PHARMACY

Rite Aid’s November, Q3 same-store sales drop

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid on Thursday posted sales of $6.2 billion, down 2.3%, for its third quarter ended Nov. 27. Same-store sales for the period declined 1.3%, representing flat front-end sales and a pharmacy comparable sales decline of 1.9%.

For the five-week period ended Nov. 27, which includes Black Friday sales, front-end sales were up 1.3% while pharmacy same-store sales, which included an approximate 248 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions, declined 2.5%. Overall monthly comps fell 1.3%.

Over the course of the quarter, prescription revenue represented 68.3% of total drug store sales, and third-party prescription revenue was 96.2% of pharmacy sales.

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BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy: Services help boost adherence among patients

BY Alaric DeArment

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — Nearly all surveyed patients using BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy’s services over the last six years adhered to their therapies, according to recent statistics.

Quarterly data collected between 2004 and 2010 found that of 17,000 patients analyzed, compliance at the time of discharge was 92%.

“This retrospective data demonstrates to the payers, prescribers, pharma and patients that we are measurably improving outcomes as we daily manage specialty therapies,” BioPlus CEO Stephen Vogt said. “This is our mission. We will continue to be the innovators of valued solutions as we enhance our pharmaceutical management programs.”

The company said its staff was trained to identify signs of adherence and compliance problems, and to intervene when necessary in the form of consultations with doctors of pharmacy who attempt to discern and help resolve issues that lead to adherence problems.

“This data is part of our quality assessment results that we review quarterly,” BioPlus director of pharmacy services Nick Maroulis said. “By asking the question, ‘How can we improve compliance?,’ our entire clinical team is comfortable that we have found the answers, and the data over the years demonstrates that.”

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Senate moves to exempt pharmacies from ‘Red Flags’ credit reporting rule

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Independent pharmacists are hailing a move in Congress to exempt pharmacies from burdensome accounting requirements imposed by the Federal Trade Commission.

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday night voted to approve bipartisan legislation that removes community pharmacies and other small businesses from new requirements by the FTC and six other federal agencies regarding the use of credit and debit cards. The so-called “Red Flags” rule, geared toward financial institutions and other creditors, require such entities to develop and implement identity theft prevention and detection programs, and is scheduled to take effect Dec. 31.

The National Community Pharmacists Association today hailed the Senate’s move, long sought by independent pharmacists.

Senators Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and John Thune, R-S.D., authored bipartisan legislation (S. 3987) earlier this year – with the support of Senators Chris Dodd, D-Conn.; Richard Shelby, R-Ala.; and the FTC – to exempt many small businesses from the new rule.

“We commend Sens. Begich, Dodd, Shelby and Thune for their hard work to ensure that reasonable consumer protections can go forward without unduly burdening pharmacists and other providers with unnecessary, time-consuming requirements,” said NCPA EVP and CEO Kathleen Jaeger.

Dodd was quoted by the Congressional Record saying that the legislation “makes clear” that pharmacists and “other types of healthcare providers and other service providers will no longer be classified as ‘creditors’ for the purposes of the Red Flags Rule just because they do not receive payment in full from their clients at the time they provide their services, when they don’t offer or maintain accounts that pose a reasonably foreseeable risk of identity theft.”

In regards to the House vote, the NCPA leader said, “Community pharmacists appreciate passage of this bipartisan, bicameral legislative solution exempting pharmacies and other small businesses from the onerous FTC Red Flags rule, which is intended for financial institutions. Thanks to the House… community pharmacists can continue providing expert medication counseling and other services without an additional regulatory burden.”

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