PHARMACY

Walgreens agrees to acquire pharmacy business, other assets from Snyder Drug in Minnesota

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has agreed to acquire the pharmacy business and certain other assets of 25 company-owned Snyder’s Drug Stores in Minnesota.

Walgreens will acquire and continue to operate certain locations and anticipates staffing most of these store positions with Snyder’s employees. At other locations, Walgreens will purchase the prescription files and transfer them to nearby Walgreens pharmacies. Patients whose prescriptions are being transferred will be notified by letter once the transaction has been completed later this month.

After the transaction is completed, Snyder’s expects to cease operations of its company-owned stores. The acquisition is subject to certain customary terms and conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Walgreens trusted pharmacy service goes back 109 years, including more than 80 years in Minnesota,” said Walgreens Minnesota market VP Jeff Bruneteau. “Our pharmacy staffs will be ready to make the transition as seamless as possible for Snyder’s patients. We look forward to continuing Snyder’s tradition of quality pharmacy service in communities around Minnesota.”

Snyder’s has been in business for over 80 years. In addition to operating stores in Minnesota, the chain operates stores in Michigan, Illinois and Iowa.

“We appreciate our customers’ many years of loyalty and patronage,” said Snyder’s president Neal Wahlman. “We determined that Snyder’s patients and customers could best be served by a large national player like Walgreens. In most cases, Walgreens had nearby pharmacies which will facilitate a smooth transition.”

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New report projects sales of Parkinson’s disease drug will reach $500 million

BY Alaric DeArment

WALTHAM, Mass. A drug made by Boehringer Ingelheim for treating Parkinson’s disease could have sales of up to half a billion dollars, according to a new analysis.

According to a report released Tuesday by market research firm Decision Resources, BI’s extended-release formulation of pramipexole will have peak-year sales of between $250 million and $500 million in major pharmaceutical markets. The drug was launched in Europe in 2009 and is expected to enter the market in the United States this year.

In the beginning, according to the report, launches of generic formulations of the immediate-release version of pramipexole and competition from GlaxoSmithKline’s and SkyePharma’s Requip XL (ropinirole CR) and generic versions of immediate-release Requip will put a damper on sales of pramipexole ER. However, physician familiarity with the drug and preference among physicians and patients for once-daily dosing will cause a “significant” increase in sales.

“Given physician comfort in prescribing pramipexole for Parkinson’s disease and the convenience of once-daily dosing that it would offer, we expect that pramipexole ER will take much of pramipexole IR’s patient share,” Decision Resources analyst Sami Fam said. “In the short term, we expect pramipexole ER will lose some patient share to ropinirole CR given that ropinirole CR was the first of the two agents to launch. But over the long term, physicians’ slight preference for pramipexole over ropinirole should help to boost pramipexole ER’s uptake.”

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Report: Weis Markets acquires local Medicine Shoppe pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis recently acquired a Medicine Shoppe pharmacy in the Binghamton, N.Y., market, local newscaster News Channel 34 (owned by Newport Television) reported early Tuesday morning.

Weis Markets currently has 120 in-store pharmacies at other locations and is considering more at its Broome County locations, the report noted.

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