PHARMACY

Walgreens wraps up Drug Fair deal

BY Rob Eder

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens announced late Friday afternoon that it has completed the acquisition of 31 Drug Fair stores in central and western New Jersey. In March, Walgreens agreed to buy the stores in the wake of Drug Fair’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Walgreens expects to have completed store conversions “over the next few weeks,” according to a statement, including extensive remerchandising, refreshed graphics package, new signage and displays, and a shift to the Walgreens product mix and assortment, including private label. Store hours will not be affected during the transition period, the company stated. More importantly, the store makeovers will also include conversion to Walgreens’ pharmacy system, tying it into the other 6,700-plus stores in the chain, and the ability to offer pharmacist counseling and prescription labels in 14 languages.

“This will be a seamless transition for our new customers,” said Walgreens market VP Tim Anhorn. “In fact, many of the familiar faces they know and trust will continue to work at these locations. These stores will carry on the tradition of service that Drug Fair has built over more than 50 years in this region.”

In addition to the 31 Drug Fair stores it will continue to operate, Walgreens also has purchased the prescription files two other stores, one in Clifton and another in Morris Plains, N.J., which Walgreens plans to move to stores it already operates in those areas. The company said it also expects to complete transactions for two additional Drug Fair locations in the coming weeks.

With total sales of more than $340 million, including $170 million of it coming from prescription drug sales, Drug Store News had ranked Drug Fair no. 48 on its annual listing of the top 50 pharmacy retailers in America for 2008 (The Drug Store News PoweRx50 2008).

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OSI Pharmaceuticals EVP to present portfolio at diabetes and obesity conference

BY Allison Cerra

MELVILLE, N.Y. OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced Thursday that Anker Lundemose, M.D., EVP of OSI Pharmaceuticals will present at the Canaccord Adams Conference in New York, N.Y. on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 8:40 a.m. (Eastern Time).

Lundemose will provide an overview on the company’s diabetes/obesity product portfolio and business developments.

The presentation will be webcast live and may be accessed by visiting OSI’s Web site at www.osip.com. A replay of the Webcast will also be available on the Company’s Web site until May 26, 2009.

OSI Pharmaceuticals discover, develop and commercialize high-quality, novel and differentiated personalized medicines designed to extend life and improve the quality of life for patients with cancer and diabetes/obesity.

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FDA grants priority review to Prevnar 13

BY Alaric DeArment

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. The Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals’ application for the pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13 (diphtheria CRM[197] protein).

The company submitted the application for the vaccine, a 13-valent conjugate vaccine, on March 31.

Wyeth said it is seeking approval for Prevnar 13 for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease and otitis media caused by the 13 serotypes in the vaccine in children ages 2 months to 5 years. Prevnar 13 includes six serotypes in addition to the seven in the earlier version of Prevnar.

“Since its launch in 2000, our seven-valent pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar, has significantly reduced the incidence of pneumococcal disease among infants and young children in the United States,” Wyeth Pharmaceuticals EVP vaccine research and development Emilio Emini said. “Recently, however, disease due to pneumococcal serotypes not found in Prevnar, particularly serotype 19A, have increased in prevalence in many regions of the world and are a significant public health concern.”

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