Content about Exclusive News Alert

April 21, 2012

More than 250 executives joined Anda for its 5th Annual Supply Chain Symposium here Thursday and Friday.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — More than 250 executives joined Anda for its 5th Annual Supply Chain Symposium here Thursday and Friday.

(For photos of the event, click here.)

April 21, 2012

Bob Loeffler, NACDS chairman and chief administrative officer of H-E-B, reflects on his time as chairman and shares his insights on the issues facing retail pharmacy today and tomorrow.

Bob Loeffler, NACDS chairman and chief administrative officer of H-E-B, reflects on his time as chairman and shares his insights on the issues facing retail pharmacy today and tomorrow.

DSN: Last year, you emphasized the “new normal,” which seemed to refer to the need to proactively position the benefits of retail pharmacy. How has the “new normal” played out?

April 19, 2012

The study's findings that the Part D coverage gap — or “doughnut hole” — led to a significant gap in the adherence of cardiovascular medications may not come as a complete surprise; however, it undoubtedly underscores the important role that pharmacy can play in helping patients navigate plan strategies that promote the use of lower-cost medications.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The study's findings that the Part D coverage gap — or “doughnut hole” — led to a significant gap in the adherence of cardiovascular medications may not come as a complete surprise; however, it undoubtedly underscores the important role that pharmacy can play in helping patients navigate plan strategies that promote the use of lower-cost medications.

April 19, 2012

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on Wednesday accepted an amici curiae from the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumers League, the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices and U.S. PIRG (a federation of 28 nonprofit, nonpartisan state Public Interest Research Groups) on behalf of retail pharmacy plaintiffs in their suit to dismantle the Express Scripts-Medco merger.

PITTSBURGH — The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on Wednesday accepted an amici curiae from the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumers League, the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices and U.S. PIRG (a federation of 28 nonprofit, nonpartisan state Public Interest Research Groups) on behalf of retail pharmacy plaintiffs in their suit to dismantle the Express Scripts-Medco merger.

April 19, 2012

Hispanics represent one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in the United States, so naturally, it would behoove retailers to pay heed to this growing trend.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Hispanics represent one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in the United States, so naturally, it would behoove retailers to pay heed to this growing trend.

(THE NEWS: Hispanic consumers' buying power to grow 50% by 2015. For the complete story, click here.)

April 19, 2012

Once the season starts, nobody really remembers the number of stolen bases nabbed by Gregor Blanco (13) or the number of batters who could neither put a Francisco Liriano pitch into play nor tease out a walk (33). But ask the fans how many balls their favorite player knocked out of the park through spring training, chances are they'll be able to tell you. What Lilly Diabetes and Walgreens are doing is out-of-the-park stuff, where a Walgreens pharmacist dedicated to fielding questions across all disciplines will help augment a diabetes patient's experience with a deeper look into hypoglycemia.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Once the season starts, nobody really remembers the number of stolen bases nabbed by Gregor Blanco (13) or the number of batters who could neither put a Francisco Liriano pitch into play nor tease out a walk (33). But ask the fans how many balls their favorite player knocked out of the park through spring training, chances are they'll be able to tell you.

April 17, 2012

Pampers Cruisers/Swaddlers with Dry Max, Gillette Fusion ProGlide and P.F. Chang's Home Menu were the top three new product introductions in 2011, according to the SymphonyIRI Group "2011 New Product Pacesetter" report released Tuesday afternoon.

CHICAGO — Pampers Cruisers/Swaddlers with Dry Max, Gillette Fusion ProGlide and P.F. Chang's Home Menu were the top three new product introductions in 2011, according to the SymphonyIRI Group "2011 New Product Pacesetter" report released Tuesday afternoon. Respectively, Pampers generated $296 million in first-year sales, Gillette Fusion ProGlide generated $169.4 million and P.F. Chang's Home Menu generated $101.6 million. The three were the only new brands to break the $100 million barrier in year-one sales through 2011.

April 13, 2012

If you were to tell me that 4-out-of-every-5 people would choose 90-day prescriptions available by pickup at the pharmacy versus 90-day prescriptions delivered through mail order — and for about the same cost — I would tell you that we need to find the fifth person and make sure that they're OK.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — If you were to tell me that 4-out-of-every-5 people would choose 90-day prescriptions available by pickup at the pharmacy versus 90-day prescriptions delivered through mail order — and for about the same cost — I would tell you that we need to find the fifth person and make sure that they're OK. They might be suffering from a medical emergency and could need our help. The publication of this study in a peer-reviewed journal, however, serves as proof of concept addressing two concerns — choice and plan cost.

April 13, 2012

Trading of Safeway shares on Nasdaq were up almost 75 cents in late morning trading on speculation that Safeway soon may be up for sale.

NEW YORK — Trading of Safeway shares on Nasdaq were up almost 75 cents in late morning trading on speculation that Safeway soon may be up for sale.

The speculation is borne out of a recent revision in the company’s change in control that would make retention of management easier and cheaper in a take-out, suggested Ed Kelly, Credit Suisse analyst, in a note published Friday morning. "While this is an interesting development, we do not believe it signals that Safeway is suddenly up for sale."

April 13, 2012

Thursday's results marked the fifth consecutive quarter in which Rite Aid increased its same-store sales. And at the rate it's currently going, there's a good chance the country's third-largest retail pharmacy chain soon could become profitable, even though it expected to post losses in 2013, albeit even smaller losses than in 2012.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Thursday's results marked the fifth consecutive quarter in which Rite Aid increased its same-store sales. And at the rate it's currently going, there's a good chance the country's third-largest retail pharmacy chain soon could become profitable, even though it expected to post losses in 2013, albeit even smaller losses than in 2012.

(THE NEWS: Rite Aid announces fourth quarter, fiscal year 2012 earnings. For the full story, click here.)

April 13, 2012

The news that Take Care Clinics now are offering wellness services for Medicare enrollees clearly demonstrates that there’s an opportunity for retail clinics to fill gaps in care, and promote wellness and better patient outcomes.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The news that Take Care Clinics now are offering wellness services for Medicare enrollees clearly demonstrates that there’s an opportunity for retail clinics to fill gaps in care, and promote wellness and better patient outcomes.

(THE NEWS: Take Care Clinics offering Medicare wellness visits. For the full story, click here.)

April 12, 2012

Despite running fewer stores, Rite Aid grew its sales and narrowed its losses during the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012, thanks to a boost in its loyalty card program membership, a longer fiscal year and the continuing dispute between Walgreens and Express Scripts.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Despite running fewer stores, Rite Aid grew its sales and narrowed its losses during the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012, thanks to a boost in its loyalty card program membership, a longer fiscal year and the continuing dispute between Walgreens and Express Scripts.

April 6, 2012

You can't uncrack an egg. That's the preliminary reply Express Scripts gave to the district court hearing the case filed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacist Association to block the merger between Express Scripts and Medco.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — You can't uncrack an egg. That's the preliminary reply Express Scripts gave to the district court hearing the case filed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacist Association to block the merger between Express Scripts and Medco. The pharmacy industry's concern, however, revolves around what kind of beast will hatch from this ESI-Medco merger if that cracked egg isn't unscrambled.

April 6, 2012

It's no secret that something has been afoot for the last few years: Retail pharmacies have gradually metamorphosed from places to pick up pills to destinations for health care — places to get everything from vaccines to care from nurses and even from physicians.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — It's no secret that something has been afoot for the last few years: Retail pharmacies have gradually metamorphosed from places to pick up pills to destinations for health care — places to get everything from vaccines to care from nurses and even from physicians.

Given retail pharmacies' evolving role, the growing number of employers starting wellness programs has opened up a number of possibilities, which some retail pharmacy companies have already started exploring.

April 5, 2012

OraSure Technologies on Wednesday announced that the Food and Drug Administration's Blood Products Advisory Committee will consider making its OraQuick Rapid HIV-1/2 test available over the counter on May 15.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — OraSure Technologies on Wednesday announced that the Food and Drug Administration's Blood Products Advisory Committee will consider making its OraQuick Rapid HIV-1/2 test available over the counter on May 15.

At the meeting, OraSure will present its consumer-usage studies — approximately 5,800 subjects were enrolled and tested in this phase across 20 states, the company said, which helped identify more than 100 previously undiagnosed individuals.

April 3, 2012

ECRM announced that a state-of-the-art center will be built in honor of its late leader Charlie Bowlus.

SOLON, Ohio — ECRM announced that a state-of-the-art center will be built in honor of its late leader Charlie Bowlus.

The Charlie Bowlus Technology and Innovation Center, which currently is under construction, is being built in a public charter school in Cleveland and is set to open this fall in the Cleveland Public School District, ECRM president Mitch Bowlus said, who will fund 100% of the costs for this center.

April 2, 2012

The controversial merger between Express Scripts and Medco was completed Monday morning, according to a press release issued by both Express Scripts and the Federal Trade Commission.

WASHINGTON — The controversial merger between Express Scripts and Medco was completed Monday morning, according to a press release issued by both Express Scripts and the Federal Trade Commission.

April 2, 2012

In the wake of an approved Express Scripts-Medco merger, Walgreens reiterated its consensus that Walgreens' participation in Medco's pharmacy network would continue without disruption.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — In the wake of an approved Express Scripts-Medco merger, Walgreens reiterated its consensus that Walgreens' participation in Medco's pharmacy network would continue without disruption.

"We have a good relationship with Medco and an ongoing contract in place that we intend to honor," Walgreens' spokesman Jim Cohn shared with DSN in an email. "We are pleased that Express Scripts said today that it, too, intends to honor Medco’s contract with us."

March 30, 2012

The news that Target has revealed the locations of its first 12 stores in Quebec is just one more reminder that the competition in Canada is really going to heat up.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The news that Target has revealed the locations of its first 12 stores in Quebec is just one more reminder that the competition in Canada is really going to heat up.

(THE NEWS: Target confirms locations of 12 Quebec debut stores. For the full story, click here)

March 30, 2012

When Express Scripts filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission that its merger with Medco could close as early as the week of April 2, that seemed to set off a firestorm of activity.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — When Express Scripts filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission that its merger with Medco could close as early as the week of April 2, that seemed to set off a firestorm of activity. Reports were published suggesting the Federal Trade Commission decision was imminent, and what's more that the agency would decide in favor of the merger. Speculative day traders Wednesday morning pushed the opening stock prices across both Express Scripts and Medco higher by 3.9% and 5%, respectively.

March 30, 2012

Even as Justice Antonin Scalia suggested that mandating all Americans buy healthcare insurance was akin to Big Government saying to Joe Consumer, "Hey, eat your broccoli," one underlying theme became apparent: Health care isn't cheap and won't be getting any cheaper — unless everybody does in fact eat their broccoli.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Even as Justice Antonin Scalia suggested that mandating all Americans buy healthcare insurance was akin to Big Government saying to Joe Consumer, "Hey, eat your broccoli," one underlying theme became apparent: Health care isn't cheap and won't be getting any cheaper — unless everybody does in fact eat their broccoli. And that makes the value inherent in self-care, the cost-savings readily associated with the use of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements, an evergreen proposition.

March 30, 2012

One of the advantages to independent pharmacies' small scale is their ability to forge their own identities and invent new store formats in a way that might be harder for a national or regional chain.

NEW YORK — One of the advantages to independent pharmacies' small scale is their ability to forge their own identities and invent new store formats in a way that might be harder for a national or regional chain.

New York, with its famously competitive pharmacy market and diverse population, has long been a hotspot for new store formats, and one of the products of this dynamic environment is Tisane Pharmacy, located in Manhattan's Upper East Side.

March 29, 2012

With as much as two-thirds of retail pharmacy operators' business tied up in the potential Express Scripts-Medco merger, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and nine retail pharmacy companies on Thursday filed a lawsuit challenging the merger.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With as much as two-thirds of retail pharmacy operators' business tied up in the potential Express Scripts-Medco merger, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and nine retail pharmacy companies on Thursday filed a lawsuit challenging the merger.

March 28, 2012

The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition — formed in opposition of the proposed Express Scripts-Medco merger — Wednesday afternoon hosted a press conference making a direct appeal to attorneys general to block the ESI-Medco merger in the courts should the Federal Trade Commission approve the merger.

WASHINGTON — The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition — formed in opposition of the proposed Express Scripts-Medco merger — Wednesday afternoon hosted a press conference making a direct appeal to attorneys general to block the ESI-Medco merger in the courts should the Federal Trade Commission approve the merger.

March 27, 2012

The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning heard arguments on whether the individual mandate portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is constitutional.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning heard arguments on whether the individual mandate portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is constitutional. The final decision, expected in June, could mean a swing between 15 million and 27 million Americans, along with their prescription and other healthcare needs, entering the insurance market in 2014, according to a recent study published by the Rand Corp.