Issue 11-07-2016

Big premium increases on the way for Obamacare plans

Big premium increases on the way for Obamacare plans

WASHINGTON — Premiums for health plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act will rise sharply next year, and insurer defections in some states will leave consumers with substantially fewer coverage options, the federal government reported. Premiums will increase, on average, 25% for mid-level plans on the federal health insurance exchange, according to the Department of

WBA, Rite Aid push back deal deadline

WBA, Rite Aid push back deal deadline

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) and Rite Aid Corp. have extended the time frame for completing their planned $17.2 billion merger. The companies have pushed back the end date for the deal by three months to January 27, and they expect the transaction to close early next year. Both companies had the

Urick becomes Diplomat president

FLINT, Mich. — Paul Urick has been promoted to president of Diplomat Pharmacy Inc. Urick, who had been senior vice president of industry relations, pharmaceutical account management and payor strategy, succeeds Gary Kadlec, who will retire on December 31. Kadlec will serve out his term on the specialty pharmacy company’s board of directors. “As part

SDM seeks approval to sell medical marijuana

TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM) has formally applied to dispense medical ­marijuana. The chain plans only to distribute the drug with a prescription, not produce it. “As we have indicated in the past we believe that allowing medical marijuana to be dispensed through pharmacy would increase access, safety, quality and security for the thousands

CDC says Zika will be endemic

MIAMI — The Zika virus is more prevalent than Florida health officials have reported, and pregnant women should consider postponing travel to Miami-Dade County, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last month. Because of the local spread of the virus, the CDC also reinforced recommendations for measures to prevent exposure to Zika.

CVS Pay now available across U.S.

CVS Pay now available across U.S.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pay, an end-to-end mobile payment program at CVS Pharmacy, has been rolled out ­nationwide. CVS Pay is now part of the CVS Pharmacy mobile app, and it integrates payment, prescription pickup and the ExtraCare loyalty program into one scan at checkout. CVS Pay is an example of the company’s larger commitment

Walgreens launches ship-to-store service

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Extending its omnichannel strategy, Walgreens has launched a ship-to-store option for orders made online or via its mobile app. The new offering, with free shipping and no minimum purchase, allows customers to shop an expanded online product selection and pick up their order at a convenient neighborhood Walgreens or Duane Reade store.

Loblaw decides to rejoin Canadian association

TORONTO — Loblaw Cos./Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM), Canada’s largest food and drug retailer, has rejoined the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada. The company’s return “is an important recognition of the benefits of association membership, our strategic plan and the work under way to innovate the pharmacy reimbursement model with emphasis on patient health outcomes,” stated

Thrifty White wins specialty Rx accreditation

WASHINGTON — The Center for Pharmacy Practice Accreditation (CPPA) announced that it has accredited Thrifty White Specialty Pharmacy. Fargo, N.D.-based Thrifty White Pharmacy offers specialty patients full pharmacy support services, which it has expanded to serve all 50 states. It also offers specialty drug pickup at 90 of its retail locations. “We are excited to

CVS, Walgreens facilitate safe disposal of unused Rxs

NEW YORK — Initiatives from CVS Health and Walgreens to collect unused medications have produced dramatic results, the companies ­announced. They reported the results ahead of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day late last month. Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the event aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of

Drug chains’ beauty business in doldrums

Drug chains’ beauty business in doldrums

In chain drug retailing, the most disappointing product category in 2016 has been beauty care. Indeed, the problem with the beauty care category in chain drug stores is, quite simply, the chain drug store’s inability to generate any significant interest in the category. It performs far more credibly in other mass retailing outlets, and it

WBA’s efforts recognized by the UN Foundation

WBA’s efforts recognized by the UN Foundation

The United Nations Foundation last month recognized five individuals and organizations whose support has helped the UN address a range of serious issues around the globe. Honorees included President Obama for his efforts to end armed conflict and fight climate change; Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the World Food Programme; Maina Kiai, UN special rapporteur