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Issue 04-07-2014

Rite Aid unveils Health Alliance integrated care program

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Rite Aid Corp. has launched an innovative, first-of-its-kind health management initiative that links its stores to local doctors with the aim of providing comprehensive care to individuals with chronic health conditions. The Rite Aid Health Alliance is an integrated care model that seeks to help patients achieve health improvement goals established by

CMS reverses course on some Part D changes

WASHINGTON — A buildup of bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill, along with negative reactions from patient groups, businesses, insurers and others, convinced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) not to proceed “at this time” with several controversial changes to the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. A CMS draft regulation that had been

NACDS makes splash in nation’s capital

WASHINGTON — More than 400 pharmacists, industry executives, students and other pharmacy advocates from 40 states attended the sixth annual NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill. Meetings were conducted with more than 80% of the members of the House and Senate — including 136 of 139 lawmakers serving on committees with jurisdiction on health care

It’s all about personalization at CVS

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — CVS Caremark Corp. is helping drive the shift from mass to personalized retailing, senior vice president of merchandising and retail pricing Judy Sansone said at the IRI Summit here last month. With its individualized circulars and store clusters, the chain has recognized that customers vary widely even within the same demographic group,

Walgreens to shutter 76 stores

DEERFIELD, Ill. — In an effort to optimize its store base and cut costs, Walgreen Co. plans to close 76 unprofitable outlets between now and August. The store closings expected to boost earnings before interest and taxes by $40 million to $50 million a year beginning in fiscal 2015, Walgreens chief executive officer Greg Wasson

Loblaw wraps up acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart

TORONTO — Loblaw Cos. has closed its acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart, finalizing the deal a week after Canada’s Competition Bureau approved the transaction. The $12.4 billion (Canadian) acquisition, announced in July, brings together Canada’s largest supermarket operator and Canada’s largest drug chain. “The most successful partnerships are grounded in strengths that complement each other,”

State court deals blow to Rx in Medi-Cal battle

SAN FRANCISCO — Managed care health plans serving low-income patients in California don’t have to consider pharmacies’ costs for obtaining prescription drugs when establishing Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, according to a state appeals court ruling issued last month. Federal law requires rates to be high enough to provide “quality care” and “adequate access” to drugs for

Pharmacy chains pressured to drop tobacco

NEW YORK — The attorneys general of 28 states and territories are urging the chief executive officers of Walgreen Co., Rite Aid, Corp., Walmart, Kroger Co. and Safeway Inc. to remove tobacco products from their stores. The attorneys general have sent letters to the retailers’ CEOs calling on the retail pharmacy operators to follow the

Push to secure provider status for pharmacists advances

WASHINGTON — Congress is considering legislation that would give pharmacists expanded recognition as health care providers. Reps. Brett Guthrie (R., Ky.), G.K. Butterfield (D., N.C.) and Todd Young (R., Ind.) last month introduced H.R. 4190, which aims to widen the scope of health services that pharmacists provide via Medicare. The bill would amend Title XVIII

Opposition to generics labeling proposal mounts

WASHINGTON — Walmart and Rite Aid Corp. are among the organizations to side with the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) in its opposition to the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rule on prescription generic drug ­labeling that would require manufacturers to change the prescribing information on their products if they receive new safety information, a change

Rite Aid taps Castle to head HR

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Dedra Castle, an experienced human resources executive in the retail arena, has joined Rite Aid Corp. as executive vice president and chief human resources officer. She will be responsible for all aspects of human resources, including training, recruitment, talent management, compensation and benefits, labor relations, leadership development, and diversity. Castle will

ACA enrollment exceeds the 6 million mark

WASHINGTON — Although the health care exchange enrollment deadline was March 31, the Obama administration, citing a last-minute surge in demand, built in some leeway for those consumers who were actively engaged in the process of signing up for health insurance. As of late March, more than 6 million people had signed up for medical

Technology to enable integrated, coordinated health care

NEW YORK — Patient-centered technology has captured the attention of retail pharmacies and their vendor partners as both strive to address current concerns regarding such issues as patient compliance, the safe use of pharmaceutical products and medication therapy management. Although the present challenges are significant in their own right, retailers and technology vendors are looking

Wanted: Something new and different

Sales, thus far in 2014, have been disappointing for mass retailers. Not in any dramatic sense — the nation’s leading retailers are turning in performances that can accurately be called respectable. But business hasn’t, by any means, been inspiring. Those looking to place blame have found many easy targets. The economy, while recovering, is hardly