Special Reports

The generic drug tidal wave became a tsunami in 2012, with some of the world's top-selling pharmaceuticals swamped by generic competition, and health plan payers scrambling to reap billions of dollars in financial savings.

Now in its 14th year, in 2012, DSN changed up the format at the annual Industry Issues Summit conference. This year's theme was finding white spices for retailers and suppliers to co-create and bring new innovation to the consumer.

Even as the big chains get bigger, the industry's top regional chains continue to grow in relevance and importance in the markets they dominate. In this special digital report, DSN profiles the leading regional pharmacy chains in food, drug and mass, with a special focus on what makes each one unique.

Long gone are the days when growth in the beauty aisle was driven largely by manufacturers and marketers via packaging and promotion. Today, retailers and technology are playing an even greater role in the marketing process to further elevate the beauty experience.

Armed with a new store concept and the wellness+ loyalty card program, Rite Aid is mounting a comeback and posting its best results in years.

DSN looks back on the past year's most influential events in the pharmacy industry, from Obamacare and record patent expirations to Humira surpassing Lipitor as the world's top-selling drug and the merger of Walgreens and Alliance Boots.

The year 2012 is coming to an end, and it's been a big year for generic drugs. It's the year that the most lucrative drug of all time became commoditized. It's the year that Watson bought Actavis for $5.6 billion. And it's the year the FDA released draft guidance for biosimilars regulations. All of these events speak to some of the most important trends in the world of generics — trends that are often interrelated.

Walmart is rapidly expanding its impact on pharmacy by opening its smaller 45,000-sq.-ft. Neighborhood Market stores at a faster pace, while also experimenting with the even smaller 15,000-sq.-ft. Walmart Express format.

With healthcare reform on track to bring 32 million more Americans into the healthcare system in 2014, and with payers and patients looking for solutions to curb costs as the nation battles a shortage of primary care physicians and access to quality care, CVS Caremark’s role in reinventing pharmacy through its distinctive business model couldn’t be more imperative than it is today.

Being the hedgehog of retailing has brought Walgreens where it is today: on the verge of transforming community pharmacy into something no one before has ever imagined — no one but Walgreens.