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Issue 02-02-2015

Obama cites CVS as a leader in State of Union speech

Obama cites CVS as a leader in State of Union speech

WASHINGTON — Larry Merlo basked in the glow of a tribute to CVS Health from President Obama during the State of the Union address last month. Attending the speech at the invitation of first lady Michelle Obama, the CVS chief executive officer was shown on national television after the president said, “Tonight, I’m also asking more

Rx chains help keep ACA focused on consumers

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Highlighting the Obama administration’s partnerships with drug chains to boost health plan enrollment, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell last month toured a CVS/pharmacy store here. Burwell’s visit also was intended to urge people to sign up for health insurance by the February 15 deadline in the current open enrollment period

Dollar Tree wins fight to buy Family Dollar

MATTHEWS, N.C. — The battle for Family Dollar Stores Inc. is over, and the winner is the company with the less generous bid. Family Dollar shareholders on January 22 voted to accept a cash-and-stock offer from Dollar Tree Inc. that valued Family Dollar at $8.7 billion at the time it was accepted. The vote put an

Target calls it quits in Canada

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. has decided to end its costly foray into the Canadian market less than two years after opening the first of its current 133 stores in the country. The retailer reported in mid-January that “after a thorough review” it determined that the best decision for the company would be to wind down the

Alberta pharmacists empowered by new regulations

CALGARY, Alberta — “Our pharmacists are energized by these new powers,” says Stacy Johnson, director of professional pharmacy services at Safeway Pharmacy. Johnson was referring particularly to the situation in Alberta, whose pharmacists have so far been accorded the broadest powers. But Johnson says similar reactions in her professional staff are evident in the other provinces

Fred’s appoints Bloom president and COO

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Former CVS and Family Dollar Stores Inc. executive Mike Bloom has become president and chief operating officer of small-box discounter Fred’s Inc. “Our board of directors views this senior management addition as an important step in the process of developing the Fred’s team of the future,” said company chairman Michael Hayes. “The hiring

Walgreens inks deal on infusion services

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. has signed a definitive agreement with Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm based in Chicago, under which MDP will acquire a majority interest in Walgreens Infusion Services. One of the nation’s largest providers of home and alternate treatment site infusion services, Walgreens Infusion Services has a footprint that includes 89

Kmart names pharmacy president

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Phil Keough has joined Sears Holdings Corp. as senior vice president and president of pharmacy. In the role, Keough will oversee Kmart Pharmacy and help drive member engagement for the Shop Your Way customer rewards program to drive in-store and online growth of the company’s health and wellness business. “The Kmart pharmacy

Barra joins AmerisourceBergen board

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — Ornella Barra, executive vice president of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA), has been elected to the board of directors at AmerisourceBergen Corp. Barra, who also serves as president and chief executive officer of global wholesale and international retail, fills the vacancy created by Greg Wasson’s resignation from the board on January 9.

Tavenner steps down as CMS administrator

WASHINGTON — Marilyn Tavenner is resigning as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ­Services. She will step down at the end of this month, she told CMS staff members in an e-mail. Principal deputy administrator Andrew Slavitt, who joined the agency last year to help fix HealthCare.gov, will be the acting administrator. Department of

Supreme Court lets swipe fee ruling stand

WASHINGTON — Trade groups representing many of the nation’s largest retailers expressed frustration after the Supreme Court on January 20 declined to take up their challenge to the Federal Reserve’s hotly debated rules for “swipe fees” assessed on credit card and debit card transactions. Retailers and other businesses pay the fees to banks and other financial

In Alberta, patients respond positively to expanded reach of Rx

CALGARY, Alberta — “Before the introduction of the expanded services three years ago, our pharmacists at the end of a busy day would often be physically exhausted. Now at the end of their shifts on a day with a similar volume of traffic they are likely to be mentally, as well as physically, exhausted,” says

Neas to leave GPhA in the autumn

WASHINGTON — Ralph Neas, president and chief executive officer of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, has announced he will step down from his position in the fall. Neas has led GPhA since September 2011. During his remaining tenure, he will continue to serve as CEO until a successor is named and will work to ensure a

Today’s merchandising lacks creative spark

A small group of chain drug industry veterans met recently in Cleveland to discuss the lamentable state of innovative and creative merchandising in chain drug retailing these days. The group, consisting of some dozen retailers, suppliers and association executives, concluded that a variety of factors — most notably industry consolidation and the tendency among retailers