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Consumers abandon prescriptions, analysis reveals

BY CSA STAFF

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. The rate at which consumers drop off prescriptions, but never pick them up, has increased by 34% since 2006, according to a new report by Wolters Kluwer Health.

According to the market research firm’s annual analysis of the U.S. pharmaceutical market, the rate of prescription abandonment increased from an average of 5.15% in 2006 to 6.8% last year. The analysis found that the abandonment increased alongside the amount of the co-pay, especially for new prescriptions. Among prescriptions with co-pays of $100 or more, the abandonment rate is just over 20%, compared with 4% for prescriptions with $10 co-pays.

“Price sensitivity is clearly a factor as consumers decide to forego certain prescriptions altogether, including some for chronic conditions,” Wolters Kluwer Health president and CEO pharma solutions Mark Spiers said. “This disturbing trend may have serious health implications and seems poised to continue especially if the economy deteriorates further.”

The analysis, titled “Pharma Insight,” also found that two-thirds of prescriptions filled will be generic by the end of this year. U.S. prescriptions for generics and branded drugs reached equilibrium in 2005, and then generics continued to build momentum each year thereafter, the data show. Generics constituted more than 60% of all U.S. prescriptions filled last year, with 2.4 billion out of 3.8 billion prescriptions filled with generic drugs.

“We’re close to the point, certainly by the end of 2009, where two-out-of-every-three prescriptions filled will be generic,” Spiers said. “These trends are going to become even more pronounced moving forward as there are many blockbusters in major therapeutic areas like cholesterol reducers due to come off patent in the coming years.”

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Pier 1 posts 4Q loss

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas Pier 1 Imports reported a net loss of $29 million, or 33 cents per share, for the fourth quarter, versus net income of $14 million, or 16 cents per share, for the same period last year. Total sales for the fourth quarter declined to $389 million from $437 million in the year-ago quarter. According to the company, the decline in total sales during the quarter was attributable to the overall economic environment, a reduction in store count, and a decline in comparable-store sales of 9.7%.

For the fiscal year the company reported a net loss of $129 million, or $1.45 per share, versus a net loss of $96 million, or $1.09 per share, for last year. Total sales for the fiscal year declined to $1,321 million from $1,512 million last year. The decline in sales during the year was attributable to the declines in the overall economic environment, a net store count reduction of 25 stores and a comparable-store sales decline of 9.2%.

Alex Smith, the company’s president and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We believe that we are well positioned heading into this fiscal year to meet the continuing challenges of this environment and to emerge on the other side of this recession a stronger, leaner, and more efficient Pier 1 Imports. We will continue to focus our efforts on making further enhancements to our already much improved merchandise assortments and in-store experience. We remain steadfast in our belief that we can and will return this company to profitability and beyond.”

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New director added to Oxford Industries board

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA Oxford Industries announced the election of John Holder to the company’s board of directors.

Holder is chairman and CEO of Holder Properties, a privately held full-service commercial real estate developer.

“John brings strong strategic insight as well as strength in finance, marketing and retail property development to our company,” commented J. Hicks Lanier, chairman and CEO of Oxford Industries. “We are very pleased to welcome John to our board and look forward to benefiting from his broad-based experience.”

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