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December 19, 2011

Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie Stores on Monday announced that the companies will merge to create an organization of approximately 690 grocery stores and 63,000 employees in eight states throughout the southeastern United States.

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie Stores on Monday announced that the companies will merge to create an organization of approximately 690 grocery stores and 63,000 employees in eight states throughout the southeastern United States.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, BI-LO will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Winn-Dixie stock in the merger. Winn-Dixie shareholders will receive $9.50 in cash per share of Winn-Dixie common stock, representing a premium of approximately 75% over the closing price of Winn-Dixie common stock on Dec. 16.

December 19, 2011
For those of us in the healthcare and wellness business, we realize our industry is changing and evolving quickly, mostly out of pure necessity. The healthcare industry is overburdened, over budget and in need of an overhaul. But the potential for our healthcare and wellness system is incredible for all audiences it touches — from consumers to medical professions to healthcare and wellness marketers.

For those of us in the healthcare and wellness business, we realize our industry is changing and evolving quickly, mostly out of pure necessity.  The healthcare industry is overburdened, over budget and in need of an overhaul.  But the potential for our healthcare and wellness system is incredible for all audiences it touches — from consumers to medical professions to healthcare and wellness marketers. Throughout this past year familiar themes rang clear across our industry, giving us insights into what will play vital roles for healthcare in our future.

December 15, 2011

CVS Caremark has been awarded the 2011 Supply Chain Distinction Award North America in the Logistics Best Practice category, which recognizes companies that drive logistics excellence throughout the organization through the development of efficient, sustainable and cost-effective strategies.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has been awarded the 2011 Supply Chain Distinction Award North America in the Logistics Best Practice category, which recognizes companies that drive logistics excellence throughout the organization through the development of efficient, sustainable and cost-effective strategies.

The awards were announced last week at the annual Supply Chain Logistics Summit held in Dallas, Texas.

December 15, 2011

Kroger on Thursday announced that four of the UFCW/multi-employer pension funds to which the company contributes will merge into a new fund, effective Jan. 1. This new arrangement is expected to reduce Kroger's annual pension contribution expense and will secure the pension benefits of more than 65,000 Kroger associates.

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Thursday announced that four of the UFCW/multi-employer pension funds to which the company contributes will merge into a new fund, effective Jan. 1. This new arrangement is expected to reduce Kroger's annual pension contribution expense and will secure the pension benefits of more than 65,000 Kroger associates.

December 14, 2011

Ric Jurgens, chairman and CEO of Midwestern supermarket chain Hy-Vee, will retire on June 1, the company said Wednesday.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Ric Jurgens, chairman and CEO of Midwestern supermarket chain Hy-Vee, will retire on June 1, the company said Wednesday.

Jurgens, 62, began working for Hy-Vee 42 years ago while a student at Iowa State University, taking a full-time position after his graduation. In 1995, he was named SVP and chief administrative officer, becoming president in 2001, CEO in 2003 and chairman in 2006. Jurgens said he will ask the company's board of directors to elect president and COO Randy Edeker as chairman and CEO.

December 14, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday challenged some of Express Scripts' and Medco's testimony during last week's hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, most notably that PBMs are subject to state regulation in all states and that as a PBM the two companies have no influence on the design of prescription drug benefits.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday challenged some of Express Scripts' and Medco's testimony during last week's hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, most notably that PBMs are subject to state regulation in all states and that as a PBM the two companies have no influence on the design of prescription drug benefits.

December 13, 2011

The unemployed and underemployed have limited access to health care and, in many cases, are putting off seeking medical care, according to the "Long-Term Unemployed Survey" released on Monday by NPR News and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

MENLO PARK, Calif. — The unemployed and underemployed have limited access to health care and, in many cases, are putting off seeking medical care, according to the "Long-Term Unemployed Survey" released on Monday by NPR News and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

When they are sick or need medical advice, the long‐term unemployed and underemployed are much more likely than those with full‐time jobs to say they rely on a hospital emergency room or that they have no usual place to go for care (39% compared with 15% of full‐time employees).

December 13, 2011

New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill that would forbid health insurers from requiring plan members to order prescription drugs from mail-order pharmacies, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill that would forbid health insurers from requiring plan members to order prescription drugs from mail-order pharmacies, according to published reports. 

December 9, 2011

The longer this proposed Express Scripts-Medco deal remains under the microscope, the more people don't seem to like what they see. The general tone at this Senate hearing was against the merger.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The longer this proposed Express Scripts-Medco deal remains under the microscope, the more people don't seem to like what they see. The general tone at this Senate hearing was against the merger. Many of the senators in attendance were expressing concern that the proposed merger would negatively impact access to pharmacy, which is perhaps the greatest import of the possibility of an Express Scripts-Medco super-PBM.

December 5, 2011

Bankrupt grocer A&P has announced that the Locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union have ratified modifications to the collective bargaining agreements with the company — a key step toward completing the company’s financial restructuring.

MONTVALE, N.J. — Bankrupt grocer A&P has announced that the Locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union have ratified modifications to the collective bargaining agreements with the company — a key step toward completing the company’s financial restructuring.

December 5, 2011

Senior Walmart executives regularly invoke the name of Sam Walton when it serves to reinforce a point regarding the company’s business model or the cultural principles on which Walton is said to have founded the company.

Senior Walmart executives regularly invoke the name of Sam Walton when it serves to reinforce a point regarding the company’s business model or the cultural principles on which Walton is said to have founded the company. Dr. John Agwunobi, president of health and wellness for Walmart U.S., took the practice a step further recently when he participated in a panel presentation with other top executives at a conference put on by the Center for Retailing Excellence at the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton College of Business.


December 5, 2011

Nipro Diagnostics on Thursday was recognized by the Manufacturers Association of Florida with the 2011 Manufacturer of the Year Award.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Nipro Diagnostics on Thursday was recognized by the Manufacturers Association of Florida with the 2011 Manufacturer of the Year Award.

December 5, 2011

Since the inception of retail-based health clinics in 2000, the concept has grown to more than 1,300 locations throughout the United States. The real question now: Are we on the brink of clinics version 2.0?


Since the inception of retail-based health clinics in 2000, the concept has grown to more than 1,300 locations throughout the United States and, in more recent months, has celebrated several significant milestones that prove clinics are not only an integral part of the U.S. healthcare system but also are a viable model for retailers when handled correctly. The real question now: Are we on the brink of clinics version 2.0?


December 5, 2011

Following the settlement of a patent-litigation suit with Swiss drug maker Novartis over the patch Vivelle-Dot (estradiol transdermal system), a drug for treating symptoms of menopause, Mylan said it had received a patent license to begin selling its version of the drug in December 2013.


SUPPLIER NEWS — Following the settlement of a patent-litigation suit with Swiss drug maker Novartis over the patch Vivelle-Dot (estradiol transdermal system), a drug for treating symptoms of menopause, Mylan said it had received a patent license to begin selling its version of the drug in December 2013.


The Pittsburgh-based generic drug maker was the first to file for regulatory approval of the drug with the Food and Drug Administration, and as such will be entitled to 180 days of 
market exclusivity.


December 2, 2011

Walgreens' chief information officer Tim Theriault has been named to Computerworld's "Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2012," a list that annually recognizes individuals who have made significant impacts on their organization through technology excellence and leadership, the drug retailer announced Friday.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens' chief information officer Tim Theriault has been named to Computerworld's "Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2012," a list that annually recognizes individuals who have made significant impacts on their organization through technology excellence and leadership, the drug retailer announced Friday.

December 2, 2011

Unilever is looking to close the Alberto-Culver plant outside of Chicago in Melrose Park in 2013, and, in a few months, will begin laying off at least 600 employees, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report.

NEW YORK — Unilever is looking to close the Alberto-Culver plant outside of Chicago in Melrose Park in 2013, and, in a few months, will begin laying off at least 600 employees, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report.

Unilever spokeswoman Anita Larsen told the Chicago Sun-Times, “This decision was taken as a result of a review of the company’s manufacturing network in order to achieve cost efficiencies.”

November 30, 2011

Record-breaking attendance, a high-profile keynote speaker, four engaging panel discussions on some of the hottest issues facing the industry and exclusive consumer videos set the stage for the 13th annual Drug Store News Industry Issues Summit held on Tuesday in New York.

NEW YORK — Record-breaking attendance, a high-profile keynote speaker, four engaging panel discussions on some of the hottest issues facing the industry and exclusive consumer videos set the stage for the 13th annual Drug Store News Industry Issues Summit held on Tuesday in New York.

November 30, 2011

Internet retailers have an unfair advantage over Main Street merchants when it comes to sales tax, and legislation may be the solution to help level the playing field, according to the National Retail Federation.

WASHINGTON — Internet retailers have an unfair advantage over Main Street merchants when it comes to sales tax, and legislation may be the solution to help level the playing field, according to the National Retail Federation.

November 29, 2011

Take Care Health Systems, a subsidiary of Walgreens, on Tuesday announced a relationship with Cisco to operate the LifeConnections Health Center on Cisco's campus in San Jose, Calif.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Take Care Health Systems, a subsidiary of Walgreens, on Tuesday announced a relationship with Cisco to operate the LifeConnections Health Center on Cisco's campus in San Jose, Calif. The LifeConnections Health Center provides Cisco employees and dependents with comprehensive and integrated health-and-wellness services, including primary care, physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, vision, health coaching and an on-site Walgreens pharmacy.

November 29, 2011

Supervalu banner Save-A-Lot will open a new 330,000-sq.-ft. food distribution center in Lexington, N.C., on Wednesday.

ST. LOUIS — Supervalu banner Save-A-Lot will open a new 330,000-sq.-ft. food distribution center in Lexington, N.C., on Wednesday.

The distribution center initially will service more than 70 stores within a 150-mile radius, Save-A-Lot noted.

The distribution center, which will employ 35 employees, is part of the company's commitment to expand in the region. Currently, there are nearly 30 Save-A-Lot stores in North Carolina, including one in Lexington; the company plans to open an additional three stores in the state by March 2012.

November 29, 2011

Walgreens' chief medical officer Cheryl Pegus delivered a keynote session Tuesday at the National Conference of State Legislatures Fall Forum in Tampa, Fla., to outline innovative approaches in health care today, and shared how Walgreens complements these new models.

TAMPA, Fla. — Walgreens' chief medical officer Cheryl Pegus delivered a keynote session Tuesday at the National Conference of State Legislatures Fall Forum here. The presentation, titled “Expanding Access to Care for Women and Exploring Health Delivery Models,” outlined the innovative approaches in health care today, and shared how Walgreens complements these new models.

November 28, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration last week took legal action against the dietary supplement manufacturer ATF Fitness Products for substituting ingredients and products without noting the changes on the final product labels.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration last week took legal action against the dietary supplement manufacturer ATF Fitness Products for substituting ingredients and products without noting the changes on the final product labels.

The permanent injunction, filed on behalf of the FDA by the U.S. Department of Justice, would stop the defendants from making and distributing more than 400 products for being in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Brands include Sci-Fit, Nature's Science and For Store Only.

November 22, 2011

Dutch supermarket operator Royal Ahold reported sales of $9.3 billion and profits of $347.8 million in third quarter 2011, the company said.

AMSTERDAM — Dutch supermarket operator Royal Ahold reported sales of $9.3 billion and profits of $347.8 million in third quarter 2011, the company said.

November 22, 2011

Generic drug maker Par Pharmaceutical has promoted Thomas Haughey to president and Paul Campanelli to COO, the company said. The promotions take effect immediately.

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Generic drug maker Par Pharmaceutical has promoted Thomas Haughey to president and Paul Campanelli to COO, the company said. The promotions take effect immediately.

"With the acquisition of Anchen and the pending acquisition of Edict, Par is becoming a larger and more complex organization with three diverse locations and more than 300 additional employees," Par chairman and CEO Patrick LePore said. "These new challenges and opportunities require a president and COO to effectively manage the company and its subsidiaries."

November 22, 2011

A UnitedHealth Group company announced its plans to acquire a sponsor of Medicare Advantage health plans in an all-cash transaction.

MINNETONKA, Minn. — A UnitedHealth Group company announced its plans to acquire a sponsor of Medicare Advantage health plans in an all-cash transaction.