Pharmacy News Online: Would You Invest in This Drug Retailer?
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Pharmacy News Online: Would You Invest in This Drug Retailer?

Would You Invest in This Drug Retailer?

Pharmacy retailer-cum-benefits manager CVS Caremark has struggled to cope with rising costs. Though the top line increased by double digits in its most recent quarter, its bottom line struggled. Let’s take a closer look at whether CVS deserves a place in your portfolio.

CVS has tried to boost flagging front-end sales by opening new stores, which should add to the top line. In addition to recently opening 41 new stores, taking its total store count up to 7,266, it also recently entered a deal to provide mail-order pharmacy services to more than 5 million U.S. federal employees, retirees, and dependents.

Is the price right?
Let’s see how the company is valued compared with its industry peers.

Pfizer joins with NABP to fight counterfeit medicine menace

Pfizer and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy in the USA have launched a new effort to draw attention to the risks associated with counterfeit medicines and help patients to safely buy drugs online.

As part of the exercise, Pfizer has carried out an online sampling exercise in which it bought its erectile dysfunction (ED) product Viagra (sildenafil) from 26 pharmacy websites that appeared among the top results when “buy Viagra” was entered into two search engines.

All the pharmacies examined were found to be operating illegally, and 81 per cent of them were selling counterfeit Viagra.

Those results reinforce a recent review by the NABP of more than 8,000 websites selling prescription medicines, which found that 96 per cent appeared to be operating in conflict with pharmacy laws and practice standards, putting patients at risk of receiving counterfeit or adulterated medicines.

Adding to the danger, patients who buy medicines from illegitimate online pharmacies are at risk of financial fraud and identity theft when they share their credit card and other personal information with criminal counterfeiting networks.

A new Harris Interactive survey carried out by Pfizer reveals that men with ED showed considerable confusion when asked whether ED medicines bought online – and the pharmacies selling them – were likely to be authentic or not.

Around 6 per cent of men polled said they considered themselves knowledgeable about determining the legitimacy of an online pharmacy, but many were adopting risky buying behaviours, such as buying ED medicines from Internet pharmacies advertised by spam (27 per cent) or based on an online search (36 per cent).

Moreover, while the men were more likely to trust a website claiming to be based in Canada, Pfizer’s analysis found that none of the four websites identifying themselves as Canadian actually shipped their products from Canada, sourcing them mainly from Hong Kong, India and the USA.

Most worryingly, the survey found that even though 23 per cent of men did not believe that online pharmacies claiming to be based in Canada were selling real brand-name products, nearly half of respondents (46 per cent) would still consider buying ED medicines from them.

To help raise awareness of the problem of counterfeit drugs, Pfizer and the NABP have set up a YouTube channel and various other online resources to provide easy-to-understand information about the dangers of buying medicines online.

“Online advertising will reach patients at the critical moment when they are searching for popular keywords, such as ‘buy Viagra’ and ‘cheap Viagra’,” said Pfizer in a statement.

When users click on the ads, they will be taken to the Viagra YouTube channel to view educational videos about the dangers of counterfeit medicines and how to safely buy prescription medicines online.

Pfizer, pharmacy group warn on counterfeit drugs

Pfizer Inc. and a pharmacy standards group are teaming to warn consumers about the risks of counterfeit prescription medicines, which endanger the public and take money from both pharmacies and legitimate drugmakers.

Pfizer Inc., whose impotence pill Viagra is widely counterfeited, and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy on Thursday announced the start of an educational campaign to explain the dangers of counterfeit drugs and help people find legitimate pharmacies online.

Counterfeit drugs can be very dangerous, containing toxic substances such as rat poison or lead, or they can have the wrong amount of the real drug’s active ingredient. In addition, people who buy medicines from illegal online pharmacies risk financial fraud and identity theft if they provide credit card or other personal information.

New York-based Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug maker by revenue, said counterfeit versions of its medicines have been sold in at least 101 countries. Sham versions of at least 40 Pfizer products have been detected in those countries, including Alzheimer’s treatment Aricept, painkiller Celebrex, cholesterol fighter Lipitor, blood-pressure drug Norvasc, antidepressant Zoloft and Viagra.

Estimated worldwide sales of counterfeit medicines topped $75 billion last year, up 90 percent since 2005, according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, one in six Americans bought medicines on the Internet last year.

“Counterfeit medicines are often produced in unsanitary conditions by people without any medical or scientific background,” Patrick Ford, Pfizer’s head of global security in the Americas, said in a statement.

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