Walgreens builds up pharmacy purchasing team

Berkowitz leads chain vets, some newcomers

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Monday rounded out the pharmacy purchasing team led by Jeff Berkowitz, who joined Walgreens in the fall as SVP pharmaceutical development and market access. The team reporting to Berkowitz includes Walgreen veterans Frank DeStefano, Mike Bleser and Mike Allen, as well as newcomers Jeff Foreman and Gary Gleeson.

Following are the responsibilities each will be covering:

  • Frank DeStefano has been promoted to group VP pharmacy purchasing and supply chain. DeStefano, a 19-year veteran of Walgreens, has led the pharmacy purchasing department since April 2004. DeStefano will be responsible for the purchasing of brand and generic pharmaceutical purchases, as well as pharmaceutical inventory optimization for Walgreens’ retail, mail, specialty, home infusion, on-site and work-site pharmacy units;

  • Mike Bleser has been promoted to divisional VP pharmacy supply chain and analytics and will be responsible for the strategic management of pharmacy inventory across Walgreens. Bleser first joined Walgreens as manager of reporting and analysis in 1993 and “has been a big contributor in his roles in e-commerce, corporate strategy and most recently, pharmacy purchasing,” Walgreens stated;

  • Mike Allen has been promoted to divisional VP generic pharmacy purchasing and strategy, where he will be responsible for all generic drug purchasing for Walgreens. He previously was divisional merchandise manager for generics. Allen joined Walgreens in 1998 as a pharmacist after graduating from the Drake University School of Pharmacy that same year;

  • Jeff Foreman joined Walgreens as divisional VP brand pharmaceutical wholesaler and vaccine purchasing. Foreman comes to Walgreens from Cardinal Health, where he was VP strategic purchasing, marketing and business development. At Cardinal Health, he was responsible for half of the company's pharmaceutical purchasing and for negotiating fee-for-service agreements with branded pharmaceutical manufacturers. Foreman also was responsible for clinical marketing programs and led the marketing and business development group. Prior to Cardinal, he spent 12 years with Walmart and was a pharmacy regional manager for Walmart's across California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii. Foreman also held various positions at GlaxoSmithKline, Copper Country Apothecaries and Arbor Drugs and earned his B.S. in pharmacy from Ferris State University; and

  • Gerry Gleeson joined Walgreens as divisional VP of pharmaceutical development. Gleeson's primary focus will be optimizing Walgreens’ relationships with pharmaceutical manufacturers. Gleeson comes to Walgreens by way of Merck (formerly Schering-Plough), where he was an executive leader in the global market access business unit. He was responsible for leading the payer marketing strategy for all core U.S. product franchises and managing the global diversified products business unit. Prior to his time at Merck, Gleeson was a senior consultant in the life sciences practice with KPMG Peat Marwick.

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