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SXC Health Solutions signs PBM contract with HealthSpring

BY Allison Cerra

LISLE, Ill. A leading provider of pharmacy benefit management products and services announced that its informedRx PBM unit has been awarded a contract with HealthSpring.

The initial term of the contract is three years with provisions for two additional one-year extensions. HealthSpring, based in Nashville, Tenn., offers Medicare Advantage plans across seven states to over 193,000 members and a national stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan to 387,000 members. SXC will provide HealthSpring with its full suite of PBM services which include:

  • Mail order pharmacy
  • Specialty pharmacy
  • Retail network management
  • Medicare compliance services
  • Patient care clinical services

HealthSpring will deploy mail and specialty pharmacy services beginning in 2010, with implementation of the full PBM services on Jan. 1, 2011.

“The flexibility of SXC’s full service PBM offering, combined with its expertise in Medicare Part D, aligns perfectly with our commitment to design competitive products and provide high quality healthcare benefits to Medicare members,” said Michael Mirt, HealthSpring president and COO. “We manage our Medicare Advantage plans locally and require customized benefits programs throughout our network, which made SXC, with its flexible PBM service model, an ideal partner to help us achieve our service and cost containment objectives.”

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Costco notes 11% jump in Q2

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco got an 11% boost in sales for the second quarter of fiscal year 2010, compared with second quarter 2009, according to financial results announced Wednesday by the membership-based mass merchandising chain.

The company had $18.36 billion in sales, compared with $16.49 billion in second quarter 2009. Sales for the first half of fiscal year 2010 were $35.28 billion, an 8% increase over $32.52 in the second half of fiscal year 2009.

Profits for the quarter were $299 million, compared with $239 million in second quarter 2009, while year-to-date profits for the first half of the fiscal year were $565 million, compared with $502 million during the same period last year.

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Rite Aid reports drop in monthly sales

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid reported weak sales for the month of February.

For the five weeks ended Feb. 27, the drug store chain said Thursday its same-store sales, front-end same-store sales and pharmacy same-store sales all decreased 3.2%.

Rite Aid contributed its drop in pharmacy same-store sales were negatively impacted from new generic introductions. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores decreased 3.4% over the prior-year period.

Front-end and pharmacy same store sales were negatively impacted by a weaker cough, cold and flu season than in the like period last year, Rite Aid said. Front-end sales were also negatively affected by severe weather, especially in the northeast and south, and continued weak consumer demand.

Meanwhile, total drug store sales for the five-week period decreased 4.5% to $2.43 billion, compared with $2.55 billion for the same period last year. Prescription revenue accounted for 67.% of drugstore sales, and third party prescription revenue represented 95.8% of pharmacy sales.

As of Feb. 27, Rite Aid operated 4,780 stores, compared with 4,901 stores in the like period a year ago.

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