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Walgreens buys Rx files from 10 Pyramid Foods stores

BY Michael Johnsen

Pyramid Foods on Monday announced the sale of 10 pharmacies to Walgreens in the form of prescription files. The pharmacies, operating under the company’s Price Cutter banners, primarily operated in the Springfield, Mo., markets.

The Pyramid Foods pharmacy at 3260 East Battlefield will remain open.

The pharmacies are being jettisoned in an effort to keep the grocer competitive through investments in click and collect and home delivery, as well as creating space for new value-add retail services within its supermarket box.

“This allows Pyramid Foods to enhance market offerings with other services,” the company stated. “Updated concepts include rolling out curbside pickup, online home shopping and selected delivery by June 1, 2018 as well as adding UPS shipping centers, dry cleaning and other services in the future.”

While the grocer may be pulling out of the pharmacy business, the chain still is growing. “Pyramid Foods is expanding its rural pharmacy footprint [across Missouri] into Lebanon, Purdy, Neosho and Branson,” the company stated. “Additional locations are also being considered.”

 

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Flu incidence spreading north and east of Texas, Walgreens reports

BY Michael Johnsen

It’s halfway through March and flu incidence is still going strong, especially across Nebraska and Texas, Walgreens reported Wednesday as part of its weekly Walgreens Flu Index.

However, Texas finally may be getting a reprieve. Only one Texas market is in this week’s top 10, which captures flu activity for the week ended March 17, and there are at least 10 states experiencing more flu incidence than the Lone Star State.

South Dakota, Idaho and Virginia were the three top states experiencing flu incidence gains for the week.

The top 10 designated market areas with flu activity for the week ended March 17 were:

  1. Lincoln & Hastings-Kearney, Neb.;
  2. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas;
  3. Omaha, Neb.;
  4. Greenville-New Bern-Washington, N.C.;
  5. Colorado Springs-Pueblo, Colo.;
  6. Oklahoma City;
  7. Des Moines-Ames, Iowa;
  8. Lansing, Mich.;
  9. Columbia-Jefferson City, Mo.; and
  10. Rockford, Ill.

Top 10 DMAs ranked by flu activity gains were:

  1. Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, Wash.;
  2. Greenville-New Bern-Washington, N.C.;
  3. Gainesville, Fla.;
  4. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va.;
  5. Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Mich.;
  6. Toledo, Ohio;
  7. Dayton, Ohio;
  8. Cleveland-Akron (Canton), Ohio;
  9. Charleston, S.C.; and
  10. Richmond-Petersburg, Va.

The Walgreens Flu Index is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and ranks those states and markets experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country. The Flu Index provides insight by showing which cities or metropolitan areas are experiencing the most incidences of influenza each week based on Index methodology. The data does not measure actual levels or severity of flu activity.

The Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide, including Walgreens locations in Puerto Rico. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.

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Rite Aid Foundation, Penguins address adolescent drug abuse

BY Michael Johnsen

In an effort to help address adolescent drug abuse and misuse in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Rite Aid Foundation, Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Thursday teamed up to bring the Prescription Drug Safety program, a digital course about prescription drug abuse prevention, to Pittsburgh-area high schools.

“Prescription drug abuse and misuse is a growing issue that poses a serious threat to the health, safety and well-being of our nation’s young people,” Kermit Crawford, president and COO Rite Aid and president of the Rite Aid Foundation, said. “The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to help introduce this important prevention education initiative to high school students so they can gain awareness and have the knowledge they need to stay safe and prevent abuse before it occurs.”

The program, developed by Everfi, will be made available to high schools in the greater Pittsburgh area at no cost.

In addition to the activation in Pittsburgh-area high schools, as part of its commitment to creating safe and healthy environments for children and teens, this year, The Rite Aid Foundation, through its KidCents program, will also fund the introduction of the Prescription Drug Safety program to high schools in the Harrisburg/York/Lancaster/Lebanon and Wilkes Barre/Scranton markets in Pennsylvania as well as several communities in Ohio, Washington and Oregon.

In all, The Rite Aid Foundation is making a three-year, $1.125 million commitment to the Prescription Drug Safety program.

“The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation is committed to ensuring our young people have vibrant and healthy futures,” Dave Soltesz, president, Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, said. “Teaching students about prescription drug abuse and providing them with skills to prevent abuse before it occurs are critical components to advancing that mission.”

The Prescription Drug Safety program uses an evidence-based, public health approach to empower high school students with the skills and knowledge they need to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drugs. Through interactive scenarios and self-guided activities, students learn the facts about drugs, how to properly use and dispose of them, and how to step in when faced with a situation involving misuse. The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Education Standards and state academic standards. There is also a microsite with additional resources including parent guides and information on local safe medication disposal.

The digital prescription drug abuse prevention course is the flagship initiative of the Prescription Drug Safety Network, the nation’s first public-private initiative to combat prescription drug abuse by providing prevention education to schools. The Rite Aid Foundation, Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Attorney General Shapiro are partners in the nationwide coalition, which is committed to empowering Americans with the skills to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drug use for themselves, their families and their communities.

 

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