DSN Newswire

October 28, 2016

Report: Who's in the hunt for divested Rite Aid stores? The answer may surprise you ...

ORLANDO, Fla. - Kroger may not be the only retail pharmacy in the hunt for divested Rite Aid stores following the proposed merger between Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite aid, BNL Finance reported in a blog posted Thursday. In fact, they may not even be a good fit - Walmart in its move toward smaller retail footprints may be a better suitor. "However, I think the sleeping giants that no one is talking about ... are competing pharmacy benefit managers like Express Scripts Holding and Catamaran," wrote Brian Nichols, BNL Finance editor-in-chief. "All of Express Scripts and Catamaran’s competitors are getting stronger in the PBM space, with a combination of retail pharmacies, wholesale and PBM. [So] don’t be surprised if Express Scripts and Catamaran ... make a move to form a retail pharmacy business with 700 Rite Aid stores." (BNL Finance)

January 11, 2017

Report: Walgreens, Rite Aid merger approval imminent

By this time next week, the FTC is expected to have approved the Walgreens Boots Alliance/Rite Aid merger, including the divestiture of 865 stores to Fred's, The New York Post reported late Tuesday, citing sources close to the case. "[T]he FTC will likely ask Fred’s — which will more than double in size after it buys the Rite Aid stores — to raise additional equity to help stabilize its financing after closing," The Post reported. The deal approval is being expedited prior to the inauguration of President Donald Trump, The Post added. (The New York Post)

January 10, 2017

Report: Former Heritage execs admit to price fixing

The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that Heritage Pharmaceuticals’s former CEO and chairman, Jeffrey Glazer, and former SVP commercial operations, Jason Malek, admitted in federal court that between April 2013 and December 2015, they worked together to manipulate prices of  Heritage’s generics of doxycycline hyclate and glyburide. The two face up to 10 years in prison each. After the two were indicted 20 states filed suit against six generics companies, including Heritage. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

January 3, 2017

Forbes: Pharma innovation getting harder as approvals fall

Forbes is reporting that the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of 22 new drugs in 2016 (down from 51 in 2015) could have big implications for the future of innovation in the pharmaceutical space. The report notes that research spending is growing, but there are practical difficulties to translate innovation into products as R&D returns decline  — and the report suggests overcoming that difficulty could mean rethinking a lot. (Forbes)
December 9, 2016

Report: London Drugs could be first to market with medical marijuana

London Drugs is hoping to beat Shoppers Drug Mart to market in terms of dispensing medical marijuana, Canada's Tri-City News reported Thursday. “We’ll be as fast as the laws allow," London Drugs VP John Tse told the Candadian daily, "but it could happen overnight, we’re that ready." London Drug pharmacists are already reviewing potential drug-drug interactions. "We're interested from the perspective of how does it affect other medication the patient might be on and other health conditions they might have,” Tse said. “As a pharmacy we want it all documented properly so that we can advise patients and other health care professionals.” (Tri-City News)

December 8, 2016

Kline Group: TENS and other self-care devices hold 'great potential'

PARSIPPANY, N.J. -- The Kline Group on Wednesday addressed the impact new wearable OTC devices such as TENS pain-relieving units are having on the category in its latest blog. "As consumers are increasingly demanding more features from these devices, such as being lightweight, easy-to-wear, portable, and most importantly affordable, this segment is expected to continue to thrive," noted Marcela Chifu, marketing executive Kline Group. "While the self-care devices market is still in the nascent stage, it will be interesting to see how it evolves in the following years. ... [T]his market has great potential to become consumers’ next top alternative to traditional nonprescription drugs." (Kline Group)

November 29, 2016

Report: Apple still in pursuit of marketable healthcare applications

Apple is actively pursuing deeper health applications that can be delivered through a wearable platform, such as the Apple Watch, through meetings with the Food and Drug Administration, AppleInsider reported Tuesday. "Sources inside the FDA tell us that 'Apple is here all the time' discussing 'a Parkinson's project, and SaMD (software as a medical device) in general,'" the report noted. "We've gotten into the health arena and we started looking at wellness, that took us to pulling a string to thinking about research," Apple CEO Tim Cook told AppleInsider in an interview earlier this year. "Pulling that string a little further took us to some patient-care stuff, and that pulled a string that's taking us into some other stuff." (AppleInsider)

November 29, 2016

Report: Walgreens opens latest 'Community' specialty banner in Ohio market

Walgreens opened the doors to its latest specialty pharmacy in the Columbus, Ohio market, Columbus Business First reported Tuesday. "With the brand name 'Community, A Walgreens Pharmacy,' the facility opened this week at 114 W. 3rd Ave., in an office building next to Select Specialty Hospital, which provides short-term rehabilitation stays after hospitalization for surgery, stroke and other reasons," Columbus Business reported. To date, Walgreens has more than 250 pharmacies operating under the Community banner, the report added. (Columbus Business First)

November 18, 2016

Poll: Canadian consumers support marijuana dispensing at Shoppers Drug Mart

The majority of Canadian consumers are in support of Shoppers Drug Mart in its quest to dispense medicinal marijuana, according to a Toronto Star poll published earlier this week. "61% said they approve of Canada’s largest pharmacy applying to become a licensed marijuana producer for the purpose of retailing medicinal weed while 30% disapprove and the remainder have no opinion either way, the new survey says," The Star reported. "However overall, 62% reported they will not change their store visitation habits if marijuana becomes available at Shoppers." (Toronto Star)

November 14, 2016

Report: Trump administration improves odds for Walgreens, Rite Aid deal

A Trump administration increases the likelihood that Walgreens Boots Alliance will successfully close its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid, though the deal's acual closing date may be extended further into the first quarter of 2017, suggested a Seeking Alpha opinion piece published Sunday.  "A new administration will be more open to the Kroger solution [buying Rite Aid prescription files and moving them in-house] than the previous administration," Seeking Alpha wrote. "Given the current hostile environment for consumer mergers, it is hard not to believe that the new regime increases the odds of regulatory approval at least modestly." (Seeking Alpha)

November 11, 2016

WSJ: Parts of Affordable Care Act appealing to Trump

President-elect Donald Trump on Friday softened his stance on his manifesto to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act, The Wall Street Journal reported. Following his meeting with President Barack Obama, Trump suggested he may keep a few provisions, such as the ban on denying insurance based on pre-existing conditions and the provision allowing parents to extend coverage for their children. "I told [Pres. Obama] I will look at his suggestions, and out of respect, I will do that,” Trump told The Journal. “Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced.” (The Wall Street Journal)

November 2, 2016

Forbes: Retailers betting new bedside sleep sensor makes 'Sense'

SAN FRANCISCO - Target and Best Buy are betting on a San Francisco start-up that tracks sleep patterns from the bedside by connecting wirelessly to a sensore within the pillow, Forbes reported Tuesday. The latest version of Hello's Sense features an Amazon Echo-style voice interface and new sensors that monitor UV light, carbon monoxide and organic compounds. Hello founder James Proud wouldn’t sales figures or units sold, but did share that 93% of customers are actively using the device three months after the purchase. “It’s the inverse of what you see with wearable devices,” he told Forbes. (Forbes)

November 1, 2016

J&J Medical Devices takes page out of retail playbook to better serve hospitals

Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices is consolidating its medical device divisions under one umbrella to better serve its hospital customers,  mirroring how  J&J builds upon its relationship with retail giant Walmart, Gary Pruden, J&J’s executive vice president and worldwide chairman for medical devices, told MedCity News Monday. “I have more than a dozen companies in the U.S. for example and in the past, they would all go to the hospital system provider separately. They all have separate P&Ls, they all operate independently, they all go separately,” he said. “We made a conscious decision and actually this year we integrated all the different business into one single P&L and I have one single strategic account management group in the U.S.” (MedCity News)

November 1, 2016

Report: Wegmans expanding presence in North Carolina with third store

Wegmans is expanding its reach into the North Carolina market, The Buffalo News reported Monday. The grocer confirmed it has signed a lease with Regency Centers Corp. to build a 120,000-square-foot store in Raleigh, The Buffalo News noted. That marks Wegmans' third site in the area, in addition to two locations announced earlier this year. (The Buffalo News)

October 28, 2016

Report: FDA official urges biosimilar understanding before seeking approval

Bloomberg BNA is reporting that the Food and Drug Administration’s director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research’s Office of New Drugs told an audience at the DIA Biosimilars Conference that manufacturers looking to submit an application for biosimilar approval should know what the FDA is looking for when evaluating a biosmilar for approval. Jenkins said that rather than the focus on safety and efficacy it places on standalone biologics, with biosimilars, it focvuses on how closely it resembles the reference product, something he called “a work in progress” for some drug makers. (Bloomberg BNA)
October 27, 2016

Report: Diplomat leadership changes rattle stock

Crain’s Detroit Business is reporting that Flint, Mich.-based Diplomat Pharmacy’s stock is feeling the effect of Tuesday announcement that president Gary Kadlec and the company’s CFO Sean Whelan would be departing the company by year’s end. After the announcement, the company’s shares fell 12.36% Wednesday, the report says, hitting a new 52-week low. The company is set to release its Q3 earnings report next week. (Crain’s Detroit Business)