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Issue 09-28-2009

Retailers, suppliers speak out on community Rx issues

BOSTON — These days, everywhere community pharmacy operators turn there seems to be a new challenge. But in a roundtable discussion held by Chain Drug Review, industry executives indicated that they’re more than up to the task. Over the weekend, chain drug stores and other prescription drug providers began to feel the fallout from the

Rx groups ask HHS for relief from effects of AWP cuts

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Following a court ruling earlier this month that lets insurers reduce the rate at which they reimburse pharmacies for filling prescriptions, industry advocates have appealed to federal regulators for help. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Community Pharmacists Association

DME regs new hurdle for retail pharmacy

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Imminent deadlines for accreditation and bonding to provide durable medical equipment threatens pharmacies’ ability to care for Medicare patients with diabetes, say pharmacy advocates. Besides needing accreditation by October 1 to provide durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS), pharmacies and other suppliers must purchase a $50,000 surety bond per location

Bloom adds supply chain role at CVS

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark Corp. has named Mike Bloom senior vice president of merchandising and supply chain. In his new role, Bloom will continue to be responsible for CVS’ front-end merchandising and category management, but he also will now oversee the chain’s distribution and inventory operations. Since joining CVS in 1991, Bloom has held

Senate health care reform bill raises concern

WASHINGTON — The Senate Finance Committee’s health care reform bill may shortchange pharmacies for Medicaid prescriptions, National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson says. Anderson notes that following the unveiling of the bill, NACDS is “extremely concerned” about the consequences of the legislation’s 175% multiplier for federal upper payment

Walgreens hires CIO in latest staff moves

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. has added three executives to its management ranks, including a new member of the senior leadership team. Tim Theriault, 49, is slated to join Walgreens on October 1 as chief information officer and senior vice president. He will oversee the drug chain’s information technology strategy as the company looks to

Wal-Mart rolls out free Rx mail delivery

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has gone national with its free mail delivery prescription program. Begun in May with a pilot in Michigan, the mail-order program lets pharmacy patients receive 90-day supplies of more than 300 generic medications for $10. Patients can order their prescriptions through a toll-free telephone number or the retailer’s web

SDM’s Murale hits the retail scene in Toronto

SDM’s Murale hits the retail scene in Toronto

TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart’s third Murale specialty beauty store that opened here just before the Labor Day weekend incorporates all the refinements suggested by management’s experience with the two pilot outlets launched last fall. At 6,000 square feet, the Toronto store is slightly smaller than the Murale stores in Ottawa and Montreal that debuted

Drug chains do part in battle against flu

NEW YORK — Lewis Drugs this month continued a mass flu shot program, which is said to be unparalleled in the chain drug industry. The retailer held full-blown 13-hour seasonal flu immunization clinics at six stores in Sioux Falls, S.D., where it is based. Other clinics will take place in stores outside the city later

Richardsen assumes new role at Rite Aid

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Ernie Richardsen, a 17-year pharmacy industry veteran, has been promoted to group vice president of pharmaceutical purchasing and clinical services at Rite Aid Corp. In his new position, the 41-year-old Richardsen is responsible for pharmaceutical purchasing and purchasing strategy, patient compliance initiatives, pharmacy program development, in-store clinics, and retail pricing. He

Texas dispensing fee hike hailed as big win for pharmacy

WASHINGTON — Community pharmacy advocates are hailing the approval of higher dispensing fees in the Texas Medicaid program as a significant victory. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently cleared the Texas State Plan Amendment, which boosts the pharmacy dispensing fee from $5.14 to $7.50. The change is retroactive to September 1, 2007,

Promotion gives CVS’ Bloom his due

Earlier this month, Mike Bloom, CVS’ chief merchant, got a promotion. In addition to his merchandising duties, he now has responsibility for a variety of support functions, among them inventory management, distribution and a bunch of other jobs that combine to get merchandise into and out of the stores. In other words, Bloom has a

There’s plenty of reason to be bullish about Rx

Everywhere community pharmacy operators turn these days there seems to be a new challenge. Over the weekend, chain drug stores and other prescription drug providers began to feel the fallout from the reduction in average wholesale prices mandated by the settlement of a class-action lawsuit. Later this week, they will have to comply with new