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Target collaborates with Metro for Brunet pharmacies in Quebec stores

BY Mike Troy

QUEBEC — Target and McMahon Distributeur Pharmaceutique, a subsidiary of Metro, today announced a partnership for the operation of in-store pharmacies across Target’s Quebec stores.

The agreement comes as Target is preparing to open the first of 25 stores this fall in French-speaking city. Target entered Canada earlier this year and plans to open a total of 124 stores in its first year of operation.

Under the agreement with Target, McMahon, which is the franchisor of the Brunet banner, will enter into agreements with pharmacist-owners who will own and operate pharmacies within Target stores across Quebec. McMahon will provide supply chain-and-inventory services, as well as all the operational support to the Brunet franchised pharmacist-owners. The in-store pharmacies will carry Target-owned brands and provide access to prescription, pharmacy and health consultation services that are a key element of the Target store experience.

"Brunet’s reputation as a leader in promoting patient health and well-being, combined with its specialized product offering, makes Brunet the ideal strategic partner to help us deliver outstanding patient care in Quebec,” said Target Canada president Tony Fisher.

According to Eric R. La Fleche, president and CEO of Brunet owner Metro, the agreement with Target expands the banner’s presence to 18 pharmacies, including 12 in the greater Montreal area, and brings the total number of Brunet locations to 168.

Those locations are part of Metro’s 250 unit drug store division that also includes banners The Pharmacy and Drug Basics. In addition to those locations, Metro operates roughly 600 food stores in Quebec and Ontario under the Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics banners that generated sales last year of $11 billion.

Target currently operates 68 stores in Canada, 62 of which contain a pharmacy.


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New Whish Deodorant Swipes designed to prevent odor in one swipe

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Whish Body Products has developed a new natural deodorant swipe that promises to refresh and prevent odor in one swipe.

The Whish Deodorant Swipe uses saccharomyces ferment to prevent odor, which is an alternative to the metals and alloys found in some other store bought deodorants. It has a light fragrance that is understated enough to use with perfume or lotion or as a standalone clean scent.

In addition to the prevention of unwanted odor, the hair-inhibiting properties of Whish’s Shave Savour Hair Inhibiting Gel have been infused in these wipes to prevent and inhibit hair growth, the company stated.

The Whish Deodorant Swipes are available in two sizes: in a 30-pack for $22 or an 8-pack for $7.

 

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NACDS urges ‘commonsense’ approaches to Medicare reform in statement to lawmakers

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is urging lawmakers to examine “commonsense, pro-patient, pro-pharmacy reforms” in an effort to modernize the Medicare program for beneficiaries.

In a statement NACDS sent to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, the Association is urging “commonsense” approaches to Medicare reform and emphasizing community pharmacy’s role in improving heath and controlling costs.

NACDS submitted the comments in response to a request from the committee for stakeholder reactions on bipartisan proposals on entitlement reform.  
Citing medication therapy management, expanded coverage of vaccines in Part D and increasing utilization of generic drugs, NACDS provided specific examples of preventive approaches to improved patient health and cost-savings within the Medicare program.

“Through personal interactions with patients, face-to-face consultations and convenient access to preventive care services, local pharmacists are helping to shape the healthcare delivery system of tomorrow — in partnership with doctors, nurses and others,” NACDS said in its statement. “Pharmacists also provide vital patient care through services, such as medication therapy management (MTM) and their expanded role in providing immunizations.”

Reports by the Congressional Budget Office and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as well as a recent article in Health Affairs found that appropriate medication use can in fact improve health while lowering costs, NACDS stated. These findings have helped increase recognition by lawmakers on the value of MTM, including bipartisan support for U.S. House and U.S. Senate bills, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013 (H.R. 1024 and S. 557, respectively). The House bill currently has 127 co-sponsors and the Senate bill has 23 co-sponsors.

In addition, encouraging Medicare patients and others to obtain vaccinations at their neighborhood pharmacy is a cost-effective and convenient way to help prevent illness and reduce healthcare costs. The Department of Defense cites cost savings of nearly $1.5 million by expanding the portfolio of vaccines that Tricare patients may obtain from community pharmacies. Currently all 50 states allow pharmacists to provide certain immunizations, and NACDS continues to work to expand vaccination opportunities for pharmacists.

In its statement, NACDS also emphasized the benefits of increased utilization of generic drugs and the ability for Medicare patients to choose where they wish to obtain their medications and pharmacy services.

“Pharmacists have long promoted generic drugs as safe, cost-effective alternatives for many patients. Community pharmacy has a higher rate of generic dispensing — 73% — than any other practice setting,” NACDS said in its statement.

NACDS estimates that in the Medicaid program, for every 1% increase in generic utilization, approximately $809 million in federal and state dollars would be saved.

“Substituting generic pharmaceuticals for their brand-name equivalents is an effective way to achieve significant savings in public and private healthcare programs,” NACDS said in its statement.

“NACDS and the chain pharmacy industry are committed to partnering with Congress, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, patients and other healthcare providers to improve quality and affordability of the Medicare program,” NACDS said in its statement.
 

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