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Walgreens offers discounted health-related catalogs for AARP members

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON Walgreens has unveiled a catalog and Web site designed for AARP members who want to shop for healthcare products on a dime, AARP said Wednesday.

The new catalog, “AARP Health Essentials by Walgreens” and aarp.walgreens.com offers AARP members access to top-quality health products at economical cost at a discounted rate of 5 percent.

“Our 39 million members represent a large percentage of this group and our relationship with Walgreens will provide them with discounts and easier access to a wide variety of health-related products,” said Adam Sohn, associate director for AARP’s media relations.

All products purchased through the catalog or Web site can be returned at any of the Walgreens locations. Additionally, products purchased from either medium can be shipped to the AARP member’s home, which is free if they spend $50 or more.

According to The Resource for Marketing Executives, baby boomers spend more than $525 billion per year on health care and are responsible for nearly 61% of all over-the-counter medications.

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Walgreen’s 4Q Drops

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO One of the nation­­’s biggest drug store chain operators announced that its fourth-quarter profit dropped nearly 4 percent, according to Mo­nday’s reports.

Walgreens explained that because of lower reimbursements for popular generic drugs and increased store and staff costs, its net income tumbled.

According to the company’s earnings report, total expenses increased by more than 11 percent to $12.8 billion, which chairman Jeffrey Rein said was out of line with reimbursements the company received. Prescription sales accounted for nearly two-thirds of the company’s business.

“Managing both expenses and lower reimbursements on some generic drugs is my top priority,” he said in a company release. “We’re going to fix this, and at the same time continue our aggressive growth plan.”

While company’s revenues rose more than 10 percent to $13.4 billion from $12.2 billion, its net income slipped to $396.5 million, compared to $412.3 million earnings at the same time last year. 

For the year, the company said that its earnings increased by to $2.04 billion ($2.03 per share), compared with $1.75 billion ($1.72 per share).

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Wyeth names Poussot next CEO

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK Wyeth has named a replacement for its retiring chief executive officer Robert Essner. Chief operating officer Bernard Poussot will take the reigns effective Jan. 1, according to Reuters.

Poussot will face a number of challenges including generic competition of Wyeth’s blockbuster drugs Protonix and Effexor. The key will be how the company develops its new drugs and how quickly it can get them on the market.

The company also announced that its board approved an increase in its previously authorized share repurchase program to up to $5 billion, which includes about $1.2 billion in stock buybacks already completed this year.

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