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Rite Aid Treats Customers Better, Extends Naloxone Presence


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Drug-store retailer, Rite Aid Corporation (RAD - Analyst Report) yet again testified to its commitment toward protecting the health and well-being of consumers. The company offered a solution to opioid overdose – a problem that is causing nearly 78 deaths each day in the U.S., as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In response to this issue, Rite Aid announced that naloxone, a medication that can undo the impact of opioid overdose, will now be easily available across four new states including Kentucky, Ohio, Oregon and Vermont.  This medication, which could only be accessed through a prescription earlier, will now be available without a prescription, at over 440 pharmacies across the four aforementioned states.

Additionally, naloxone is available without prescriptions at many more Rite Aid pharmacies across 13 other states. These include Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.  However, the availability of this medicine, which can be used through injections or nasal sprays, is subject to state regulations.

While Rite Aid has over 10,000 skilled pharmacists on naxalone dispensing till now, the company is all geared up to extend this program in other states, where this medication is presently availed through a prescription only. Clearly, this underscores the company’s focus on enhancing customers’ convenience, safety and overall experience.

Operating about 4,600 stores across 31 states and the District of Columbia, Rite Aid is one of the leading drug-store chains on a countrywide basis. The company’s stringent focus on cost management and strengthening its portfolio of health along with wellness services remains impressive. Its constant endeavors to enhance pharmacy and clinical services also bode well.

Moreover, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company remains positioned to gain from its merger with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA - Analyst Report) , which is anticipated to close in the second half of 2016.

Stocks to Consider

A better-ranked stock in the Retail–Drugstore industry is Herbalife Ltd. (HLF - Snapshot Report) , with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Another retail stock that warrants a look is Burlington Stores, Inc. (BURL - Snapshot Report) , also carrying a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Herbalife seems a promising investment, with a positive surprise trend over the last four quarters. The average beat for the trailing four quarters is 21.6%. Also, the company has witnessed an uptrend in its earnings estimates for 2016, over the past 60 days.

Burlington Stores has a positive record of earnings surprises in the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 16.1%. The stock has seen positive estimate revisions for the current fiscal year, over the last 30 days.

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