Special Reports

Leading retail pharmacy executives from Rite Aid, H-E-B, Kmart, Kerr Drug, Health Mart and Giant Eagle, as well as a select group of suppliers, met in New York City in December 2009 for Drug Store News' 7th annual Diabetes Roundtable to discuss the diabetes epidemic and the solutions retail pharmacy can provide.

Executives from H-E-B, Kerr Drug and Fruth Pharmacy, as well as OTC suppliers, discussed the issues in OTC aisles in a sluggish economy; and as the category faces a shift to wellness care, the possible demise of FSA accounts and an increasing Rx-to-OTC switch market.

Like small but seaworthy vessels caught in a storm alongside much bigger oceangoing ships, the nation's independent pharmacies took on some water in the trying times of late 2008 and 2009. But in the face of economic upheaval, continuing attacks on gross margins and daunting competition from ever-larger pharmacy chains, most have ridden out the squalls.

By all accounts, it’s been a very busy first half of the season for cough-cold manufacturers, even though the 52-week comparable period is only showing a 1.9% lift in overall sales across food, drug and mass (minus Walmart) for the period ended Jan. 24, according to Information Resources Inc. data. For the 2009-2010 season, the weekly percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness peaked at the end of October 2009 at 7.7%, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported....

As many baby boomers become caregivers, retail pharmacy has responded with a greater focus on durable medical equipment; Carex Health Brands has revamped its online presence at Carex.com in an effort to appeal to more caregivers; and complete wireless management of health conditions through such products as blood glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, weight scales and pedometers moved on step closer to reality at the beginning of the year with the Continua Health Alliance's announcement...

You could say Walgreens has been training for this moment for the last 18 months. Now, regardless of what happens with the economy, health care or any number of external forces that challenge today's business of retail pharmacy, Walgreens believes it has a solution for payers and patients.

It's as if they have some kind of special crystal ball that reveals secrets about the customer and what she envisions a drug store should look, feel and shop like. Some people just get it; they see things the rest of us don't. Or, as one supplier told Drug Store News in describing a retailer profiled in the report that follows, they think in 3-D.

With the defeat of Democrat Martha Coakley by Republican Scott Brown in the race to fill the seat of late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, and the loss of the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, the healthcare-reform bill stands on a knife’s edge. And how will pharmacies be reimbursed for dispensing generic drugs to Medicaid and Medicare patients if a health overhaul bill fails to pass? These topics, along with the issue of patent settlements vexing the branded and generic...

In this exclusive report, Drug Store News, in partnership with our friends at the Food Marketing Institute, profiles the health-and-wellness leaders of supermarket pharmacy.

Stymied by weak demand in a recessionary economy, intensifying generic competition, a relative dearth of research-and-development breakthroughs and an ongoing loss of patent protection for some of their biggest-selling pioneering medicines, branded pharmaceutical manufacturers have scrambled over the last three years to restore their once-enviable track record for product innovation and sales growth. And 2009 was no exception.