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Issue 09-29-2014

ACA still a work in progress

WASHINGTON — With the next open-enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act six weeks away, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has advocated administrative changes to help people seeking health coverage in 2015. Exchange call centers should remain open on Christmas and New Year’s Day, beneficiary eligibility files should be updated

CACDS name change stresses link to community health care

TORONTO — The Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) has changed its name. Rebranded as the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada, the organization will be “a leading voice and strong advocate of retail pharmacy in this country,” Frank Scorpiniti, the association’s board chair, remarked at its “Directions 2015” event here this month. “This new

Giacomin to head Cardinal’s Rx distribution

DUBLIN, Ohio — Jon Giacomin is replacing Michael Kaufmann as chief executive officer of Cardinal Health Inc.’s pharmaceutical segment, effective November 11, at which time Kaufmann will become Cardinal’s chief financial officer. Kaufmann succeeds Jeffrey Henderson, who is retiring as CFO but will retain oversight of Cardinal Health China and work with Cardinal’s leadership team

CVS’ Merlo speaks out on Rx and health care

WASHINGTON — Pharmacy is helping solve the “cost-quality-access conundrum” facing health care, says CVS Health president and chief executive officer Larry Merlo. “Pharmacy is extending the front lines of health care to deliver better outcomes more affordably to the people that we serve,” Merlo said this month at the National Press Club. Contending that the

Walgreens moves toward merger

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. continues to move ahead with its planned acquisition of Alliance Boots GmbH. The company has filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the creation of a new holding company, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., which will be legally based in Delaware. Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreen Co. and Bern, Switzerland-based Alliance

Albertsons, Safeway name executive team

BOISE, Idaho — AB Acquisition LLC (Albertsons) and Safeway Inc. have chosen the leadership team that will head the combined supermarket company when its planned merger is completed. “We’re drawing on the strong talent within both companies to build an innovative, customer-focused and growth-driven company,” said Safeway president and chief executive officer Robert Edwards, who

Walmart settles on name for small-format stores

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is rebranding its Walmart Express store format to Walmart Neighborhood Market. That means the 21 Walmart Express stores now in business and others in development will become Neighborhood Markets. The change was announced earlier this month. Walmart has 346 Neighborhood Markets, all of which have pharmacies and are typically 38,000 square

Pharmaca expands footprint in Seattle market

SEATTLE — Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has debuted a store in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood here, its fifth in Washington state. The new outlet offers a one-stop shopping experience for natural health and beauty products and services. “Seattle residents have already come to know and love Pharmaca’s unique shopping experience, so we’re excited to be able

Legislative efforts to curb Rx abuse progress

WASHINGTON — Legislation designed to combat the abuse of prescription medications has been introduced in the U.S. Senate, following passage of a similar bill in the House. The bill would establish a congressionally mandated report from the Department of Health and Human Services, which would be required to seek input from the Drug Enforcement Administration

Home Depot data breach is warning for all retailers

ATLANTA — Home Depot Inc. said that the malware hackers used to steal an estimated 56 million debit and credit card numbers from its customers in the United States and Canada between April and earlier this month has been eliminated from its store networks, closing off the cyberthieves’ point of entry. The scale of the

Fight for Family Dollar goes on

MATTHEWS, N.C. — The directors of Family Dollar Stores Inc. continue to back Dollar Tree Stores Inc.’s bid to acquire their company, despite Dollar General Corp.’s higher offer. Dollar General has made a hostile bid for its dollar store rival. It has offered $80 per share, or $9.1 billion. That compares to Dollar Tree’s acquisition

Langowski joins CVS as exec VP

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health has hired Mary Langowski as executive vice president for strategy, policy and market development, effective October 14. Langowski will focus on identifying and expanding enterprise opportunities as the company seeks an increasingly prominent role in the health care system, CVS says. Langowski is coming to CVS from DLA Piper, where

CVS changes health care game at retail

In a year crammed with major news stories, cataclysmic personnel shifts and stunning new strategies and directions, the No. 1 retailing story of 2014 increasingly appears to be the CVS decision, announced early this year, to stop selling tobacco products in its 7,700 drug stores. What continues to stamp this decision and its aftermath as

Business leaders gear up to drive change

October 1 is the first anniversary of the debut of the federal and state health care exchanges that allow Americans to assess insurance options and purchase coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Since then 7.3 million people have signed up, and another 4.8 million have obtained access to health care through the expansion of Medicaid.