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Issue 11-11-2013

McKesson extends international reach with Celesio buy

SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson Corp. has agreed to acquire the German pharmaceutical distributor Celesio AG in a deal valued at about $8.3 billion (6.1 billion euros). If completed, the transaction will create a company with annual revenues of $150 billion and operations in 20 countries. Under the terms of the agreement McKesson will purchase the

Bartell Drugs thrives by adjusting to community

SEATTLE — As it approaches its 125th year in business, Bartell Drugs has proven to be a survivor. Bartell Drugs chairman and CEO George D. Bartell is the grandson of the 125-year-old chain’s founder. Started in 1890 by George Bartell Sr., a 21-year-old pharmacist who left the family farm in Kansas to pursue fame and

Despite new issues, health reform proceeds

NEW YORK — With the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act rapidly approaching, efforts to enroll millions of Americans in new health plans are taking center stage in Washington and beyond. The technical failures of the federally run health insurance website, healthcare.gov, have continued to draw the ire of Obama administration critics, who contend

HHS promises to repair exchange

WASHINGTON — The federal health care insurance exchange will be fixed, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified late last month. The secretary told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the online exchange’s problem-plagued rollout was a “debacle,” and that she took responsibility for it. The Obama administration has promised that the exchange

FDA to restrict pain medicine

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has recommended that Vicodin and other pain medications containing hydrocodone be reclassified as Schedule II drugs. The recommendation now goes to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Drug Enforcement Administration for a final decision. If implemented, the rescheduling will require drug stores to implement more

Industry groups weigh in on Medicaid, biosimilars

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) should take steps to ensure that states increase dispensing fees for Medicaid drugs in conjunction with the new federal upper limits (FULs) that are anticipated in 2014, contend the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). In a

Walgreens collaborates with ACO, Atlanta health system

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Baroma Healthcare International LLC, an accountable care organization (ACO) in Miami-Dade County, Fla., is collaborating with Walgreen Co. to reduce hospital readmissions and drive medication adherence. Baroma has implemented Walgreens’ WellTransitions initiative, a collaborative transition-of-care program that provides ongoing follow-up and patient support during and after discharge from the hospital, to help

CVS: A force in beauty for 50 years

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy is celebrating 50 years of beauty care by publishing a fall “Look Book” highlighting cosmetics, hair care and other product trends from the 1960s and today. The 52-page booklet notes that CVS was founded in 1963 as Consumer Value Stores, with a focus on value and ­selection. “What started as one

London Drugs hones passport technology

RICHMOND, British Columbia — London Drugs has become the first retailer in North America to offer passport photo services including biometric imaging technology. On July 1 Canada implemented a biometric passport, or ePassport, system. Biometrics is the measurement of unique physical characteristics, including facial features, in order to verify identity with a high level of

Partnerships leveraged by SDM

TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart has announced partnerships that it says will make it easier for its customers to shop for designer fashions or get a flu shot. The first of those partnerships has seen the drug chain team up with the Montreal-based fashion online retailer Beyond the Rack to launch a new website (shoppersdrugmart.ca/btr)

Best regional drug chains capable of competing

The disappearance of Kerr Drug, one of America’s elite regional drug chains, has yet to be felt. But with Walgreens closing its acquisition of the 76-store, Raleigh, N.C.-based retailer, the result is that there will be one fewer regional drug chain offering competition, color, excitement and diversity to an industry increasingly dominated by Walgreens, CVS

Flawed ACA launch doesn’t change Rx’s mission

The halting performance of the federal health insurance exchange during its first weeks of operation dealt a harsh blow to everyone with a stake in the success of the Affordable Care Act. The Obama administration looked less than competent in the implementation of its signature domestic initiative; the uninsured and other Americans who turned to