Content about Michael Johnsen

September 10, 2013

Another high-quality regional pharmacy chain will soon be just a memory.

As reported Tuesday by Drug Store News’ Michael Johnsen, Raleigh, N.C.-based Kerr Drug, one of the industry’s most innovative pharmacy retailers and certainly one of its most determined practitioners of a higher level of pharmacy-based clinical care, has agreed to be acquired by the nation’s top drug chain and a healthcare innovator in its own right, Walgreens, for an undisclosed sum.

May 21, 2013

More evidence is emerging that interventions by pharmacists can have a profound beneficial effect on patient outcomes.

The latest example comes from Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, which released the results of a study May 17 showing that more than two-thirds of patients with hepatitis C “achieved sustained virologic response or cure after completing newer ‘triple therapy’ treatment” backed up by a regimen of care and oversight by pharmacists, according to a Drug Store News report from senior editor Michael Johnsen.

Why the pharmacist interventions? They help improve patient compliance with the complicated drug therapy, which involves the administration of two newer protease inhibitors to prevent the HCV virus from reproducing, in combination with peginterferon and ribavirin. According to Johnsen, that powerful medicinal cocktail “significantly increased the cure rate and cut treatment time in half” for the 406 HCV patients in the study who received triple therapy with either telaprevir or boceprevir.

More evidence is emerging that interventions by pharmacists can have a profound beneficial effect on patient outcomes.

April 2, 2013

These are the days of the empowered patient — the patient who asks questions, who wants to know about how to prevent the diseases that ailed their parents or how to live more successfully with the conditions they have, who seeks and finds health information from doctors, nurses, magazines and most especially from the teeming trove of online health sites.

These are the days of the empowered patient — the patient who asks questions; who wants to know about how to prevent the diseases that ailed their parents or how to live more successfully with the conditions they have; and who seeks and finds health information from doctors, nurses, magazines and most especially from the teeming trove of online health sites.

March 19, 2013

Last week, I wrote about Medication Therapy Management and a new bill in the House of Representatives to expand the pool of patients who qualify for MTM programs through Medicare. This week, I’m writing about – wait for it – medication therapy management.

Why? Because MTM is important, vitally important, to the future of community pharmacy, and one of the key health and prevention services that will define the profession in the era of health reform and evidence-based health care.

Last week, I wrote about medication therapy management and a new bill in the House of Representatives to expand the pool of patients who qualify for MTM programs through Medicare. This week, I’m writing about — wait for it — medication therapy management.

November 5, 2012

The opportunity for weight loss certainly hasn’t gone away — sales of diet-aid liquids were up 12.8% to $1.2 billion for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 9 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SymphonyIRI.

The opportunity for weight loss certainly hasn’t gone away — sales of diet-aid liquids were up 12.8% to $1.2 billion for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 9 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SymphonyIRI. And due to the temporary absence of GlaxoSmithKline’s Alli — unavailable because of a raw-ingredient sourcing issue — sales of diet-aid tablets are down with a 7% decline to a dollar base of 
$205.4 million. 
Alli had been removed from the market in March due to the third-party supply issue and returned in late June. 


November 5, 2012



Target and CVS are some of the first retailers to group adult multivitamins and supplements available in gummy format into one 4-ft. set. The idea is to make shopping vitamins and supplements easier.



Target and CVS are some of the first retailers to group adult multivitamins and supplements available in gummy format into one 4-ft. set. The idea is to make shopping vitamins and supplements easier. For the 12 weeks ended Sept. 9, SymphonyIRI Group tabulated $202 million in sales of multivitamins, up slightly by 0.8%, across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart).

June 24, 2012

What’s the buzz in beauty? Walking the NACDS Marketplace show floor, there is definitely more of the same old same old, but DSN beauty expert Antoinette Alexander found several products she thinks will make the cut.

What’s the buzz in beauty? Walking the NACDS Marketplace show floor, there is definitely more of the same old same old, but DSN beauty expert Antoinette Alexander found several products she thinks will make the cut.

June 24, 2012

Fresh is driving new trips to drug stores — there is no denying. But, in general, drug stores have been good at creating more reasons to shop their stores. DSN identified a few hot consumables and GM products that are likely to help grow impulse purchases.

Fresh is driving new trips to drug stores — there is no denying. But, in general, drug stores have been good at creating more reasons to shop their stores. DSN identified a few hot consumables and GM products that are likely to help grow impulse purchases.

June 24, 2012

According to DSN OTC expert Michael Johnsen, there is a great opportunity for all vendors to sell more by engaging with retailer education programs. Here are MJ's picks for hot products in health and wellness.

According to DSN OTC expert Michael Johnsen, there is a great opportunity for all vendors to sell more by engaging with retailer education programs. Below are MJ's picks for hot products in health and wellness.

June 21, 2012



It may be more than just coincidence that Walgreens has decided to really blow the doors off of retail pharmacy in the same city that screams horsepower every year over Memorial Day weekend.



It may be more than just coincidence that Walgreens has decided to really blow the doors off of retail pharmacy in the same city that screams horsepower every year over Memorial Day weekend. Because even as those Indy 500 drivers are chugging their milk at the Brickyard, Walgreens’ pharmacists will be celebrating a victory of their own as they and their customers help redefine what “drug store” means in shopper parlance.

December 5, 2011



It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It’s that kind of Dickensian double-speak that personifies the tone of the holiday forecasts this year — forecasts that have really been all over the board.



It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It’s that kind of Dickensian double-speak that personifies the tone of the holiday forecasts this year — forecasts that have really been all over the board.

December 5, 2011

“Just 1-in-4 consumers expect their financial position to improve in the coming year.” That’s the way SymphonyIRI Group saw it in its recently released report “The Downturn Shopper: Buckled in for a wild and crazy ride.”

“Just 1-in-4 consumers expect their financial position to improve in the coming year.” That’s the way SymphonyIRI Group saw it in its recently released report “The Downturn Shopper: Buckled in for a wild and crazy ride.” Among the highlights — or lowlights — of how consumers are responding to the pressure:


  • 49% visit the hair salon/spa less often;


  • 40% are trying fewer new products;


February 18, 2011

Welmedix’s First Degree therapeutic burn cream provides a unique solution for minor burns that the company suggests is an unmet need at retail. It’s an all-in-one burn cream that helps soothe pain, cool the burn, prevent infection and reduce the appearance of scars.


Welmedix’s First Degree therapeutic burn cream provides a unique solution for minor burns that the company suggests is an unmet need at retail. It’s an all-in-one burn cream that helps soothe pain, cool the burn, prevent infection and reduce the appearance of scars.


February 18, 2011

All the hype around H1N1 
that was so prevalent in 2009 is gone, leaving only the tough comparisons a year later.

All the hype around H1N1 
that was so prevalent in 2009 is gone, leaving only the tough comparisons a year later. That makes the first half of the 
2010-2011 cough-cold season an H1N1 hangover with overall sales of $4.6 billion, representing a slight decline of 1.8%, for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 26, 2010, according to SymphonyIRI Group. What was missing in 2010 was the 2009 summer of sickness that reached a crescendo in September.

February 18, 2011

Gojo Industries this past fall reacquired its Purell hand-sanitizer brand from Johnson & Johnson and is currently putting the pieces in place to reassume a category leadership role for waterless hand washing.


The endeavor is not without its challenges. Today, hand sanitizers are a highly commoditized category. And though sanitizers certainly benefited from increased awareness associated with last year’s H1N1 pandemic, that awareness didn’t translate into sales; the $100-million-plus category is down 35.4% in 2010, according to SymphonyIRI Group data. 


February 18, 2011



Americans are hard-pressed these days to call in sick, especially for something as innocuous as a cold or even the flu. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that nearly 72% of workers typically go to work when they are sick. Workplace pressures and “presenteeism” may be causing workers to go in under the weather, as more than half (55%) of workers said they feel guilty if they call in sick.


The CareerBuilder survey was conducted nationwide from Nov. 15 to Dec. 2, 2010, among more than 3,700 workers.


February 18, 2011

Homeopathy products, especially in the cough-cold space, appear to be doing very well. That’s good news in and of itself, but according to recent Boiron research, it gets better: People who place homeopathy in their market baskets tend to buy more by the time they get to the checkout.


February 18, 2011

A recent Prestige Brands survey linked certain professions to a propensity for sore throats. The careers most commonly associated with sore-throat pain were singers (53%) and auctioneers (40%). Healthcare workers (47%) and teachers (37%) also were perceived to be at risk due to their potential exposure to airborne illnesses. Almost 3-out-of-4 of those sore-throat sufferers also were under the weather from a cold or flu.

February 18, 2011



McNeil Consumer Healthcare recently parlayed its Tylenol brand franchise into external analgesics to quite a bit of success. For the four weeks ended Dec. 26, 2010, Precise “from the makers of Tylenol” became the No. 3 best-selling heat patch, with $1.9 million in sales across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to Symphony­IRI Group. And its pain-relieving cream similarly broke in among the top-selling brands — No. 9 with $1.3 million in sales for the four-week period.

February 18, 2011

CHICAGO — The real question behind the introductions of a store-brand beer from both Walgreens and Supervalu is whether or not the new brews will be hits by year’s end. In other words, can Big Flats 1901 and Buck Range Light be to beer what Trader Joe’s Two-Buck-Chuck was to wine?


February 1, 2011

Walgreens generated quite 
the fanfare in January when it announced free blood-pressure screenings across its pharmacies and Take Care Clinics on the “Oprah Winfrey Show.”
 And the timing couldn’t be more perfect — the oldest of the baby boomer generation reach birthday No. 65 in 2011, which means some 10,000 seniors will be celebrating retirement age every day from now through the next 19 years.

Walgreens generated quite 
the fanfare in January when it announced free blood-pressure screenings across its pharmacies and Take Care Clinics on the “Oprah Winfrey Show.”


February 1, 2011

LAS VEGAS — While Apple’s iPad and the long line of next-generation electronic tablets hitting the market this year may have been the “sexy” items at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show, it was the unprecedented number of healthcare-related consumer electronics that better served as a harbinger of what’s to come.

January 5, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — It’s a 53-store collection of independents that serves as a model of neighborhood pharmacy to the nation’s lawmakers. That’s in part thanks to the number of Care pharmacies operating in the nation’s capital and in part due to the franchisee-owned group’s proximity to the headquarters of the National Community Pharmacist Association, which is located across the hall.


“[That proximity] really is an opportunity for us to represent independent pharmacy,” said Michael Wysong, Care CEO. 


January 5, 2011



Sales of diet-aid and weight-loss solutions for the past year have been relatively flat, but a confluence of factors — childhood obesity approaching “epidemic” status combined with the real need to reduce escalating healthcare costs connected to obesity — could become a real driver behind weight-loss products in the coming year. 


January 5, 2011

BOULDER, Colo. — Now 10 years operating its unique footprint in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has been revving its growth engine lately. Pharmaca is targeting three new store openings in 2011, and between three and six new stores each year through 2015 — a pace that would put the chain at 44 locations in time for its 15th anniversary. “We will be expanding outside of the states in which we currently operate in the future,” said Mark Panzer, Pharmaca president and CEO.