HEALTH

Rite Aid pharmacist earns award from PPA

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid pharmacist and regional pharmacy recruiter Donna Hazel was named the 2010 Pennsylvania Pharmacist of the Year by the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association, Rite Aid announced Friday.

“I know I speak on behalf of everyone who knows and works with [Hazel] when I say she is very deserving of these honors,” stated Michele Belsey, Rite Aid VP college relations and professional recruitment. “Her passion for pharmacy and people is evident in all she does, especially so in her development of future Rite Aid pharmacists. Her talent and leadership are great examples of her dedication to pharmacy.”

Hazel received the award during the PPA’s annual meeting earlier this month. The award is given annually to the pharmacist who has demonstrated dedication to the profession, contributed time and effort to various professional organizations, furthered the profession through community services and embodies qualities that exemplify the profession.

Hazel also is the recipient of the 2010 George H. Searight Memorial Award, an annual award presented to a member of the PPA who has shown outstanding devotion and service to the organization, as well as to his or her local chapter, and who exhibits a strong commitment to high values and involvement in local community activities. Hazel currently is serving her third term as president of the Allegheny County Pharmacists Association, and also is the Southwest regional director for the PPA.

Hazel, a retail pharmacy veteran with more than 30 years of experience, joined Rite Aid in 1979 as a staff pharmacist. Since then, she has served the company in a variety of roles including pharmacy manager and pharmacy district manager before being named to her current position in 2005. As a regional pharmacy recruiter, Hazel works closely with schools of pharmacy and is responsible for interviewing and selecting both interns and pharmacists. She is a graduate of Duquesne University.

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Rite Aid posts same-store sales decline

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Thursday posted a same-store sales decrease of 1.7% for the four weeks ended Oct. 23, representing a front-end comparable sales decline of 1.3% and a 1.8% drop in same-store pharmacy sales.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores decreased 1.9% over the prior-year period.

Both front-end and pharmacy same-store sales were negatively impacted by a significantly weaker cough, cold and flu season compared with the same period last year, when news of an H1N1 pandemic was dominating the airwaves.

Total drug store sales for the four-week period decreased 2.7% to $1.9 billion. Prescription revenue accounted for 68.5% of drug store sales, and third-party prescription revenue represented 96.2% of pharmacy sales.

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GSK Consumer Healthcare applauds FDA’s workshop on NRT products

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare on Thursday commended the Food and Drug Administration for holding a scientific workshop this week that focused on the risks and benefits associated with the long-term use of nicotine-replacement therapy products.

 

GSK, the manufacturer of smoking-cessation products NicoDerm and Nicorette, suggested the workshop is a first step in supporting language in the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which called upon the FDA to "consider approving the extended use of nicotine-replacement products — such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum and nicotine lozenge — for the treatment of tobacco dependence."

 

 

As a result of the FDA’s review of long-term use, GSK has submitted a statement into the FDA public docket on its position regarding the long-term use of NRT. GSK believes that using NRT products to quit smoking is far safer than continuing to smoke. NRT products offer a step-down therapy that doubles a smoker’s chances of quitting versus attempting to quit smoking “cold turkey.” Additionally, several other countries already encourage the use of NRT products for longer durations to keep people tobacco-free.

 

 

Smoking is the No. 1 preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. More than 46 million Americans smoke. Research indicated about 70% of smokers want to quit at any given time, but the success rates remain suboptimal. Tobacco use causes more than 400,000 deaths in the United States each year, and approximately 8.6 million Americans have chronic illnesses related to smoking.

 

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