November 21, 2012

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American College of Nurse Practitioners will merge the organizations effective in January. With approximately 40,000 members, the new organization, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, or AANP, will serve as the largest professional membership organization in the country for nurse practitioners of all specialties.

With the nation facing a growing shortage of primary care physicians and some 30 million Americans gaining health insurance in 2014 due to healthcare reform, it is no secret that the nation is grappling with a strained healthcare system. If nurse practitioners are serious about expanding their role in health care they need to speak with one voice.

November 16, 2012

Kroger announced Thursday it will acquire the outstanding shares of Axium Pharmacy Holdings, a leading specialty pharmacy, and merge the two companies. By now, it should be clear that specialty is becoming an increasingly important part of the retail pharmacy mix, having grown more than sixfold in revenues between 2000 and 2011, with everyone from Rite Aid to Costco to Hy-Vee biting off a piece for themselves.

As Specialty Pharmacy magazine reported in its fall 2012 issue, specialty drug development is starting to play a much bigger role in drug development overall than traditional pharmaceuticals. According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, seven of the top 20 drug therapy classes will be in specialty by 2016, including cancer, autoimmune disorders and antivirals, and specialty and bioengineered drugs remain one of the few growth centers in the drug industry in 2012. And according to Express Scripts, the market for specialty and bioengineered drugs is expected to grow from 2011's 17.1% to 22% by 2014.

November 16, 2012

Reckitt Benckiser on Friday made an offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of VMS maker Schiff Nutrition for $42 per share in cash, or approximately $1.4 billion — a premium of 23.5% more than the $34 per share offer Bayer HealthCare announced Oct. 30.

November 16, 2012

A study of 900 women by Siempre Mujer magazine, a Spanish-language publication that covers beauty, fashion and lifestyles for Latinas, found that Latinas prefer details in beauty products, follow a multipronged beauty regimen and tend to outspend women in the general population when it comes to beauty, with more than 52% spending $25 or more per visit. In other words, Latinas represent a significant opportunity for retailers and beauty manufacturers.

Giving the growth of the Hispanic market and the rising buying power, it is important that retailers and manufacturers understand how to effectively connect with this beauty shopper.

November 9, 2012

Earlier this week, DSN reported that members of a prescription drug program offered by Humana to Medicare beneficiaries will soon be able to obtain 10 generic hypertension drugs from Walmart for a penny.

It's certainly good news for people with high blood pressure, but it also has big implications for the pharmacy retail industry.

November 9, 2012

CVS Caremark reported strong numbers on both the retail and PBM sides of its business — but the real bombshell for analysts on the call was the news that the company has raised its estimate on the number of Express Script patients that CVS feels it can keep from going back to Walgreens.

That's a big boast. But Rite Aid, too, likes its shot to keep the ESI customers who at one time frequented Walgreens' pharmacies to fill their prescriptions. And Walgreens, for its part, reminds analysts that there was a reason those ESI patients were filling their prescriptions in the first place. So the Chicago retailer is confident that they'll be able to entice many of their former patients to return to the pharmacy fold. But in the end, who's really going to capture that coveted ESI patient? Will they stay, or will they go?

November 9, 2012

As part of its multi-channel strategy, Boots UK is currently testing the use of iPads to support in-store ordering across 30 stores, the London-based drug store retailer recently announced.

Sound familiar? Borrowing a page from the Walgreens playbook is evidence that the sharing of best practices will flow in both directions across the Atlantic. What else could Boots borrow from Walgreens? Creating a pharmacy business that better interacts with the neighboring community is one strength at Walgreens that Boots may successfully plug into.

November 2, 2012

Given the extent of the meningitis outbreak linked to a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts, new regulations for such pharmacies might be a good idea, but how to implement them remains uncertain.

(THE NEWS: Meningitis outbreak linked to compounding pharmacy spawns new proposed legislation. Click here to read the story.)

November 2, 2012

Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., on Thursday announced plans to introduce legislation that would strengthen federal regulations of compounding pharmacies.

November 2, 2012

The message is getting louder and gaining traction: Nurse practitioners are highly skilled health care professionals who need to be able to practice to the full scope of their ability, especially in light of the primary care shortage that is plaguing the nation.

(THE NEWS: Survey: Health insurers show advances in NP credentialing, reimbursement. Click here for the full story.)

November 2, 2012

More health insurers are credentialing nurse practitioners as primary care providers, but there is room for improvement, according to a recent national survey of health insurers.

November 2, 2012

Omni-channel retailing is so yesterday. Omni-national retailing is the space where Walgreens is looking to play, and this magazine is just one of the first examples of how retailing concepts from the Old Country will be imported from across the Pond and translated for the U.S. market.

(THE NEWS: Walgreens launches new biannual magazine showcasing private label, Balance Rewards deals. For the full story, click here.)

November 1, 2012

Walgreens on Thursday announced the launch of Happy And Healthy, Your Guide To Living Well With Walgreens, a biannual magazine that debuts Nov 4.

October 26, 2012

In today's give-'em-what-they-want style of merchandising, in a market where savvy, omni-channel consumers can customize the what, when and where of the purchase, private label more and more ascends from being considered the cheapest product offering to being the best value product offering.

October 26, 2012

Target is getting aggressive in a lot of ways. Canada. Big holiday plans. And now a plan to take a greater share of the ethnic beauty business.

October 26, 2012

News flash: Retailers get the idea that attracting today's consumer means going multichannel.

October 26, 2012

More than two-fifths of retailers plan to increase spending on online marketing this year, and nearly half have invested in new mobile apps, according to a new survey.

October 25, 2012

Although 77% of general shoppers compare store brands to brand names, 90% of women compare both regularly, according to a shopper behavior study conducted by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research that was published Thursday in The Checkout.

October 24, 2012

Recognizing the importance of meeting the needs of its ethnic beauty shoppers, Target has in recent years been working to bolster its ethnic sets in-store, and that effort continues, as evidenced by a media event held Tuesday evening in New York.

October 19, 2012

With shoppers looking for ways to buy things more conveniently, it's clear that the age of the multichannel consumer is well under way, and retailers would be wise to respond in kind. Many of them have already done so.

According to retail consulting firm Upstream Commerce, convenience ranks at the top of reasons why consumers shop online, and as recent news has shown, this is just as true for supermarkets as it is for anyone else.

October 19, 2012

It was a busy week for telemedicine-based news, particularly if you count health kiosks — DSN sure does.

On the heels of news that Take Care Health Systems has collaborated to make telehealth services available to thousands of BCBSNC employees located throughout North Carolina via a service called called OnlineCareNC, Solohealth and PharmaSmart also made headlines during the week with major announcements..

October 19, 2012

WellTransitions could be couched as another way in which Walgreens is striving to create solutions that lower the cost of overall health care outside of the physical retail pharmacy space, because it is. WellTransitions also could be characterized as a program that will routinely chip away at the $25 billion associated with hospital re-admissions by having more prescriptions filled at the pharmacy counter, because it does. But the real impact of this news? The real clincher? Hospitals need retail pharmacy if they're going to focus on reducing re-admissions, eliminating unnecessary healthcare costs and avoiding those penalties.

And that's the direction Walgreens is headed. Most recently, the company added managed care vet Brad Fluegel as chief strategy officer, adding another talented expert to Walgreens chief Greg Wasson’s dream team, which he has described as the “perfect blend of internal, long-term talent” and “external expertise and talents” that is helping to accelerate a massive transformation in its business. (For exclusive coverage of all Walgreens' efforts, click here for the Sept. 24 DSN special report.)

October 17, 2012

Over the course of a day-long investor conference Tuesday, Kroger outlined its future growth strategy.

October 17, 2012

American Well, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Walgreens' Take Care Health Systems have collaborated to make telehealth services available to thousands of BCBSNC employees located throughout North Carolina.