Rite Aid front-end comps up 3.8% amid shift in timing of Easter
CAMP HILL, Pa. — Same-store sales at Rite Aid decreased 2% in March, including a 3.8% increase in same-store sales on the front end and a 4.5% decrease in pharmacy sales due in part to new introductions of generic drugs, the retail pharmacy chain said Thursday.
The 4,621-store chain reported total sales for the month of $1.939 billion, a 2.5% decrease compared with $1.989 billion in March 2012, while same-store prescription count increased 0.3%.
The company said that of the 3.8% increase in front-end same-store sales, 3% came from a shift in timing of Easter, which fell on March 31, as opposed to April 8 last year.
Investment firm Guggenheim Partners maintained its "Buy" rating on Rite Aid’s stock, saying it expected the company to post strong and above-trend growth in EBITDA in its fourth quarter 2012 earnings, which it will report next Thursday. Guggenheim analyst John Heinbockel noted that script count was below the 1.5% recent trendline, and the reason was unclear but appeared to be due to a weakening of the economy, but the firm expects the meaningful generic drug benefit to GM to persist into the first quarter of fiscal year 2014.
FDA approves new allergy drug for children
MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for allergies in children made by Tris Pharma, the drug maker said Wednesday.
Tris announced the approval of Karbinal ER (carbinoxamine maleate) extended-release oral suspension in the 4 mg-per-five milliliter strength. The company said the drug was the first sustained-release histamine receptor blocking agent for seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis in children 2 and older.
"Karbinal ER is dosed only once every 12 hours, making it an attractive treatment option for the millions of allergy sufferers who don’t respond to second-generation antihistamines and aren’t satisfied with the cumbersome dosing schedules associated with the first-generation antihistamines," Tris Pharma president and CEO Ketan Mehta said. "The approval of Karbinal ER marks our fourth liquid extended-release NDA approval based on our proprietary OralXR+ technology."
FDA approves Mylan genital herpes ointment
PITTSBURGH — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for genital herpes made by Mylan, the drug maker said Wednesday.
Mylan announced the approval of acyclovir ointment in the 5% strength. The drug is a generic version of Valeant International’s Zovirax, used to manage initial genital herpes and in limited, non-life-threatening mucocutaneous herpes simplex virus infections in patients with compromised immune systems.
Various versions of the drug had sales of about $230 million in 2012, according to IMS Health. Mylan said it would start shipping the drug immediately.