March 18, 2011

It's about time lawmakers start to understand the real threats posed by drug reimportation and unlicensed Internet pharmacy sites. About 20% of the current members of Congress are newly elected, and there is this recurring, cyclical fascination among politicians that we can fix everything with drug reimportation. But mandating electronic track and trace right now is a bad idea.

March 18, 2011

The latest Arkansas proposition to control PSE sales may deliver the biggest blow to the over-the-counter accessibility argument, as it restricts sales to Arkansas residents who have a state-issued picture ID and who don’t look like they might be meth addicts. It also is no more fair or effective to have pharmacists decide who looks like a meth addict and who doesn't. Worse, the bill includes a provision that would allow the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy to color any OTC medicine with the same brush as PSE.

March 18, 2011

The Doobie Brothers once recorded a song called "Taking It to the Streets," and that's kind of what Walgreens did when two top executives last week took the message of the changing role of the community pharmacist on the road.

March 14, 2011

Joe Magnacca brings to bear a menagerie of merchandising savvy that will help Walgreens on its way to well. That savvy includes some "old world" retailing perspective by way of Canada’s Shoppers Drug Mart, where a focus on beauty and convenience is paramount. And his recent meteoric rise through the ranks of Duane Reade is testament to just how well he connected with the denizens of the most-populated city in the United States through enhanced merchandising and marketing.

March 14, 2011

Sugar and chalk. That’s what Pfizer researchers found in a pill that was supposed to be Cytotec but was, in fact, a crude knock-off seized from a counterfeit drug lab in Peru. The "60 Minutes" segment came as no surprise to Drug Store News, which has argued for many years that drug counterfeiting is the key reason lawmakers need to forget the recurring pipe dream they share that rogue Internet sites and drug reimportation is a legitimate solution to rising healthcare costs.

March 14, 2011

A lot was made of Walgreens' sale of its pharmacy benefit management business to focus on its stores and the other parts of its business, with some analysts and pundits suggesting CVS should or might soon follow suit. Whether or not CVS Caremark decides to do the same remains to be seen, but it certainly isn't the foregone conclusion some have suggested it might be.

March 4, 2011

Consumers always want more, whether it is a thinner, lighter iPad, a faster car or a muffin with more blueberries. The same is true in the world of coupons, where a stumbling national economy caused shoppers to demand more coupons from consumer packaged goods companies.

March 4, 2011

Analysts already are speculating dire outcomes if the price of a gallon of gas eclipses $5 this summer on account of Middle East turmoil today. Any additional strains on the supply chain system, such as increased operational costs as high as 20%, would only make matters worse.

March 4, 2011

Walgreens’ winning of an award for its MTM services came right before it joined the Care Continuum Alliance — a group of more than 200 stakeholders that provide such services as wellness and prevention programs and management of chronic conditions — of which CVS Caremark already was a member.

March 4, 2011

The name of the game for tomorrow’s successful healthcare retailer is ubiquity — because it’s no longer good enough to have the better corner location or the splashiest of websites; tomorrow’s healthcare retailer will need to be able to interact with its patient whenever, however and wherever that patient happens to be at the time.

March 2, 2011

Health-and-wellness retailer Max-Wellness on Tuesday announced a series of initiatives that vastly will expand the reach of the upstart company.

March 1, 2011

Physicians are 30% more likely to prescribe a drug that gives patients incentives to remain adherent to it than they are to prescribe a drug without such a program, according to a new survey.

February 25, 2011

As Walgreens pays tribute to its store brand via hard-hitting ads that position its health-and-wellness products as the ones that its pharmacists recommend, CVS/pharmacy officially has unveiled its new Just the Basics private-label line — both developments that should serve as warning signs to vendors.

February 25, 2011

Give a man a doctor’s co-pay, and he is healthy for a day. Give him a health savings account, and that man becomes so much more vested in ensuring positive health outcomes that he may be healthy for a lifetime. Because in the long run, it’s cheaper.

February 25, 2011

Walmart is convinced its sales woes can be solved by a renewed emphasis on everyday low prices and breadth of assortment. As Walmart looks to execute those strategies, the health-and-wellness category will continue to be impacted as it is a key area where favorable trends exist and it is easier to demonstrate price separation.

February 24, 2011

Weis Markets streamlined its internal connection between wellness and pharmacy earlier this year with an organizational restructure that folded the Weis Lifestyle Initiatives department, led by registered dietitian Karen Buch, into the grocer’s pharmacy division.

February 18, 2011

As one retail pharmacy executive put it, "many members of Congress only experience the pharmacy industry through their eyes as a patient." Thanks to NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill, however, that no longer has to be the case.

February 18, 2011

The news that CVS Caremark's Pharmacy Advisor program has been recognized by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute is yet one more illustration of how the company has positioned itself along the front lines to leverage its various points of care to improve outcomes and lower healthcare costs.

February 18, 2011

If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, then that means 200 sq. ft. of retail pharmacy is the equivalent to acres of doctors' offices and medical clinics. If inhibitive cost, lack of awareness and prohibitive access represent the reasons behind why more people don’t get vaccinated, then pharmacy provides the all-in-one solution — because pharmacy can help eclipse each one of those vaccine barriers.

February 14, 2011

Walgreens on Monday rounded out the pharmacy purchasing team led by Jeff Berkowitz, who joined Walgreens in the fall as SVP pharmaceutical development and market access. The team reporting to Berkowitz includes Walgreen veterans Frank DeStefano, Mike Bleser and Mike Allen, as well as newcomers Jeff Foreman and Gary Gleeson.

February 9, 2011

The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Wednesday announced that Pharmavite is able to support advertising claims for the company’s NatureMade GreatMind dietary supplement, pursuant to NAD’s ongoing monitoring of advertising for dietary supplements.

February 4, 2011

The cardiovascular drug market will turn into a difficult conquest in the years to come as it increasingly will be dominated by generics, but that isn’t stopping drug companies from continuing to develop treatments — 299 of them, according to a recent report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America — for high cholesterol, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, heart failure and other heart-related conditions.

February 4, 2011

A new chapter officially is under way for CVS Caremark, and it comes as little surprise that the Larry Merlo era has begun with a reminder of the core principles that put him in the captain's seat to begin with — flawless execution, cross-functional thinking and management, and enhancing value.

February 4, 2011

As much as the Affordable Care Act was a tough pill to swallow for many conservatives, the flexible spending account changes may be the first piece of what many consider to be "bad medicine" to be reversed this year. Incentivizing self-care is better medicine for all constituents.