Wendy future of retail top

Issue 03-26-2012

CACDS tracks growing reliance on pharmacists

TORONTO — A recent survey of pharmacy patients across Canada shows that nearly three-quarters of those polled have talked to a pharmacist about health issues beyond those related to their prescriptions. The Nielsen survey of 6,000 people, done for the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores, shows that 72% of respondents have relied on their

More groups speak out against PBM merger deal

NEW YORK — Organizations representing food retailers and wholesalers have urged the Federal Trade Commission to block the proposed acquisition of Medco Health Solutions Inc. by Express Scripts Inc. Representatives of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) argued that consumers and pharmacy patients have benefited from robust supermarket competition in the form of low prices and

Next frontier reached in use of patient data

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. has begun using Surescripts’ clinical interoperability to electronically deliver patient data to primary care providers and better coordinate care. In the coming months all 7,800 Walgreens and Duane Reade pharmacies and 350 Take Care Clinics will use the Surescripts network to transmit immunization records. Later this year the chain will

Rite Aid clarifies its wellness ambassador role

NEW YORK — After two U.S. senators expressed concerns, Rite Aid Corp. has reiterated the role of its “wellness ambassador,” a key customer service feature of the drug chain’s new “wellness store” format. In press announcements this month, Sens. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.) and Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) questioned if Rite Aid was confusing customers.

Retail sales are on the upswing

NEW YORK — Retail sales in February showed the highest gain in five months, and the industry’s largest drug chains mirrored the broader trend. At Rite Aid Corp., for instance, total sales for the five weeks ended March 3 increased 2.3% to $2.55 billion, up from $2.5 billion for the corresponding period last year. Same-store

CVS, Cardinal win round in DEA fight

WASHINGTON — Cardinal Health Inc. and CVS Caremark Corp. have won reprieves from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) efforts to have them stop selling certain prescription drugs in Florida. In separate rulings a week apart, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed to consider appeals from Cardinal and CVS to

Chains have no tolerance for Rx diversion

WASHINGTON — Chain pharmacies have “zero tolerance” for prescription drug diversion, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores told a congressional subcommittee earlier this month. Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, chaired by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R., Calif.), NACDS vice president of government affairs and pharmacy advisor Kevin Nicholson assured

Walgreens helps consumers make most of smartphones

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has introduced mobile applications that allow its customers to use their smartphones to do everything from managing their prescriptions to ordering photographic prints. The drug chain’s most recent move involves teaming up with the location-based social media site foursquare on a new mobile coupon program. Consumers who check in to any

A move toward greater transparency

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Utah state legislature’s passage of a bill that would require audits conducted by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to be “fair and rational” has been praised by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, which asserts that the action addresses the concern that PBMs jeopardize neighborhood pharmacies and patient care. The Pharmacy

Cosby gets off to impressive start at CVS

Whatever aspirations CVS Caremark entertained in hiring former Macy’s executive Mark Cosby as president of the company’s drug store unit, they appear, even at this early date, to have been both justified and exceeded. In six months as CVS president, Cosby has proven himself a knowledgeable and confident retailer, a quick study, an executive who

Forces of change at work in the PBM market

The market for pharmacy benefit management services is in flux, with many different stakeholders working to alter the sector’s dynamics or exploring new options. The ultimate outcome of the ongoing dispute between Express Scripts Inc. (ESI) and Walgreen Co., a standoff that has so far inconvenienced as many as 6 million pharmacy customers and disrupted