Issue 02-04-2013

Regional drug chains find new ways to stay in game

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Regional drug chains that fill the right niche can not only survive, but thrive. That is the message of successful small players across the country, many of whom are now gathered here for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Regional Chain Conference. In North Carolina Kerr Drug “continues to work

Severe flu season puts retail pharmacies to the test

NEW YORK — With the number of influenza cases reaching epidemic levels in many parts of the country, drug chains across the nation have been working to keep their stores supplied with flu vaccine to meet the surging demand for vaccinations. For example, Walgreen Co., CVS/pharmacy and Rite Aid Corp. all reported flu shot shortages

CVS adjusts its merchandising team

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Cheryl Mahoney has been named vice president of retail merchandising and promotion and business development at CVS/pharmacy. She is now responsible for maximizing the impact and profitability of the retailer’s promotional efforts across all front-end ­categories. The chain drug operator also announced that Alex Perez-Tenessa has assumed Mahoney’s previous duties under the

Costco puts ‘next generation’ PBM in spotlight

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. is raising the profile of its in-house pharmacy benefits manager, Costco Health Solutions, with a new offering to businesses, including non-Costco members. Calling it the “next generation of pharmacy benefits management,” Costco’s Business Prescription Insurance is available to self-funded employers with 50 or more employees. The retailer emphasizes that

Two from industry’s halcyon days remembered

Two members of the chain drug industry passed away on the same day in January. Each was very different from the other, yet they were tied together by virtue of their intimate participation in the halcyon years of chain drug retailing. Glenn Kraiss died on January 18 at age 79. Kraiss spent 50 years in

Canada unveils plan to cut generics costs

TORONTO — A government plan to cut prices on commonly used generic drugs has pharmacy operators across Canada worried about the potential impact on their businesses. The Council of Federation, a congress of the premiers of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories, unveiled an initiative in mid-January to set prices for six popular generics — atorvastatin,

Rexall debuts Be.better brand

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Rexall has launched Be.better, a new flagship private brand with products focused on well-being and “green” living. The line has more than 100 items, including healthier snack options, environmentally friendly cleaning products, gluten-free vitamins, vegetarian probiotics, and salon-quality hair care products with natural oils such as oblipicha, argan oil and macadamia nut.

Deadline for insurance exchanges extended

WASHINGTON — States have been granted additional time to establish markets through which millions of Americans are expected to buy subsidized private health insurance. Under the law, the federal government was supposed to determine “on or before January 1, 2013,” whether states were prepared to operate the online markets, known as insurance exchanges. But Health

Walgreens extends reach beyond the drug store

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Continuing to stretch the bounds of retail pharmacy, Walgreen Co. has opened one of the country’s most comprehensive work-site health centers. The facility, at the BMW Manufacturing campus in Spartanburg, S.C., provides the automaker’s employees, dependents and eligible retirees a wide range of health services, including primary and occupational care. The 25,000-square-foot

CVS, Walgreens set new standard in Rx

Much has been made of the competition between CVS and Walgreens for supremacy in chain drug retailing and leadership in the health care community. And indeed there is little doubt that these two health care retailers are in a class by themselves when it comes to providing patient care. The real story here, however, is