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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

‘The shopper of tomorrow will spend less’

NEW YORK — Consumers are changing the way they shop for health and beauty products because of the recession, according to new research from Information Resources Inc. (IRI) and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. What is perhaps equally important, according to IRI president of consulting and innovation Thom Blischok, is that the new

NACDS names board member

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Supervalu Inc. executive vice president of merchandising and marketing Duncan Mac Naughton has been elected to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores board of directors. Mac Naughton’s election to the board late last month fills a vacancy created when Kevin Tripp, executive vice president of Supervalu’s Midwest division, retired earlier this

NACDS: Pharmacy and health care go hand in hand

BOSTON — Characterizing National Association of Chain Drug Stores members as a “band of reformers,” association president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson called on attendees at the NACDS Pharmacy and Technology Conference here to remain advocates for the role of pharmacy and pharmacists in the brewing national debate on health care reform. In his

Rite Aid’s goal: Be the solution to health concerns

CAMP HILL, Pa. — With responsibility for category management, merchandising, marketing and the supply chain, Ken Martindale is leading several of the most critical of Rite Aid Corp.’s initiatives to improve its operating performance. His arrival at the drug store chain last December fulfilled a long-delayed wish of chairman and chief executive officer Mary Sammons,