PHARMACY

Rite Aid adds RX Savings Card discount program chain-wide

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Beginning Sept. 29, Rite Aid will makes its RX Savings Card available across the chain, enabling consumers to save on more than 10,000 prescription drugs and more than 3,200 Rite Aid brand products.

“The Rite Aid RX Savings Card has been so successful in Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and California that we have expanded the program nationwide,” stated Bill Wolfe, Rite Aid group vice president, pharmacy. “Residents in those states really embraced the card and in only a few months have saved over $5 million on their prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines and Rite Aid brand items.”

Benefits of the free card include:

• Access to more than 400 generic medications at $8.99 for a 30-day supply and $15.99 for a 90-day supply for each prescription;

• a 20 percent discount on all other generic medications and brand drug prescriptions;

• a 30-day supply of select generic oral contraceptives for $19.99; and

• a 10 percent savings on more than 3,200 Rite Aid brand products, which include more than 1,500 over-the-counter medications.

The Rite Aid RX Savings Card will especially benefit those who have no or limited prescription insurance. Others who will find particular benefit from the card are those whose prescription plan does not cover certain drugs or who have reached their benefit limits, the company stated.

“Many Americans are without health insurance, even though they may be steadily employed. Combine that with record-high gas prices, increasing food prices and the increasing cost of living in general, and there is a serious need for a card like this to help people take care of themselves and their families,” Wolfe said. “That’s why our list of 30 and 90 day generics at $8.99 and $15.99 cuts across most therapeutic categories and includes some of the most widely used generic drugs such as amlodipine/simvastatin to treat cardiovascular conditions, loratadine for allergies, ranitadine for gastrointestinal conditions, and sertraline which is an antidepressant.”

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PHARMACY

Unapproved eye treatments get yanked by FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration has told companies to stop selling eye solutions for use during surgery and for treating lesions without regulatory approval, citing dangerous side effects.

The drugs include ophthalmic balanced salt solutions for the eyes and topical drugs containing the papaya-based compound papain.

A number of companies have sold the unapproved eye drugs, including Baxter International and Hospira.

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ImClone rejects bid from Bristol-Myers Squib

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Biotech ImClone has rejected an acquisition bid by Bristol-Myers Squibb, according to a letter that ImClone chairman Carl Icahn sent to Bristol chairman and chief executive officer James Cornelius Tuesday, calling the bid “absurd.”

On Monday, Bristol announced that it would increase its $60-per-share bid for the biotech to $62 a share, though this still fell short of the $70-per-share offer that ImClone has received from a thus-far undisclosed pharmaceutical company.

 

“Your letter of yesterday contains inaccuracies which are misleading to our shareholders,” Icahn wrote. “Your statements that there have not been any meaningful discussions concerning your proposal have no basis in fact. … I also told you a large Pharma company had offered $70 subject to due diligence and the diligence will be over on Sunday, September 28, 2008. In light of these facts, your hostile tender of $62, at this time, seems absurd.”

At the end of the letter, Icahn didn’t mince words.

“If you wish to make your attorneys wealthier, I can show you more productive ways to do so,” he wrote. “Or, if you simply want publicity, I can also help you in that regard without your having to make unnecessary expenditures.”

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