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Walgreens offers customers medication prep advice for hurricane Isaac

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens is underscoring the importance of medication preparedness to its customers that may be impacted by hurricane Isaac, which is on path for the Gulf Coast.

If patients are worried about gaining access to their prescription medications, the drug store chain said it is a member of ICERx.org (In Case of Emergency Prescriptions), a secure prescription information network available to pharmacists and doctors during a national emergency. As a member, Walgreens pharmacists can fill prescriptions and access information for hurricane-affected patients even if the patient normally uses another pharmacy.

Additionally, smartphone users can register for Walgreens mobile applications to order prescription refills while on the go and locate the nearest Walgreens pharmacy. Customers with smartphones also can utilize Walgreens prescription refill-by-scan feature by scanning the bar code on their pill bottle with their phones. Customers can send the prescription refill to their nearest pharmacy and receive a text message alert when it’s ready to pick up.

Walgreens also offered the following tips to patients:

  • Customers should get to a safe location and refill their medication at the nearest pharmacy. Walgreens stores nationwide can access patient records; and

  • Take a waterproof bag with your current medication — even if the bottle is empty. The information on the prescription label will help the pharmacist refill medicine once a patient arrives at their destination. Heat, humidity and sunlight can degrade the effectiveness of medicine, Walgreens noted; and

  • Walgreens encourages customers to keep a written record of current prescriptions, including current dosage and doctor’s contact information, in a valuable papers file. Walgreens patients can register online at Walgreens.com and print out this information directly from their patient profile.

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Fred’s profit rises in Q2

BY DSN STAFF

MEMPHIS — Fred’s reported that net income for the second quarter ended July 28 rose 19% to $6.1 million, compared with $5.1 million in the year-ago period.

Sales rose 4% to $470.8 million from $452.7 million, and same-store sales dipped 1%.

Profit results missed Wall Street expectations, and the discounter has lowered its full-year earnings forecast.

Commenting on the results, Fred’s CEO Bruce Efird said, "As we look ahead to the second half of the year, we expect that the macroeconomic environment in our region of the country will continue to lag the national numbers and anticipate an intensely competitive retail environment during the third and fourth quarters. Expecting little benefit from the economic environment, we have accelerated several major merchandising initiatives, increased our marketing spend for the third and fourth quarter print and electronic media, and have increased the pace of pharmacy acquisitions – all directed at adding and rebuilding customer traffic."

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SoloHealth surpasses 2.5 million consumer interactions

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA — SoloHealth announced that the number of consumer interactions made at its SoloHealth Station health-and-wellness kiosks has surpassed 2.5 million.

The data — which have been compiled since January 2011 across approximately 200 kiosks currently in select Walmart, Safeway, Publix, CVS, Sam’s Club and Schnuck’s Markets locations — also included the following results:

  • Each consumer spends an average of four minutes per session with the kiosk;

  • Approximately 33% of users took more than one test, with blood pressure and BMI being the most frequent combination;

  • 57% of consumers tested for blood pressure, the most widely-used single test;

  • Saturdays drove 19% more users than other days;

  • 65% of male and female users are 35 and older;

  • 71% of SoloHealth Station users that are at medium to high risk of hypertension;

  • 51% of SoloHealth Station users that are overweight to obese;

  • 25% of consumers are returning users; and

  • The satisfaction rating on accuracy of results, length of the experience and likelihood to use again stood at 95%.

SoloHealth, which recently announced strategic investments and partnerships with WellPoint and Dell, is expected to tout 2,500 kiosks by mid-2013.

"We believe that awareness and education are keys to a healthy lifestyle, and we’re bringing a free and comprehensive self-service technology to neighborhood retail locations nationwide," said SoloHealth founder and CEO Bart Foster said. "The data has revealed strong consumer engagement rates, even surpassing our original predictions, clearly showing there is an interest and need for this type of access in today’s healthcare environment. We are extremely bullish as we prepare for our nationwide rollout with our retail partners."


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