Upsher-Smith creates social media support system for patients living with seizure clusters
MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Upsher-Smith Labs on Monday introduced a new educational program created for patients living with seizure clusters, as well as their families and friends. The initiative — called Seizure Clusters Connect — uses traditional and social media to offer patients and their caregivers a community for learning and support. The program launched online with the debut of the Seizure Clusters Connect Facebook page and the Seizure Clusters Connect YouTube channel.
Seizure clusters are seizures that happen one after the other over a short period of time. There is a recovery period between each seizure and a pattern that is different from the usual seizure pattern. Anyone who has epilepsy can have seizure clusters, even when taking antiepileptic medicine as directed.
"We created these new social media venues to provide a community of support for patients and caregivers affected by seizure clusters," stated Matthew Fox, SVP corporate strategy, Upsher-Smith.
"Seizure clusters can be particularly challenging for patients and their caregivers," commented Sheryl Haut, professor of clinical neurology, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "The new Seizure Clusters Connect online community offers an array of valuable information and support to patients and caregivers living with seizure clusters."
Walgreens February sales up 5%, Q2 sales up 5.2%
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday reported February sales of $6.1 billion, an increase of 5% compared with the same month in fiscal 2013. Total sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended Feb. 28, were $19.6 billion, up 5.2%.
February pharmacy sales increased by 6.7%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 6.1%. Comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 1.4 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, and were positively impacted by 0.1 percentage point due to more flu shots in February versus last year. The lower incidence of flu negatively impacted pharmacy sales by 0.7 percentage point. Pharmacy sales accounted for 62.9% of total sales for the month.
Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 2.2% in February. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores were positively impacted by 0.1 percentage point due to more flu shots in the month versus last year but were negatively impacted by 1 percentage point due to the lower incidence of flu in February 2014.
Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season to date were 7.7 million versus nearly 7 million last year.
Total front-end sales increased 3% compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 0.7% while basket size increased 2.7%.
Sales in comparable stores increased by 4.5% in February. Generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 0.9 percentage point, while the lower incidence of flu negatively impacted total comparable sales by 0.4 percentage point.
Comparable store sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 increased 4.5%, while front-end comparable store sales for the quarter increased 2%. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 2.4% in the second quarter and comparable pharmacy sales increased 6.1%.
Severe winter weather is estimated to have negatively impacted second quarter comparable store front-end sales by 0.6 percentage point and negatively impacted the quarter’s prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 0.8 percentage point. Additionally, the company incurred incremental selling, general and administrative expenses throughout the quarter from the severe weather.
Walgreens opened eight stores during February, including five relocations.
On Feb. 28, Walgreens operated 8,681 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. That includes 8,209 drugstores, 138 more than a year ago, including 60 net stores acquired over the last 12 months.
Cardinal Health’s Women in Pharmacy initiative addresses pharmacy ownership at United Nations
NEW YORK — Eden Sulzer, director of Cardinal Health’s Women in Pharmacy initiative, on Tuesday will discuss the unprecedented opportunity female pharmacists have to assume community pharmacy ownership roles during a panel discussion at the 2014 International Women’s Day Forum, taking place at the United Nations.
The theme of year’s International Women’s Day Forum is "Turning Inspiration into Action: Next Steps for the Private Sector to Empower Women Globally." During a panel discussion entitled "The Sheconomy: The Power of the Female Consumer in a Growing Middle Class," Sulzer will discuss how she created Cardinal Health’s Women in Pharmacy initiative in 2011, with the goal of connecting the growing number of women pharmacists with resources, tools, education and support they need to seize the opportunity of independent pharmacy ownership.
Sulzer also will discuss how female community pharmacists are particularly well-positioned to serve as trusted, convenient, local healthcare resources for fellow women — who make 80% of healthcare purchasing decisions for their family and often serve as caregiver for their children, as well as aging parents.
Sulzer will shed light on key demographic and economic factors that are positioning women pharmacists as a powerful force in the reshaping of how healthcare is delivered at the community level. For example, women comprised less than 13% of all pharmacists in 1970 and comprise almost half of all pharmacists today. Additionally, because two-thirds of new pharmacy graduates are women and because most pharmacists nearing retirement are men, the proportion of pharmacists who are women will continue rising. By 2025, 2-out-of-3 pharmacists are likely to be women.
Sulzer also will share insight into current barriers to female pharmacy ownership, and what steps need to be taken to empower women pharmacists to buy and own their own pharmacies.