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Issue 12-11-2017

CVS, Aetna set to merge in transformative deal

CVS, Aetna set to merge in transformative deal

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health plans to acquire health insurer Aetna for roughly $69 billion in a first-of-its kind deal aimed at fending off challenges in retail and health care. The landmark CVS-Aetna merger deal comes at time when insurers are under pressure to lower medical costs, and retailers are under attack from new competitors,

AmerisourceBergen to acquire H.D. Smith

AmerisourceBergen to acquire H.D. Smith

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — AmerisourceBergen Corp. plans to purchase pharmaceutical distributor H.D. Smith for $815 million in cash. The companies said that the transaction, pending regulatory review and other closing conditions, is expected to close in early 2018. Springfield, Ill.-based H.D. Smith, the nation’s largest private wholesaler, also operates CompleteCare Pharmacy, Smith Medical Partners, Triplefin

Merchandising team realigned at Rite Aid

CAMP HILL, Pa. ­­— Rite Aid Corp. has announced a number of changes in senior management that are effective ­immediately. Bill Renz, Rite Aid’s current group vice president of consumables and photo, has been named senior vice president of category management. Renz joined Rite Aid in 1998 as director of general merchandise and photo. He

Julian to retire from McKesson

SAN FRANCISCO — Paul Julian, executive vice president and group president at McKesson Corp., is slated to retire at the end of the year. Julian currently has senior operating responsibility for McKesson’s domestic and international Distribution Solutions businesses, including pharmaceutical distribution, medical-surgical distribution, specialty health and retail pharmacy systems and automation. As president of McKesson

Shareholders OK sale of Jean Coutu Group

Shareholders OK sale of Jean Coutu Group

MONTREAL — Jean Coutu Group shareholders have overwhelmingly approved the sale of the pharmacy chain to fellow Quebec retailer Metro Inc. A near-unanimous 99.9% of votes cast sanctioned the $4.5 billion transaction, which was well above the two-thirds ­requirement. Shareholders of Coutu are being offered a combination of cash and stock worth about $24.50 per

First batch of Rite Aid stores go to WBA

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Walgreens Boots Alliance has taken over the first 97 of its acquired Rite Aid Corp. stores. WBA purchased 1,932 stores under a revised deal with Rite Aid after the government thwarted its acquisition of the entire chain. WBA also picked up three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid as

How a move by Amazon could impact retail Rx

How a move by Amazon could impact retail Rx

NEW YORK — While rumors of Amazon’s entry into pharmacy continue to swirl, some analysts are questioning just how significant the move would be. “Amazon’s U.S. Pharmacy Opportunity: Not Necessarily A Game Changer,” is the title of a report by Cowen. For its part, Fung Global Retail & Technology said the online retailer’s pursuit of

Loblaw, SDM to combine loyalty programs

TORONTO — Next year, Lob­law Cos. plans to roll out a unified customer loyalty program that joins together the Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus plans of its Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM) and supermarket chains. Called PC Optimum, the combined loyalty program will allow members to earn and redeem loyalty points across Loblaw’s network of nearly

Senators grill HHS nominee Alex Azar on cutting drug costs

Senators grill HHS nominee Alex Azar on cutting drug costs

WASHINGTON — Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive named by President Trump to be the next Health and Human Services secretary, told senators at a full committee nomination hearing that making prescription drugs more affordable would be one of his top priorities. “Drug prices are too high,” Azar said to the Senate health committee at

Walgreens, OraSure target AIDS

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens and OraSure Technologies Inc., a provider of point-of-care diagnostic tests and specimen collection devices, are teaming up to fight AIDS. The companies announced several new HIV testing-related initiatives in recognition of World AIDS Day on December 1. OraSure is working with the AIDS Institute, a national nonprofit that promotes social change

Golinkin departs Rite Aid subsidiaries

PHOENIX — Web Golinkin, chief executive officer of Rite Aid Corp. subsidiaries RediClinic and Health Dialog, has left the companies to become CEO of FastMed Urgent Care. FastMed said Golinkin will oversee its more than 100 walk-in urgent care clinics in Arizona, Texas and North Carolina. FastMed clinics provide a range of acute/episodic and preventive

Pharmacists’ role in public health lauded

ARLINGTON, Va. — Steve Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and Gigi Kwik Gronvall, senior associate at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, discussed the increasingly important role pharmacists are playing in public health in a recent op-ed published in Morning Consult. In the opinion piece,

What Millennial shoppers want is within reach of retailers

What Millennial shoppers want is within reach of retailers

Millennials have been a hot topic of conversation for more than a decade. It’s the one generational group that continues to confound both employers and retailers: How do we attract them, engage them and retain them? Yet a majority of employees and shoppers are them. Identified as those born between 1981 and 1997, Millennials became

Drug chains could benefit from ubiquity of AI

Drug chains could benefit from ubiquity of AI

NEW YORK — It sounds like a science fiction plot: machines and computers operating with intelligent and human-like behavior. But artificial intelligence (AI) is real and relevant to any task involving the intellect, and AI applications affect nearly all aspects of modern human life. In industry, AI is so ubiquitous that it often goes unnoticed,