PHARMACY

Walgreens links free blood-pressure test offer to Balance Rewards, Walgreens shopping app

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday announced it is supporting American Heart Month by providing free blood-pressure testing during February at all Walgreens pharmacies and Take Care Clinics nationwide. The initiative supports Walgreens Way to Well Commitment, which began in 2011 as a four-year, $100 million initiative to improve the everyday health of Americans nationwide through the prevention and early detection of today’s leading diseases.

“High blood pressure can be managed or controlled through early detection,” stated Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “Our health testing programs, like blood-pressure tests, are moving us beyond filling prescriptions. They are one of the many services we offer to help people get, stay and live well, while helping to reduce the overall cost of health care.”

Additionally, to encourage people to “know their numbers,” Walgreens will provide free educational resources and product discounts, as well as donate $1 to the American Heart Association, up to $100,000, for each blood pressure test conducted during February. Also, Walgreens will donate $1 for each social media donation unlocked during February to the American Heart Association, up to $50,000. Customers can share their support by simply connecting a Balance Rewards membership to their Facebook account to unlock the donation. To learn more, consumers can visit www.Walgreens.com/donate or select the Way to Well icon within the Walgreens mobile app, the retailer stated. 

 

 

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Shopko customers use app to refill more than 1,000 prescriptions a day, retailer says

BY Alaric DeArment

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Customers refill more than 1,000 prescriptions per day using Shopko’s mobile pharmacy app, the mass-merchandise retailer said Tuesday.

The app, created by San Francisco-based scripts, allows customers to refill prescriptions, receive pickup and dosage reminders and get a complete view of their health information.

"Our customers appreciate how easy it is to manage their health and prescription needs from their mobile device," Shopko interim CEO and COO Mike Bettiga said. "Since Shopko launched our mobile pharmacy solution in 2012, thousands of customers have been using their mobile phones to interact with our pharmacies in a way that works best and is most convenient for them."

The app is available online through app marketplaces and Shopko’s website, and customers can sign up at the pharmacy counter for a text messaging option.

"Shopko’s customers have embraced the idea of using text messaging and mobile apps to manage their health information," Mscripts CEO Mark Cullen said. "It is commonplace for customers to use their mobile phones to refill on time, to remember to take medications and to share information about their prescriptions with their care providers."

 

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Walgreens reports 8.7% pharmacy comps lift for January

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Tuesday morning reported January sales of $6.2 billion, an increase of 6.3% as compared to the same month in fiscal 2012.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 13.6% in January and increased 11.6% on a day-fall adjusted basis. This year’s January had one additional Wednesday and Thursday and one fewer Sunday and Monday compared with January 2012, positively impacting prescriptions filled in comparable stores by 2 percentage points. DFA prescriptions filled at comparable stores were positively impacted by 2.3 percentage points due to the higher incidence of flu in this year’s January and by 2 percentage points due to more flu shots administered in the month.

Walgreens reported that the percentage of Express Scripts customers filling prescriptions in its pharmacies continued to increase in January.

January pharmacy sales increased by 8.7%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 6.2% and by a day-fall adjusted 4.2%. DFA comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 6 points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. 

Pharmacy sales accounted for 65% of total sales for the month.

Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season-to-date were nearly 6.9 million versus approximately 5.5 million last year.

Total front-end sales increased 1.3% compared with the same month in fiscal 2012, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 0.4%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 2.8% while basket size increased 2.4%.

Sales in comparable stores increased by 3.7% in January. Calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 1.3 percentage points, while generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 3.9 percentage points.

Registrations for Walgreens Balance Rewards loyalty program, which launched in September, totaled nearly 55 million through January.

Walgreens opened nine stores during January, including two relocations, acquired two stores and closed two.


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