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Issue 05-21-2012

Call to action heard at NACDS Annual Meeting

PALM BEACH, Fla. — If George W. Bush, who offered insights about his years as president to a standing-room-only crowd during the final business session at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting here last month, can rightly be called the event’s headliner, the substantive remarks about the business at hand, community pharmacy,

As market shifts, Wasson assesses Walgreens’ position

PALM BEACH, Fla. — During the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting here last month, Greg Wasson, the organization’s new chairman, exuded a sense of confidence despite the considerable challenges faced by the industry. The view that the future of community pharmacy has never been brighter stems from Wasson’s 32 years at Walgreen

Merlo: CVS Caremark firing on all cylinders

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark Corp. is right where it needs to be to thrive in today’s increasingly complex health care market, president and chief executive officer Larry Merlo said at the company’s annual shareholders meeting here. By leveraging its unique business model — which integrates a drug store chain, a retail clinic operation and

Rx loses round in PBM lawsuit

PITTSBURGH — Pharmacy advocates are pressing ahead with a lawsuit to stop the merger of Express Scripts Inc. and Medco Health Solutions Inc. despite a judge’s refusal to grant a preliminary injunction freezing the transaction. On April 25 U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon rejected a motion from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and

Pharmacists in Ontario face cuts

TORONTO — The Ontario government is consulting with pharmacy industry stakeholders on achieving $55 million (Canadian) in savings in drug spending, according to the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS). While the government initially announced a flat payment reduction from 25% to 20% of brand name equivalents for the top 10 generic drugs, subsequent

Work on Rite Aid refinancing progresses

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. has added to a debt offering initiated earlier this year, drawing a favorable response from credit rating agencies. The drug chain plans to issue $426 million in senior unsecured notes due in 2020 to help fund a refinancing of debt. This month the company began a cash tender

Pharmasave’s Paish moves on

LANGLEY, British Columbia — Sue Paish will end her five-year stint as head of Pharmasave Drugs when she leaves the company later this month to become chief executive officer at the laboratory testing services provider LifeLabs Inc. Pharmasave’s national board of directors has named chief financial officer Zvonko Maretic as interim CEO. He assumes that

Jean Coutu reduces its stake in Rite Aid

LONGUEUIL, Quebec — The Jean Coutu Group has sold 56 million shares of Rite Aid Corp., reducing its interest in Rite Aid’s outstanding common shares to 19.85%. The sale, at $1.51 per share, netted $83.6 million. The gain will be recorded in Coutu’s net profit during the first quarter of fiscal 2013, since the carrying

CACDS designates McKinnon interim CEO

TORONTO — The Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) is searching for a new leader. The trade group earlier this month announced that it has named Ian McKinnon interim chief executive officer, taking over for president and CEO Nadine Saby, who has resigned. CACDS said that McKinnon will serve as interim CEO for six

Slone joins Walgreens as senior VP

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Reuben Slone has been selected senior vice president of supply chain management at Walgreen Co. He will oversee such areas as distribution, transportation, systems integration and engineering as well as the Lean and Six Sigma supply chain initiatives and community outreach. Slone reports to president of community management Mark Wagner. “Reuben has

NACDS honors Katz’s Giancamilli and Unilever’s Brown

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Andy Giancamilli and Jerry Brown have been recognized with the chain pharmacy industry’s highest honors. Giancamilli, who retired this year as chief executive officer of Katz Group Canada Ltd. and was a past chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, received NACDS’ Sheldon W. Fantle Lifetime Achievement Award. Brown,

PCMA ad targets pharmacies

WASHINGTON — The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) has gone on the offensive against community pharmacies, running an advertisement here earlier this month that accuses drug stores of overcharging patients. Titled “It’s the Drugstore Lobby vs. Employers,” the print ad ran in Washington, D.C., publications at the same time that more than 250 independent pharmacists

Merlo has CVS headed in right direction

A little over a year has passed since Larry Merlo succeeded Tom Ryan as chief executive officer of CVS Caremark. During that time it has become clear that the company is in the hands of a steward who understands its unique combination of assets — a drug chain and a pharmacy benefits management business that