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Issue 02-17-2014

CVS pulls plug on sale of tobacco products

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Stressing that it was first and foremost a health care provider, CVS Caremark Corp. announced earlier this month that its drug stores will stop selling tobacco products later this year. These products, executives said, do not fit with the direction in which the company is headed. “Ending the sale of cigarettes and

Reaction to CVS’ decision is immediate and intense

NEW YORK — The decision by CVS Caremark Corp. to halt sales of tobacco products through its CVS/pharmacy outlets by October 1 has ignited a storm of public comment and speculation about its implications for the drug chain’s financial performance and those of its competitors. Understandably, public health groups were strong in their praise. “CVS

Panzer exits Pharmaca for Sears

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Mark Panzer has stepped down as president and chief executive officer of Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy to head Kmart pharmacies for Sears Holdings Corp. Panzer, 57, was named Sears’ president of pharmacy. He will be responsible for in-store and online Kmart pharmacies. Panzer was named CEO of Pharmaca in 2009, a year

Regional drug chains look to future

NAPLES, Fla. — Issues ranging from the Affordable Care Act’s implementation to digital technology’s impact on shoppers and stores were explored at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Regional Chain Conference here. Conference chairman Jim Spencer, president of Kinney Drugs, cited regional operators’ ability to leverage “our nimbleness and knowledge of local markets in

Controversy erupts over ACA impact on workforce

WASHINGTON — Debate is raging over a federal agency’s finding that the Affordable Care Act may result in 2.5 million fewer full-time workers. A study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that the law’s subsidies, combined with greater access to health care, will lead many Americans to reduce their work hours. The upshot could

Mahlman to succeed Powell at London Drugs

RICHMOND, British Columbia — London Drugs president and chief executive officer Wynne Powell has announced his plans to retire at the end of the month. The 66-year-old Powell, who has been with the western Canada drug chain since 1982, will officially step down on February 23. Senior vice president and chief operating officer Clint Mahlman

Walgreens uses technology to improve care

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. is expanding its relationship with Inovalon Inc. to implement the technology company’s patient assessment software and platform to support improvements in care, quality and risk score accuracy programs across more than 400 of the retailer’s Healthcare Clinics. Use of the software, called Electronic Patient Assessment Solution Suite (ePASS), at the

Lawsuits center on patent for Rx app

NEW YORK — Walgreen Co. has filed lawsuits against CVS Caremark Corp., Rite Aid Corp. and Shopko Stores Operating Co., claiming that their mobile applications infringe on its “refill by scan” technology patent. Mobile pharmacy technology provider mscripts LLC is also named in the suit against Shopko. Walgreens filed the lawsuits on January 31 in

Health kiosks slated for Rite Aid

CHICAGO — Rite Aid Corp. plans to deploy health kiosks that will allow customers to measure and track their weight, body mass index, pulse and blood pressure. Under an agreement with Chicago-based higi, Rite Aid is expected to install 4,100 higi Stations in its stores by early next year, with the rollout starting in the

Consumer Reports looks at pharmacy satisfaction

NEW YORK — The major annual surveys of pharmacy customers consistently show a high level of satisfaction with retail pharmacy, and the latest iteration from Consumer Reports magazine is no exception. However, echoing the results of similar studies, the Consumer Reports poll shows that the major drug chains fail to match the ratings of many

Push to implement smart cards accelerates at Target

WASHINGTON — Target Corp. intends to accelerate its shift to more secure microchip-enabled smart cards in the wake of the massive data breach that hit the retailer during the holiday shopping season. “The data breach that struck our company spotlighted the sophistication of criminal hacker networks operating across the globe,” Target executive vice president and

New CEO takes helm as Walmart scales back outlook

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart lowered its sales and earnings projections for the fourth quarter of its 2014 fiscal year, citing weaker-than-expected comparable-store sales at U.S. Walmart and Sam’s Club outlets. “Despite a holiday season that delivered positive comps, two factors contributed to lower comp-sales performance for Walmart U.S.,” chief financial officer Charles Holley said in

CVS deserves praise for tough decision

Seldom has a decision by a chain drug retailer rocked the country so suddenly and dramatically as has CVS Caremark’s announcement that it intends to stop selling tobacco products in its 7,600 stores by October 1. In the aftermath of the retailer’s decision, national and local media have dissected its impact and implications from an