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Issue 08-29-2011

NACDS, NCPA challenge Express Scripts-Medco deal

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Citing a potential anticompetitive impact on patients, consumers, the market “and the entire health care delivery system,” the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) have written to the Federal Trade Commission to formally express their opposition to the proposed merger of pharmacy benefit managers Express

Court nixes Affordable Care Act provision

ATLANTA — A federal appeals panel has struck down the core component of President Obama’s health care overhaul, shifting the question of whether Americans can be required to buy health insurance a step closer to the Supreme Court. A divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Congress overstepped its authority

Lo named to oversee Rx at SDM

TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. (SDM) has appointed Dr. Dorian Lo as executive vice president of pharmacy and health care, and in that position he will lead the company’s pharmacy department and health solutions team. Lo’s career spans health care and pharmacy in both Canada and the United States. He graduated from the University

New private label line rolled out by Walgreens

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has unveiled a new value-oriented store brand chainwide. Called Nice!, the brand includes more than 400 grocery and household products at prices up to 30% below those of national brands. The 7,750-store chain plans to have most Nice! products on shelves by early 2012. Many of the items go beyond what

Pact on user fees for generics near

WASHINGTON — The generic drug industry and the Food and Drug Administration have reached tentative agreement to establish a user fee program in which companies would pay as much as $299 million initially to hasten drug approvals and increase the frequency of FDA inspections of foreign drug plants. Since discussions between the industry and the

Keelor becomes chief merchant at Katz

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Retail veteran Ken Keelor has been named chief merchandising officer at Katz Group. In that role, Keelor will oversee all merchandising and marketing functions for the Rexall family of pharmacies. Before joining Katz, he held a number of executive positions over 10 years at multibanner Canadian grocery chain Sobeys Inc. He most

The designers who helped Duane Reade create a hit

NEW YORK — Before there is a dazzling store, there has to be a magnificent space. Duane Reade had such a space at 40 Wall Street, and it shows in the chain’s bold new drug store there. The fantastic architectural detail at the lower Manhattan skyscraper — including archways, tall windows and David Rockefeller’s office

Rx groups send Supreme Court brief in Medicaid case

WASHINGTON — Pharmacy groups have joined a pending case before the U.S. Supreme Court to determine if cuts to the reimbursement rates paid under Medicaid violate federal law. In a brief filed with the Court earlier this month, the American Pharmacists Association, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Community Pharmacists Association and National Alliance

Industry mourns ECRM’s Bowlus

NEW YORK — Charlie Bowlus is being remembered by chain drug and manufacturing executives as much for his disarming warmth and sincerity as for breaking new ground in retailer-supplier relations. Bowlus, founder and chief executive officer of ECRM, died this month of complications from emergency surgery. He was 64. He would not want to be

Two top retailers weigh in on tax code

WASHINGTON — As stocks gyrated and the economy sputtered, the leaders of CVS Caremark Corp. and Walmart called for Congress to restructure the corporate tax code. CVS Caremark president and chief executive officer Larry Merlo told the Senate Finance Committee that lowering the maximum corporate tax rate would allow the company to accelerate investments in

Drug chains’ flu shot programs have an impact

NEW YORK — Through national programs, local public-private initiatives and individual efforts of chain drug stores, retail pharmacists are gaining increased recognition as providers of influenza ­vaccinations. For example, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores recently received a certificate of appreciation from assistant surgeon general Anne Schuchat recognizing NACDS’ participation in the National Influenza

Rite Aid taps Henderson to head communications

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Public relations and communications veteran Susan Henderson has joined Rite Aid Corp. as senior vice president and chief communications officer. She replaces Karen Rugen, who retired last month. Henderson joins Rite Aid after serving as a consultant for Chicago-based Gagen MacDonald, a strategy execution and em­ployee engagement company. Prior to that

Bowlus brought new dimension to industry

Charlie Bowlus died earlier this month. It was the sudden, inexplicable, deeply and shockingly heartbreaking event that happens all too frequently to those whom we most care about, those whose indestructability we take for granted, those we assume will always be with us, those who are ­irreplaceable. Charlie Bowlus was a giant who never realized

In uncertain times, pharmacy’s benefits stand out

As the leaders of community pharmacy gather in Boston for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Pharmacy and Technology Conference, the profession continues to confront a number of unresolved issues that could have a direct bearing on its ability to provide accessible, affordable patient care and maintain its financial viability. Consider the developments that