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Walgreens-Rite Aid Merger Still On Track, CEO Says Only 500 Stores Would Close

Walgreens and Rite Aid are the biggest and third-biggest pharmacy drugstore in this country, and they want to join forces to become a pharma-Voltron. The companies are waiting for regulatory approval, but the CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance told shareholders today that the deal will probably go through by the end of 2016, and that it will result in the closing of only about 500 stores. [More]

(Chris Rief)

Your Prescription Information Isn’t Really Private

Who sees your prescription information? No, there are more people involved than just the pharmacists and technicians at your local drugstore and your doctor and his or her employees. Information about your medications can also end up with data miners, insurance companies other than your health insurer, and companies that your pharmacy does business with. [More]

Rite Aid Shareholders Vote To Approve $9.4B Merger With Walgreens

Rite Aid Shareholders Vote To Approve $9.4B Merger With Walgreens

Walgreens’ path to bring Ride Aid under its wing passed one hurdle on Thursday, as shareholders for the latter chain of drug stores approved a $9.4 billion merger plan.  [More]

CVS Unveils First Store-Within-Store Pharmacies At Target

CVS Unveils First Store-Within-Store Pharmacies At Target

Target customers will soon see what $1.9 billion can buy, as CVS has officially started rebranding the big box store’s pharmacies into its own mini drugstores.  [More]

Walmart Ordered To Pay $31 Million For Retaliating Against Pharmacist Whistleblower

Walmart Ordered To Pay $31 Million For Retaliating Against Pharmacist Whistleblower

A federal jury in New Hampshire has slapped the nation’s largest retailer with more than $31 million in penalties for unlawful retaliation and gender bias against a former pharmacist who blew the whistle on safety concerns involving her co-workers. [More]

Rite Aid Will Deploy Thousands Of Beacons To Beam Deals At Shoppers

Rite Aid Will Deploy Thousands Of Beacons To Beam Deals At Shoppers

In-store beacons are low-power Bluetooth devices that let stores or brands push promotions out to customers smartphones. They only work when the shopper has opted in by installing an app. Do you really want your favorite shampoo brand beaming coupons at you every time you walk by a shelf? They haven’t really caught on, but Rite Aid is deploying them in 4,500 stores. [More]

Walgreens To Buy Rite Aid For $9.4B

Walgreens To Buy Rite Aid For $9.4B

Just hours after rumors began swirling that a proposal was in the works, Walgreens Boots Alliance – the holding company that owns Walgreens Co. and Boots pharmacies in Europe – officially dropped to one knee offering Rite Aid $9.4 billion to live happily ever drug store after.  [More]

Report: Walgreens Boots Alliance Discussing Deal To Buy Rite Aid

Report: Walgreens Boots Alliance Discussing Deal To Buy Rite Aid

Walgreens Boots Alliance — the holding company that owns Walgreen Co. and Boots pharmacies in Europe — is reportedly looking to expand its portfolio of drug stores by adding Rite Aid into the mix. [More]

Walgreens Pharmacists Manually Filling Prescriptions During Ongoing Computer System Outage

Walgreens Pharmacists Manually Filling Prescriptions During Ongoing Computer System Outage

If you’re planning on heading over to Walgreens to refill a prescription, it might take a bit longer than usual: amid an ongoing outage of the drugstore chain’s pharmacy computer database that’s been going on since Tuesday morning, pharmacists have been forced to fill prescriptions by hand. Just like in ye olde days of yore. [More]

CVS Claims That Booting Tobacco From Stores Has Made Us All Healthier

CVS Claims That Booting Tobacco From Stores Has Made Us All Healthier

Today marks the one-year anniversary of CVS removing tobacco products from its pharmacies. How’s that working out for them? The company reports that sales of non-drug items were down slightly in the last year, but tobacco isn’t a very profitable item. Parent company CVS Health is celebrating the anniversary with a study that it says shows that its decision decreased total cigarette sales nationwide. [More]

(Curtis Perry)

Kmart Pays $1.4 Million To Settle Accusations Of Illegal Coupon Acceptance, Prescription Incentives

In most of the country, pharmacies can offer rewards points, coupons, or other inducements to get you to switch prescriptions to them. Not only is this illegal in certain states, it’s also illegal to offer these incentives to customers with health insurance through Medicaid. Kmart has settled allegations from a whistleblower that it did exactly that for customers with Medicaid, and accepted co-pay coupons for brand-name drugs for them. [More]

(Adam Gerard)

Prescription Price Sticker Shock Is Now A Common Consumer Ailment

Maybe this has happened to you: you’re at the pharmacy, picking up a refill of a prescription that you or a family member have been taking for a long time. It’s a routine errand until you get sticker shock: the copay has suddenly shot up. You didn’t change insurance, it’s still the same year, and the drug is the same: how can a price change so dramatically so quickly? [More]

(Mike Mozart)

CVS Buying Target’s Pharmacy Business For $1.9 Billion

If you’re a Target shopper who picks up your prescription refills at the same time you get your groceries, towels, toilet paper, and whatever else you buy at the big-box retailer, your Target’s in-store pharmacy could soon be run by CVS. [More]

Why Does A Tube Of Cold Sore Cream Cost $2,500?

Why Does A Tube Of Cold Sore Cream Cost $2,500?

In Canada, you can buy a tube of brand-name prescription cold sore cream Zovirax for around $50. Its generic equivalent (acyclovir) is half that price. And even here in the states you can find generics acyclovir pills and ointments for a reasonable price, so why does what is effectively the same product sell for more than $2,500 in the U.S.? [More]

From the federal indictment.

Pharmacy Linked To Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Allegedly Faked Prescriptions For “Filet O’Fish,” “Bud Weiser”

As part of a federal indictment against a Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people, officials allege that employees of the company used some pretty suspicious names on faked prescriptions, including things like menu items — “Filet O’fish” and “Coco Puff” — as well as famous er, names like “Bud Weiser” and his pal, “Raymond Rollingrock.” [More]

Rite Aid Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit Claiming It Used Gift Cards To Lure Pharmacy Customers

(Pedestrian Photographer)

The feds say they’ve settled a lawsuit against pharmacy chain Rite Aid filed by a whistleblower who claimed the company used gift cards to lure Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to switch their prescriptIons in a bid to gain business. [More]

Walgreens Gives Teen Wrong Prescription, Shrugs

Walgreens Gives Teen Wrong Prescription, Shrugs

It’s bad enough that a Michigan Walgreens pharmacy gave a 14-year-old customer someone else’s prescription, but the teen’s family says the drugstore chain made the situation much worse by demanding that the family go out of pocket to finally obtain the correct drug. [More]

(Nate Grigg)

CVS Collects Erroneous Birth Control Copays, Will Issue Refunds

Pharmacy chain CVS charged about 11,000 customers who have health insurance small copays when they picked up some recent prescriptions. What’s wrong with that? Those prescriptions were for generic contraceptive pills, which should be dispensed with no copay at all under the federal Affordable Care Act. Now those customers are due a refund. [More]