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Issue 09-24-2012

Walgreens has high expectations for new loyalty plan

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. has launched Balance Rewards, a customer loyalty program that the company says could become the largest in the United States. All Walgreens and Duane Reade stores are participating in the program. According to Adam Holyk, divisional vice president of loyalty and insights for Walgreens, the program is distinguished by three

Merlo keeps CVS Caremark on right track

NEW YORK — CVS Caremark Corp. is poised for a strong finish to 2012, and its pharmacy business is looking forward to generics growth in 2013 and 2014, president and chief executive officer Larry Merlo said at the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Conference this month. When CVS reported its second quarter results in early August, the

Golden anniversary marked by Rite Aid

CAMP HILL, Pa. — To celebrate its 50th year in business Rite Aid Corp. plans a string of anniversary events for the next six months. Dubbed RA50, the 50th anniversary campaign began this month and will run across the country. “Rite Aid’s motto is ‘With us, it’s personal’ and for 50 years, our associates have

NCPA proceeds with lawsuit vs. Express Scripts

WASHINGTON — The ranks of retail pharmacy have diverged in the wake of a federal judge’s dismissal of most of the claims made in a lawsuit against the merger of Express Scripts Inc. and Medco Health Solutions Inc. The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and five pharmacy operators filed an amended lawsuit against the Express

Walmart bullish on small formats

NEW YORK — Walmart is finally getting comfortable with small-box retailing, and the implications for chain drug stores could be ominous. Speaking at the recent Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference here, Bill Simon, president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S., painted an enthusiastic picture of the potential for Walmart’s smaller formats, which it defines

London Drugs store has unique twists

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — London Drugs opened its 76th store late last month, debuting a 17,200-square-foot unit in Vancouver’s Olympic Village. “Today is the day we open a new London Drugs store in one of the most beautiful city spaces in the world,” president and chief executive officer Wynne Powell said when the store opened

CVS reiterates pledge to combat Rx abuse

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark Corp. is reviewing the Drug Enforcement Administration’s revocation of the controlled substance licenses of two of its stores in Sanford, Fla. The agency has charged that the outlets improperly filled prescriptions for painkillers, particularly oxycodone, and had suspicious sales of other controlled substances. CVS has maintained that the transactions, which

SDM, Royal Bank of Canada up the ante

TORONTO — Royal Bank of Canada is launching a co-branded Mastercard with Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM). The launch of the new credit card extends a relationship between Canada’s largest bank and the 1,271-store drug chain that started with the launch of a co-branded debit card and bank account in March. The agreement between the two

Study finds lower co-pays help improve adherence

NEW YORK — When patients with chronic health conditions have lower out-of-pocket costs for medications, they are more likely to fill their prescriptions, a recent review of past studies shows. While the findings reported in the most recent issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine sound logical, researchers point out that they give credence to

Exec joins the NACDS Foundation

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Former PEN/Faulkner Foundation executive director Matthew Burriesci has joined the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation as director of ­development. Burriesci began his new role late last month. “The NACDS Foundation has a bold vision that requires a talented team,” foundation president Kathleen Jaeger says. “Matt brings all of the right

NRF prepares to file suit over credit card settlement

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation may go to court to block the proposed $7.25 billion settlement of a federal antitrust lawsuit over swipe fees charged by banks and credit card companies. The association said this month that its board had authorized court action if needed and that it is now exploring its ­options. The

Walgreens, Alliance Boots get to work

Three months have passed since Walgreens and Alliance Boots agreed to begin the process of merging their companies, their executive staffs and their considerable talents to create what will ultimately become the first truly global drug retailer/wholesaler. In that time, more misconceptions have surfaced than has been the case with any previous transaction involving two