06/27/2014 - 12:19pm

Just two months after Labeed Diab was named head of health and wellness at Walmart, Mark Phillips was elevated to the role of VP pharmaceutical merchandising. Phillips assumes command of more than 4,175 retail pharmacy operations that generates $16.8 billion in pharmacy revenue, according to DSN's PoweRx 50. In his new role, Phillips will lead the pharmaceutical merchandising team and report to Diab. Phillips, who most recently served as the senior director of merchandising in small formats, is a long-time buyer for Walmart and may be an indication of Walmart's steadfast commitment to growing pharmacy, health and wellness, especially across Walmart's smaller formats.

06/23/2014 - 10:08am

There has been a lot of good news generating out of Rite Aid headquarters in Camp Hill, Pa., in the past week. Not the least of which was the 2.7% lift in first-quarter sales and the 3.1% gain in same-store sales for the period. Rite Aid delivered its seventh consecutive quarter of profitability, noted John Standley, Rite Aid chairman and CEO, during a conference call with analysts last week. And Motley Fool’s consumer goods analyst Sean O’Reilly raved about Rite Aid's Health Alliance program, what he described as the company's "ace up its sleeve." O'Reilly noted that the Health Alliance program is designed to drive traffic into Rite Aid's stores through doctor recommendations in the markets where Health Alliance is active. But there's a deeper dive here, because Rite Aid is driving the right customers into its stores — customers with poly-chronic or chronic conditions that represent more frequent trips and bigger market baskets. What's more, Rite Aid's Health Alliance program aims to make those acquired patients more sticky by coordinating a comprehensive care program that will help those patients reach their health goals.

06/13/2014 - 12:22pm

As reported by DSN’s sister publication Retailing Today, Walmart has opened in Copperas Cove, Texas, its first owned healthcare clinic.

Labeed Diab, Walmart’s president of health and wellness, explained during a briefing in advance of its shareholder meeting that the new clinic is a way for the big-box retailer to provide convenient and almost free (i.e., $4 for employees) access to health care. And, because the retailer avoids the expense of having its associates visit other doctors, it can pass the savings along to customers with a reduced price of $40.

06/06/2014 - 11:51am

Sam’s Club recently announced a credit card cash back program that gives members the opportunity to earn up to $5,000 annually. Marking one of the biggest changes in membership in more than a decade, the club operator in one fell swoop boosted its appeal to loyal Sam's Club members and close the gap between Sam's Club and its chief rival, Costco. The news comes off of a first-quarter performance that Sam's Club president and CEO Rosalind Brewer characterized as “one of our more difficult quarters.” While the club operator was negatively impacted by weather and a reduction in public assistance, Costco emerged under the same conditions with a positive same-store sales comp figure.

05/30/2014 - 11:36am

CVS Caremark has officially taken the wraps off of its new Specialty Connect prescription services program and announced that the program is now available at all CVS/pharmacy locations.

The importance of this new program is two-fold. First of all, it serves as yet one more example of how the company is leveraging its unique assets to improve outcomes. By leveraging its network of 7,600 pharmacy locations and its specialty pharmacy resources, the company is able to offer specialty patients greater flexibility and choice. This, in turn, equates to improved medication adherence.

05/16/2014 - 11:50am

In light of the demand for more accessible and affordable healthcare services as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the primary care provider shortage and an aging Baby Boomer population, the vital role that retail-based health clinics can play in helping patients live healthier lives is hard to deny.

The spotlight on the 1,600-plus convenient care clinics located throughout the country continues to shine even brighter. In fact, just this past week alone, a string of significant clinic news made headlines.

05/09/2014 - 2:15pm

Bayer agreed to acquire the consumer care business of U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck for a purchase price of $14.2 billion. The OTC acquisition will give Bayer the global No. 2 position in nonprescription products following recently announced consolidations in this growing healthcare industry segment, and will significantly enhance Bayer’s business across multiple therapeutic categories and geographies. Merck's consumer care business includes such leading brands as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl’s. Pro forma sales of the combined businesses in 2013 amounted to $7.4 billion with Merck’s business contributing approximately $2.2 billion.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Bayer is expected to achieve global leadership positions in dermatology and gastrointestinals and advance to the No. 2 position in the cold, allergy, sinus and flu category. Bayer will remain No. 2 in nutritionals and No. 3 in analgesics. Overall, the proposed GlaxoSmithKline-Novartis combination represents the largest consumer health business with about 5.7% share, according to reports. The Bayer/Merck combination comes in second with around 4.5% share. McNeil Consumer rounds out the top three globally with a share just above 4%.

05/02/2014 - 9:01am

"NACDS helps to protect the value we currently deliver and sets the stage to provide an even higher level of care, all while sending a powerful message that chain pharmacies are doing far more than filling prescriptions and selling merchandise." That's the message incoming National Association of Chain Drug Stores John Standley had for NACDS Annual attendees. It's a critical juncture in the healthcare industry, he said, and everyone who participates in NACDS plays a substantial role.

NACDS is getting a seasoned performer at the helm. Standley has shown exemplary leadership and remarkable clarity of vision in leading the turnaround at Rite Aid — today the retail health care company is in the best shape it has been in financially in more than a decade, and introduced several very innovative new programs and initiatives from the wellness ambassadors to wellness+ to the Rite Aid Health Aliance, and most recently its acquisition of RediClinic.

04/25/2014 - 2:40pm

CVS Caremark has long stressed its commitment to reinventing pharmacy, and news of a bill pay service for health insurance premiums is in line with that mission and is yet another first that the trailblazer can add to its ever-growing list.

As the article states, customers can now visit their local CVS/pharmacy to pay their health insurance premiums at no additional cost. CVS/pharmacy is the first national retail pharmacy to offer this service.