PHARMACY

More retailers announce flu prevention programs

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y., and EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Both Wegmans and Supervalu recently announced the availability of flu shots at their respective pharmacies.

Wegmans will hold seasonal flu shot clinics in most of its stores beginning in late September by appointment for customers 19 years of age and older. This season’s flu shot also contains the H1N1 vaccine and is administered in an injectable form, Wegmans stated.

Supervalu’s 800-plus pharmacy locations will be able to provide flu vaccinations daily, on a walk-in basis. In addition, stores without pharmacies and some stores with pharmacies will host walk-in flu shot clinics, the grocer stated. Specially trained and certified pharmacists currently are available to administer the traditional flu vaccine, needle-free FluMist nasal spray and the new Fluzone High Dose for patients ages 65 years and older during regular pharmacy hours.

In addition, customers who receive a flu shot at Supervalu pharmacy locations will receive a coupon book, worth $50 or more in savings, and a small sample bag with items that contribute to a healthier cough, cold and flu season.

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Sanofi-Aventis: Lantus provides further blood-sugar reduction for patients with Type 2 diabetes

BY Alaric DeArment

PARIS An injected insulin made by French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis provided further reduction of blood sugar in patients with Type 2 diabetes when added to oral diabetes drugs, according to a study presented at a medical conference in Sweden.

Sanofi announced Monday results of two studies presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes’ 46th annual meeting in Stockholm showing that adding Lantus (insulin glargine [rDNA]) to oral antidiabetic therapies, such as metformin, in Type 2 diabetes patients with uncontrolled blood sugar reduced A1C levels further than the antidiabetic therapies alone and also produced lower risk of abnormally low blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia.

 

“Patients with Type 2 diabetes who used Lantus as monotherapy or added it to one baseline oral antidiabetic agent demonstrated a greater reduction in A1C with lower risk of hypoglycemia than those taking two OADs, with a most significant reduction when Lantus was added to metformin alone versus other OADs,” University of Vermont College of Medicine researcher and lead investigator in one of the studies Jack Leahy said. The “other OADs” to which Leahy referred were sulfonylurea and sulfonylurea combined with metformin.

 

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Kmart Pharmacy kicks off flu prevention program

BY Allison Cerra

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart Pharmacy’s more than 900 walk-in flu clinics will be open through Nov. 15 for customers looking to purchase a seasonal flu vaccination.

Kmart customers can receive their flu shots for $25, while supplies last, from a trained practitioner, Kmart said. Additionally, the seasonal flu shots are free for Medicare Part B members. This year’s vaccine will protect against 2009 H1N1 and two other influenza viruses — an H3N2 virus and an influenza B virus. Furthermore, Kmart Pharmacy will offer the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine for patients ages 65 years and older for $45.

"Following a 2009 flu season that saw significant outbreaks, including the H1N1 virus, Kmart Pharmacy is encouraging customers to get their vaccinations early in the season, especially since there is an incubation period before becoming fully effective," said Robb Ayshford, divisional VP pharmacy administration for Kmart. "The Kmart Pharmacy walk-in flu clinics are family friendly, have knowledgeable on-site pharmacists that can answer flu- and health-related questions, and carry a range of supplies to help customers stay healthy during the winter season."

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