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Supermarket clinics come to London

BY DSN STAFF

LONDON —Britain’s J Sainsbury has become the first supermarket in the country to offer an in-store physician-staffed clinic.

According to published reports, the initiative, dubbed Doctors in Store, is the idea of Manchester-area family physician Mohammed Jiva.

Unlike in the United States, where most of the in-store clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners, Jiva has teamed up with three other medical practices to take turns seeing patients, in addition to their regular office hours.

Only those patients registered with the supermarket doctors’ practice will be able to make an appointment because the country’s clinics are financed by regional government trusts, so, to keep the service free of charge, the trust that finances the doctor’s practice needs to make sure that only patients there use the service.

The team of government-sponsored doctors will see patients by appointment two nights a week and on Saturdays, to start, in an exam room located inside the pharmacy area of a Sainsbury’s store in Manchester. Patients who are shopping will be alerted via electronic pager when a doctor is ready to see them.

If the clinic is successful, more clinics are expected to be introduced this year.

The in-store clinic is designed to be a service for those patients needing access to non-emergency care outside of normal business hours. The Doctors in Store physicians will be able to access patients’ medical records online and refer patients for more treatment, if needed.

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MinuteClinic moves forward with Massachusetts plans

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS MinuteClinic, a clinic operator owned by CVS Caremark, has applied for its first 10 clinic sites in Massachusetts and expects the opening dates to be in late summer to early fall.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, in January, state health officials approved regulations allowing for limited service medical clinics, marking the end of a long review process that included two public hearings and the submission of hundreds of pages of testimony regarding the regulations.

MinuteClinic stated that it is working with the Massachusetts Department of Health and “is confident that the sites meet the regulatory requirements and will receive approval to move forward.”

The new in-store clinics are planned for CVS stores in Ashland, Beverly, Bridgewater, Danvers, Medford, Medway, Stoughton, Taunton, Tewkesbury and Westford.

The sites are the first of a total of 25 to 30 the company expects to open in Massachusetts by the end of 2008.

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Hallmark exits online flower and gift business

BY Doug Desjardins

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Hallmark is exiting the online gift and flower business, citing a less-than-acceptable return on investment. The move will result in the loss of about 100 jobs at its corporate headquarters and distribution center in Memphis, Tenn., though Hallmark said it would try to find new jobs in the company for those workers.

Hallmark started its online flower business in 2001 and its online and catalog gift and decor business in 2005. The decision will not affect its online business for greeting cards and stationery. A company spokeswoman said Hallmark decided to shutter the flower and gift divisions after determining they “couldn’t guarantee the results we needed.”

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