expansion of up to 7% through 2013, when the total market value will expand to at least $975 billion. Growth in the United States, likely to be 3% to 5% in 2010, is expected to drive global growth.

“Overall, market growth is expected to remain at historically low levels, but stronger-than-expected demand in the U.S. is living both our short- and longer-term forecasts,” IMS SVP healthcare insight Murray Aitken said in a statement. “The economic climate will continue to be a dampening influence in most mature markets, particularly in those countries with rising budget deficits and publicly funded healthcare systems.”

Blockbuster drugs that generate $137 billion in sales a year – particularly Pfizer’s Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium), GlaxoSmithKline’s Seretide (fluticosone propionate and salmeterol xinafoate) and Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate), by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb – will lose patent protection over the next five years and face generic competition. At the same time, new drugs that treat diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis are unlikely to generate the same sales as the blockbuster drugs. These two factors will combine to dampen growth prospects, according to IMS.

Still, growth prospects in the United States have improved, the report said. Pharmacy chains have more tightly managed their inventory levels based on expectations of patient demand, which has increased purchasing volatility but also created higher-than-expected sales growth in first quarter 2009. Meanwhile, papers have sought to limit price increases and boost the use of generic drugs.

“In the U.S., pricing flexibility and inventory management actions are contributing to much higher growth than anticipated earlier this year and are the main reasons for the upward adjustment to our five-year forecast,” Aitken said.

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Sanofi Pasteur: H1N1 shot boosts immune response

BY Michael Johnsen

LYON, France Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the Sanofi-Aventis Group, on Thursday announced that a single dose of influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccines, Panenza (15 mcg dose, non-adjuvanted) or Humenza (3.8 mcg dose, adjuvanted), administered to children (3 years of age and older) and adults just one time induces a robust immune response that is considered protective in 93% or more of adults 18 to 59 years old and in 83% or more of adults 60 years of age and older, according to results from clinical trials conducted in Europe.

In children 3 years of age through 17 years of age, 94% or more of study participants achieved seroprotective antibody response.

“These significant clinical data concerning Sanofi Pasteur’s pandemic influenza vaccines will help build public confidence in the vaccine and will support efforts by health authorities to face the challenge posed by pandemic influenza,” stated Wayne Pisano, president and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur.

The results are based on interim analysis following the first vaccination dose from clinical trials conducted in France and Finland. No serious adverse events have been observed to date in these clinical trials. Local injection site (redness, swelling and pain) and systemic complaints of mild fever, headache and fatigue were reported.

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