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Senate health care reform bill raises concern

WASHINGTON — The Senate Finance Committee’s health care reform bill may shortchange pharmacies for Medicaid prescriptions, National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson says. Anderson notes that following the unveiling of the bill, NACDS is “extremely concerned” about the consequences of the legislation’s 175% multiplier for federal upper payment

Walgreens hires CIO in latest staff moves

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. has added three executives to its management ranks, including a new member of the senior leadership team. Tim Theriault, 49, is slated to join Walgreens on October 1 as chief information officer and senior vice president. He will oversee the drug chain’s information technology strategy as the company looks to

Wal-Mart rolls out free Rx mail delivery

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has gone national with its free mail delivery prescription program. Begun in May with a pilot in Michigan, the mail-order program lets pharmacy patients receive 90-day supplies of more than 300 generic medications for $10. Patients can order their prescriptions through a toll-free telephone number or the retailer’s web

SDM’s Murale hits the retail scene in Toronto

SDM’s Murale hits the retail scene in Toronto

TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart’s third Murale specialty beauty store that opened here just before the Labor Day weekend incorporates all the refinements suggested by management’s experience with the two pilot outlets launched last fall. At 6,000 square feet, the Toronto store is slightly smaller than the Murale stores in Ottawa and Montreal that debuted

Drug chains do part in battle against flu

NEW YORK — Lewis Drugs this month continued a mass flu shot program, which is said to be unparalleled in the chain drug industry. The retailer held full-blown 13-hour seasonal flu immunization clinics at six stores in Sioux Falls, S.D., where it is based. Other clinics will take place in stores outside the city later

Richardsen assumes new role at Rite Aid

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Ernie Richardsen, a 17-year pharmacy industry veteran, has been promoted to group vice president of pharmaceutical purchasing and clinical services at Rite Aid Corp. In his new position, the 41-year-old Richardsen is responsible for pharmaceutical purchasing and purchasing strategy, patient compliance initiatives, pharmacy program development, in-store clinics, and retail pricing. He

Texas dispensing fee hike hailed as big win for pharmacy

WASHINGTON — Community pharmacy advocates are hailing the approval of higher dispensing fees in the Texas Medicaid program as a significant victory. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently cleared the Texas State Plan Amendment, which boosts the pharmacy dispensing fee from $5.14 to $7.50. The change is retroactive to September 1, 2007,

Retail Rx works to influence health care reform debate

WASHINGTON — Retail pharmacy continues to lobby to maintain its seat at the table in the continuing debate on how or whether to reform the nation’s health care system. During the recent congressional recess, some legislators held town hall/community meetings at which the local citizenry voiced their opinions on various health care proposals. But other

AWP settlements set to impact pharmacy

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A federal appeals court has upheld a district court ruling that approves the controversial First DataBank and Medi-Span settlements. The decision means that effective September 26, average wholesale prices (AWPs) of drugs paid to pharmacies will be reduced to 120% of the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC), a move that the National Association

Delaware Medicaid Rx fight ends

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Characterizing it as a victory for patient care, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) have reached agreement with the Delaware State Department of Health and Social Services that will restore much of the funding to pharmacies that would have been lost due to rate

Walgreens execs shed light on CCR strategy

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Walgreen Co.’s Customer-Centric Retailing (CCR) transformation is reshaping the shopping experience to inspire consumers with choices and ideas, two of the program’s architects said at a conference here. Walgreens is still giving shoppers what they want, but with “a little bit of extra spirit and a little bit of extra inspiration,”

Grass, Rite Aid founder, dies at 82

Grass, Rite Aid founder, dies at 82

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Alex Grass, who opened a small health and beauty aids store in Scranton, Pa., in 1962 and built it into Rite Aid Corp., now the nation’s third-largest drug chain, died late last month. He was 82. Grass, who became a philanthropist in his later years, died from respiratory failure at his home

Drug chains prepare for a busy flu season

NEW YORK — Chain drug retailers are working to stay ahead of the game this flu season amid rising public concern about the need to get immunized, which is being driven by fears about the spread of the H1N1, or swine flu, virus. Facing the unprecedented challenge of meeting demand for both seasonal flu shots

Walgreens agrees to supply Rxs directly to Caterpillar

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. recently struck a deal to offer prescription drugs directly to Caterpillar Inc. workers and retirees. The agreement marks the second such program that the heavy equipment manufacturer has made with a community pharmacy chain. A year ago Caterpillar entered into a pilot program with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to determine if