PHARMACY

Drug-disposal legislation garners praise from NACDS

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The passage of drug-disposal legislation has drawn a response from an organization representing the nation’s chain drug stores.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores commended the Senate’s passage of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which allows pharmacies to be able to work with consumers and law enforcement to safely dispose of unused drugs, rather than imposing a requirement that such entities establish a drug disposal program (i.e., a “take back” program). NACDS believes that “take back” program could pose risks for those handling the medications.

“NACDS commends Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and the Senate Judiciary Committee for moving forward in a way that will help consumers dispose of their unused medications, without creating unintended consequences that jeopardize health and safety,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “NACDS supports efforts to find a safe and effective means for consumers to dispose of their unused medications, including controlled substances. We believe these programs must be structured to protect public health and safety and preserve the integrity of the drug distribution supply chain.”

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Drugstore.com extends partnership with Medco Health Solutions

BY Michael Johnsen

BELLEVUE, Wash. Drugstore.com on Tuesday announced the extension through 2018 of its strategic alliance with Medco Health Solutions.

In 2008, Medco launched its Medco Health Store — an online retail destination offering a wide range of non-prescription consumer health products, including over-the-counter medicines. Drugstore.com supplied technical and operational support for this launch, including fulfillment, distribution and customer care for the Medco-branded online store. Today, the Medco Health Store has grown to include more than 1.4 million registered members.

“Our partnership strategy is a key driver of Drugstore.com’s growth and leverages our leadership in online merchandising and fulfillment in the health and beauty category,” stated Dawn Lepore, CEO and chairman of Drugstore.com. “Medco is a leader in the healthcare and pharmacy industries and we are excited to be extending this relationship.”

“Medco’s partnership with Drugstore.com has enhanced the comprehensive healthcare and pharmacy services we deliver to our clients and their members,” added Tom Moriarty, general counsel, secretary, and SVP, pharmaceutical strategies and solutions, Medco Health Solutions.

In addition to extending the term of the relationship, the economic arrangement between Drugstore.com and Medco has changed, giving Medco more flexibility in pricing and promotions.

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Pfizer’s Q2 sales get boost from specialty drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer had a big increase in sales and a modest increase in profits during second quarter 2010, according to a financial statement released Tuesday.

The world’s largest drug maker had $17.3 billion in sales and $2.5 billion in profits, compared with $11 billion in sales and $2.3 billion in profits in second quarter 2009, representing respective increases of 58% and 9%.

The increase in sales included a 165% increase in sales of specialty drugs, from $1.4 billion in second quarter 2009 to $3.8 billion this quarter, stemming from Pfizer’s purchase of Wyeth. Cancer drug sales decreased by 2%, from $355 million to $349 million, while primary care drugs increased from $5.2 billion to $5.9 billion, and established products increased from $1.7 billion to $2.7 billion. Biotech drug sales increased from $10 billion to $15 billion.

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