January 18, 2013

Walgreens and Televisa Consumer Products announced an expansion of their distribution across Walgreens with the inclination to share additional insights into the Hispanic community. Televisa's product portfolio spans from beauty items in haircare and skincare to OTC solutions in the cough/cold and pain relief categories.

Did you ever wonder what would happen if a broadcaster dabbled in the consumer packaged goods world? Would they be able to drive trial at an exponentially cheaper rate because they could flood their own airwaves with in-house commercials and product placements? Maybe. In the U.S. market it'd be difficult and becoming ever more so given the continued fracturing of media outlets. Network television operations today have to contend with hundreds of cable/satellite channels that are each creating their own content, not to mention relatively new primetime competitors like the Internet or mobile apps. In other words, it'd be difficult to reach a critical mass of viewers and at the same time substitute paid product placements with in-house (in other words not paid) product placements in the U.S. media marketplace.

January 18, 2013

Costco announced in its January 2013 magazine that it would begin offering pharmacy benefit management services, targeting small businesses and highlighting a 200-employee company based in Washington state.

It remains to be seen whether the club retailer's efforts to compete with the existing PBM businesses of companies like CVS Caremark, Walgreens and Walmart will be successful, and analysts like Citi's Deborah Weinswig appear skeptical that they will. But whatever the outcome, it's clear that Costco is looking to compete in a bigger way.

January 17, 2013

More than 5,000 medicines are under development, of which 70% are potentially the first of their class, according to a new report.

January 16, 2013

Specialty drug spend will surpass traditional drug spend by 2018 for commercial plan sponsors, according to a new study.

January 15, 2013

Despite caution among consumers, retailers wrapped up 2012 with a healthy holiday shopping season, according to a new report by a retailing trade group.

January 15, 2013

While replacing a single combination pill for HIV with generics would save the healthcare system money, it could also diminish the effectiveness of treatment, a new study suggests.

January 11, 2013

Last week in a much anticipated move, Cerberus Capital Management acquired 877 supermarkets from Supervalu for $100 million in cash and the assumption of $3.2 billion in debt. Also part of the deal, a Cerberus-led investor consortium will provide the remaining Supervalu business an influx with the purchase of up to 30% of Supervalu stock at a purchase price of $4 per share.

Following the transaction, Supervalu will be a $17 billion business comprised mostly of its distribution business, which will represent 47% of revenues, Save-A-Lot (25%) and 191 regional supermarkets (28%).

January 11, 2013

Walgreens' Arkansas Payment Improvement Initiative aims to create a more patient-centered and cost-efficient payment system for the retailer's home state.

The latest move by Walmart is as sure an indication as any that health care is becoming less about fee-for-service and more about basing compensation on ratings derived from patient outcomes.

January 11, 2013

Walgreens chief Greg Wasson had a new vision to share with the pharmacy operator's faithful shareholders for 2013. It was a vision that firmly placed the Express Scripts dispute in the rear-view mirror and refocused on the road ahead that includes expanding the role of pharmacy and even what it means to be a U.S. pharmacy operator with its acquisition of Alliance Boots.

Two major announcements were made in the wake of the shareholders meeting, both of which were identified by DSN as two of the top six big trends to watch through 2013. Walgreens reiterated its commitment to fostering an omnichannel experience for its shoppers and, a day after the shareholders meeting, Walgreens became the only retail pharmacy operator to partner on three Accountable Care Organizations.

January 10, 2013

Demand among consumers for online services from drug companies to help manage chronic conditions is strong, according to a new study from healthcare market research firm Manhattan Research.

January 10, 2013

A new report gives low marks to the United States in the health of its citizens, finding that Americans have higher rates of injury and disease and die sooner than their counterparts in other developed countries.

January 9, 2013

Ten issues will take center stage as the healthcare industry moves to meet the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

January 9, 2013

For most Americans who own pets, that word refers to the kinds with four legs and a predilection for purring or tail wagging. But more than 100 million Americans also own pets other than cats and dogs, representing a significant share of the market, according to a new report.

January 8, 2013

The makers of a new app say that it increased users' medication adherence rate to more than 80%.

January 8, 2013

A company that provides local print and digital coupons is partnering with a company that provides information for Hispanics.

January 7, 2013

While pressure to grow will drive more large drug makers to pursue mergers and acquisitions, diminished resources and competition from biotech and specialty pharmaceutical companies will challenge their ability to do so, according to a new report.

January 7, 2013

More than half of U.S. consumers would not recommend a particular pharmacy to family and friends, according to a new report by a Canadian customer experience management firm.

January 7, 2013

Lingering fears of pandemic flu in the United States and a spike in flu activity will help to keep vaccination levels high, according to a new report.

January 4, 2013

After 20 years at the helm, Safeway CEO Steve Burd last week announced his retirement to spend more time with family and pursue interests in health care.

January 4, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association last week noted that language in the "fiscal cliff" legislation that averted the worst of potential tax consequences for individuals nonetheless had a chance to negatively impact diabetics who buy their supplies from their local community pharmacy.

January 4, 2013

Several retailers got top scores from a gay-rights organization for their efforts to prevent discrimination against and include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

January 3, 2013

People making New Year's resolutions, mostly centered around health, this year say they behave more responsibly than they did five years ago compared with those not making them, according to a new survey.

January 3, 2013

Reaching out to discharged hospital patients by telephone could help reduce the chances they'll be readmitted in the future, according to a new study by a healthcare service company.

December 28, 2012

Rite Aid last week posted a third quarter profit of $61.9 million, marking the first time Rite Aid has been back in the quarterly black since June 2007. The quarterly report beat analyst expectations as the generic wave and retention of Express Scripts customers helped drive better-than-expected adjusted EBIDTA.

It's certainly a timely Christmas gift that Rite Aid delivered to those shareholders who believed in the Pennsylvania pharmacy operation when it's stock hovered around $1 per share; in the week following the third quarter conference call Rite Aid's stock price was up some 40%.