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Inside This Issue - News

Q&A: Walgreens' Wasson gives views on battle with PBM

Despite an 11th-hour attempt, Walgreen Co. was unable to come to contract renewal terms with Express Scripts Inc. and the new year began without a deal in place, putting the drug chain out of the pharmacy benefit manager’s network. In an interview with Chain Drug Review, Walgreens chief executive officer Greg Wasson discusses the implications of the impasse for patients, payers, the company and the retail pharmacy business.

Walgreens exudes confidence about future direction

Despite the specter of its standoff with pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Inc., Walgreen Co. sounded a positive note at its annual shareholders meeting here.

Judge puts stop to cuts in Medi-Cal

A federal judge late last month blocked California’s move to cut Medicaid reimbursements by 10%.

New CMS data shows Rx spending up just 1.2%

National health care spending increased less than 4% in 2010 for the second year in a row as Americans delayed drug purchases, doctor visits and hospital care, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

CVS Caremark probe is concluded by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has ended a two-year investigation of CVS Caremark Corp. with no allegations of antitrust violations or anticompetitive ­behavior.

High court to take up health care reform in March

The Supreme Court has set aside an entire week in March to hear arguments over the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care overhaul.

HHS to give states flexibility on health benefits

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said last month it would not define a single uniform set of “essential health benefits” that must be provided by health insurers for tens of millions of Americans.

Wellness+ loyalty plan in spotlight at Rite Aid

Rite Aid Corp. is starting off the year with a loyalty program promotion and an initiative to support dieters.

Opposition to Express Scripts-Medco merger mounts

A coalition of consumer groups came out this month against the merger of pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts Inc. and Medco Health Solutions Inc., joining an increasing number of federal lawmakers questioning the deal.

NACDS sets speakers for Annual Meeting

The lineup of speakers for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting, already highlighted by former president George W. Bush, has been extended to include election analyst and University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato.