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Rite Aid's pharmacy, Rx sales rise

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Overall same-store sales at Rite Aid decreased during March while pharmacy and prescription sales increased, the pharmacy retailer said Thursday.

Compared with last year, front-end same-store sales decreased by 1.8% during the four-week period that ended March 26, which the 4,711-store chain attributed to Easter falling on a later date this year, April 24, than last year, when it occurred on April 4.

Meanwhile, pharmacy sales increased by 0.8%. This included a slight negative effect from the availability of new generics. Prescriptions increased by 0.6%.

Total drug store sales decreased by 0.9%, to about $1.95 billion, compared with $1.97 billion in March 2010. Prescription sales accounted for 69.4% of sales, while third-party prescription sales accounted for 96.5% of pharmacy sales.