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April 4, 2011

Pfizer will sell its Capsugel business to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. for nearly $2.4 billion, the drug maker said Monday.

PEAPACK, N.J. — Pfizer will sell its Capsugel business to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. for nearly $2.4 billion, the drug maker said Monday.

Capsugel, which develops hard capsules and drug-delivery systems, generated about $750 million in sales last year. The company will maintain its New Jersey headquarters after the sale is complete.

April 4, 2011

Representatives from leading employers and payers met Monday to discuss the evolving role of employers in health care at the first Walgreens Employer Health and Wellness Executive Client Forum.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Representatives from leading employers and payers met Monday to discuss the evolving role of employers in health care at the first Walgreens Employer Health and Wellness Executive Client Forum.

The event features presentations from Walgreens executives on clinical outcomes data supporting the benefits of utilizing employer health programs beyond traditional services.

April 1, 2011

Safeway on Friday announced the start of its companywide fundraising campaign for Easter Seals, Special Olympics, Rebuilding Together and a range of job training programs that help people with disabilities live fuller lives.

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Friday announced the start of its companywide fundraising campaign for Easter Seals, Special Olympics, Rebuilding Together and a range of job training programs that help people with disabilities live fuller lives.

March 29, 2011

Catalyst Health Solutions and Walgreens on Monday announced that the Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Catalyst Health Solutions and Walgreens on Monday announced that the Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, in connection with Catalyst’s previously announced proposed acquisition of Walgreens Health Initiatives, the pharmacy benefit management subsidiary of Walgreens.

Completion of the proposed acquisition remains subject to other closing conditions. The companies continue to expect to complete the transaction in the first half of 2011.

March 29, 2011

Raising Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 67 years in 2014 would generate an estimated $7.6 billion in net savings to the federal government, but also would result in an estimated net increase of $5.6 billion in out-of-pocket costs for 65- and 66-year-olds, as well as $4.5 billion in employer retiree healthcare costs, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation projection of the potential change suggested by several deficit-reduction plans.

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Raising Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 67 years in 2014 would generate an estimated $7.6 billion in net savings to the federal government, but also would result in an estimated net increase of $5.6 billion in out-of-pocket costs for 65- and 66-year-olds, as well as $4.5 billion in employer retiree healthcare costs, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation projection of the potential change suggested by several deficit-reduction plans.

March 29, 2011

One could say that a job with the Food and Drug Administration would be the perfect way to get information about upcoming drug approvals and use it to profit handsomely from buying stock in the companies that manufacture the drugs before the information reaches the public.

WASHINGTON — One could say that a job with the Food and Drug Administration would be the perfect way to get information about upcoming drug approvals and use it to profit handsomely from buying stock in the companies that manufacture the drugs before the information reaches the public.

Of course, the Securities and Exchange Commission would consider that illegal insider trading, as one FDA scientist recently discovered.

March 28, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday warned consumers to stop using Soladek, a vitamin-solution product marketed by Indo Pharma of the Dominican Republic, because the product may contain dangerously high levels of vitamins A and D.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Monday warned consumers to stop using Soladek, a vitamin-solution product marketed by Indo Pharma of the Dominican Republic, because the product may contain dangerously high levels of vitamins A and D.

The FDA received seven reports of serious health problems occurring in consumers using the product. The problems include decreased renal function, elevated levels of calcium in the blood, fatigue, heart arrhythmia, vomiting and diarrhea.
 

March 25, 2011

Safeway this week received an award for demonstrating commitment to various causes through financial support and encouragement.

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway this week received an award for demonstrating commitment to various causes through financial support and encouragement.

The retailer said it received the 2011 Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. AFP presented the award to Safeway's EVP Larree Renda, who also serves as chair for the company's charitable organization, the Safeway Foundation.

March 24, 2011

Shortly after posting record second-quarter sales on Tuesday, Walgreens announced that it would "accelerate its online strategy" by acquiring e-retailer Drugstore.com for about $429 million, subject to customary conditions.

DEERFIELD, Ill., and BELLEVUE, Wash. — Shortly after posting record second-quarter sales on Tuesday, Walgreens announced that it would "accelerate its online strategy" by acquiring e-retailer Drugstore.com for about $429 million, subject to customary conditions.

March 23, 2011

Safeway's charitable arm announced it would donate $100,000 and launch an employee matching pledge of up to $50,000 to help with the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway's charitable arm announced it would donate $100,000 and launch an employee matching pledge of up to $50,000 to help with the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.

The Safeway Foundation said the contribution will be distributed to the impacted area through the American Red Cross.

March 22, 2011

With record second-quarter sales and earnings under its belt, a grasp on 20.1% of the retail prescription drug market and a sharpened focus on core assets, Walgreens' executives expressed optimism on future growth — despite such external challenges as a soft economy and continued pressure on Medicaid reimbursement — and reiterated the company's focus on core strategies.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With record second-quarter sales and earnings under its belt, a grasp on 20.1% of the retail prescription drug market and a sharpened focus on core assets, Walgreens' executives expressed optimism on future growth — despite such external challenges as a soft economy and continued pressure on Medicaid reimbursement — and reiterated the company's focus on core strategies.

March 21, 2011

Generic drug maker Mylan is suing the Food and Drug Administration in an effort to prevent Gurgaon, India-based competitor Ranbaxy Labs from launching its generic version of Pfizer’s cholesterol medication Lipitor, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Generic drug maker Mylan is suing the Food and Drug Administration in an effort to prevent Gurgaon, India-based competitor Ranbaxy Labs from launching its generic version of Pfizer’s cholesterol medication Lipitor, according to published reports.

March 18, 2011

The Doobie Brothers once recorded a song called "Taking It to the Streets," and that's kind of what Walgreens did when two top executives last week took the message of the changing role of the community pharmacist on the road.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The Doobie Brothers once recorded a song called "Taking It to the Streets," and that's kind of what Walgreens did when two top executives took the message of the changing role of the community pharmacist on the road.

(THE NEWS: WAG VP talks to Chicago Tribune about changing role of pharmacist. For the full story, click here)

March 16, 2011

Perrigo on Wednesday named Tony Schott VP diabetes care for the consumer healthcare division.

ALLEGAN, Mich. — Perrigo on Wednesday named Tony Schott VP diabetes care for the consumer healthcare division.

In this role, Schott will expand Perrigo’s current distribution in retail store-brand glucose and grow sales and market share in this category.

March 16, 2011

Walgreens on Wednesday donated $150,000 to the American Red Cross in response to the earthquake that struck Japan last week. The company also will match employee donations up to $100,000.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday donated $150,000 to the American Red Cross in response to the earthquake that struck Japan last week. The company also will match employee donations up to $100,000.

March 15, 2011

The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust has announced the donation of $100,000 to the American Red Cross in support of relief efforts under way in Japan following last week's tragic earthquake and tsunami, with a potential total donation of up to $300,000 through the matching of CVS Caremark employee donations.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust has announced the donation of $100,000 to the American Red Cross in support of relief efforts under way in Japan following last week's tragic earthquake and tsunami, with a potential total donation of up to $300,000 through the matching of CVS Caremark employee donations.

March 15, 2011

The evolving role of the pharmacist and the growing impact of pharmacist interventions on clinical outcomes were discussed Tuesday by Walgreens chief medical officer Cheryl Pegus at the 11th annual Population Health and Care Coordination Colloquium.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — The evolving role of the pharmacist and the growing impact of pharmacist interventions on clinical outcomes were discussed Tuesday by Walgreens chief medical officer Cheryl Pegus at the 11th annual Population Health and Care Coordination Colloquium in Philadelphia.

March 14, 2011

By 2015, “pharmacists will be the healthcare professionals responsible for providing patient care that ensures optimal medication therapy outcomes.” That was the consensus reached in the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners' vision statement at the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s Consumer Awareness, Resources, Education, State Policy and Testing Summit last month.

WASHINGTON — By 2015, “pharmacists will be the healthcare professionals responsible for providing patient care that ensures optimal medication therapy outcomes.” That was the consensus reached in the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners' vision statement at the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s Consumer Awareness, Resources, Education, State Policy and Testing Summit last month.

March 14, 2011

A lot was made of Walgreens' sale of its pharmacy benefit management business to focus on its stores and the other parts of its business, with some analysts and pundits suggesting CVS should or might soon follow suit. Whether or not CVS Caremark decides to do the same remains to be seen, but it certainly isn't the foregone conclusion some have suggested it might be.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — A lot was made of Walgreens' sale of its pharmacy benefit management business to focus on its stores and the other parts of its business, with some analysts and pundits suggesting CVS should or might soon follow suit. Whether or not CVS Caremark decides to do the same remains to be seen, but it certainly isn't the foregone conclusion some have suggested it might be.

March 9, 2011

A report by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General found that beneficiary premiums in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program are higher than than they should be, due to overpayments to plan sponsors, including pharmacy benefit managers.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A report by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General found that beneficiary premiums in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program are higher than than they should be, due to overpayments to plan sponsors, including pharmacy benefit managers.

March 9, 2011

Walgreens on Wednesday sold its pharmacy benefit management business, Walgreens Health Initiatives, to Catalyst Health Solutions in a cash transaction for $525 million, subject to certain adjustments. The transaction is structured as an acquisition of all of the capital stock of WHI.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday sold its pharmacy benefit management business, Walgreens Health Initiatives, to Catalyst Health Solutions in a cash transaction for $525 million, subject to certain adjustments. The transaction is structured as an acquisition of all of the capital stock of WHI.

March 8, 2011

Generic drug maker Hospira has appointed Mike Ball as CEO, effective March 28, the company said. Ball currently is president of Allergan.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Generic drug maker Hospira has appointed Mike Ball as CEO, effective March 28, the company said. Ball currently is president of Allergan.

Ball, who also was appointed to the company’s board, will replace Christopher Begley, who will assume the role of executive chairman.

March 8, 2011

Cheryl Pegus, chief medical officer at Walgreens, will make a presentation during the 11th annual Population Health and Care Coordination Colloquium in Philadelphia next week.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Cheryl Pegus, chief medical officer at Walgreens, will make a presentation during the 11th annual Population Health and Care Coordination Colloquium in Philadelphia next week.

Pegus, who was named the drug store chain's chief medical officer last May, will present during the “Impact and Value of Pharmacist Interventions in Different Settings” session, which will examine the growing role pharmacists are playing in improving clinical outcomes through interventions at community pharmacies and employer worksite health clinics, Walgreens said.

March 7, 2011

American Greetings won't be moving its headquarters from northeast Ohio, the company's CEO said Monday.

BROOKLYN, Ohio — American Greetings won't be moving its headquarters from northeast Ohio, the company's CEO said Monday.

The greeting cards maker said it would continue to review sites in northeast Ohio, including its current headquarters in Brooklyn, according to CEO Zev Weiss.

Last year, American Greetings began reviewing site options for its 2,000-employee corporate headquarters. Last November, the company narrowed its scope and began considering locations in northeast Ohio and greater Chicago.

March 7, 2011

Walmart’s U.S. VP benefits, Chris McSwain, was elected chairman of the Integrated Benefits Institute, the organization announced Monday.

SAN FRANCISCO — Walmart’s U.S. VP benefits, Chris McSwain, was elected chairman of the Integrated Benefits Institute, the organization announced Monday.

“Chris McSwain has played an important leadership role in the health benefits community, and we look forward to his continued leadership with IBI,” said Thomas Parry, president of the nonprofit health and productivity research organization.