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Issue 11-07-2011

CVS/pharmacy ‘taps deep bench strength’ of exec team

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark Corp. has promoted a retail pharmacy executive and expanded the responsibilities of two others. Judy Strauss Sansone has been named senior vice president of merchandising, while chief marketing officer Rob Price and executive vice president Scott Baker have been given additional oversight. Sansone, who has worked for the company for

Walgreens offers its vision for the front end

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. — As Walgreen Co. continues to revamp its merchandising department the company’s executives say the front end will take on a new look in the coming years. Speaking at the 2011 Walgreens Vendor Summit here last month, executives told representatives from the hundreds of companies that supply it with branded and private label

Merchandising team honed by Walgreens

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. has realigned its merchandising division, giving three general merchandise managers added responsibilities. Steve Broughton will oversee food, beverages and household consumables; Shannon Curtin (formerly Petree) will be in charge of beauty, personal care and seasonal products; and Robert Tompkins will handle health and wellness, front-end services and general ­merchandise. Broughton

Rx provides help with Part D enrollment

NEW YORK — Chain drug pharmacies and pharmacists are helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate the changes in Medicare Part D. “There are substantial savings available to Medicare Part D beneficiaries this year, so it’s important they know their options to realize these benefits,” says Suzanne Hansen, group vice president of pharmacy operations at Walgreen Co. “Our

Walgreens plays host to the first lady

DEERFIELD, Ill. — First lady Michelle Obama toured a Walgreen Co. store on Chicago’s South Side to get an up-close look at the drug chain’s efforts to provide better food options and accessible health care to underserved communities and to fight the childhood obesity epidemic. Michelle Obama with Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson. The event was

PDP launched by Rite Aid, EnvisionRx Plus

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. is co-branding a value-focused Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) with EnvisionRx Plus. The Rite Aid EnvisionRx Plus plan offers beneficiaries no deductible and zero co-pays on more than 500 generic medications — even during the coverage gap, or so-called donut hole. Rite Aid EnvisionRx Plus was

CVS Caremark study eyes first-time fill rates

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Of patients prescribed a new medication by their doctor, 24% did not fill the prescription, a study by CVS Caremark Corp., Harvard University, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers found. According to CVS Caremark, most prior research of patients who do not take medications as prescribed examined patient behavior after the filling

IOM: Costs can’t be ignored in health reform

WASHINGTON — The federal government should consider cost in deciding which health benefits must be provided by insurance plans under President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) says. In addition, the cost of any new benefits should be offset by savings elsewhere in the health care

NACDS: Proposed Medicaid FULs would hurt patients

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has told federal regulators that it feels proposed changes to Medicaid reimbursement rates will adversely affect patients. In comments submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) late last month the association expressed concern that the agency’s draft Federal Upper Limit (FUL) provisions

Walgreens, Express Scripts continue to jockey for position

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. will stay in Express Scripts Inc.’s pharmacy network for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and has offered continued access for the pharmacy benefit manager under the Department of Defense Tricare program. Express Scripts customarily decides which pharmacies are in a health plan’s provider network, but a small

Less access to diabetes testing supplies a danger

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The “super committee” seeking ways to cut the federal deficit should maintain Medicare recipients’ access to diabetes testing supplies at retail pharmacies, says National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson. In a letter to the co-chairmen of the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Anderson

Walgreens makes more stunning changes

Change never comes easily, especially for a company blessed with success. Why change, the thinking goes, when what we’re doing apparently works so well? That’s been Walgreens’ dilemma. Very few retailers, and no drug chains, have enjoyed the success Walgreens has found over the past 30 years. During that time the company’s sales have advanced

Healthier Rite Aid is boost for industry

It’s time for people in the chain drug industry to take another look at Rite Aid, whose long, painful turnaround has started to gain traction in recent months. For more than a decade the company has been widely viewed as something of an invalid, a status that resulted from self-inflicted wounds. Financial irregularities in the