August 19, 2013

In a segment of CNBC's "Mad Money" program, host Jim Cramer proclaimed "Rite Aid is back" when a caller asked for the former hedge fund manager's opinion about the Camp Hill, Pa.-based retail pharmacy chain. "Rite Aid is good. … It is an okay situation. The group is strong," Cramer said.

Cramer's proclamation only confirmed what Drug Store News has been saying for a while now, ever since it became clear that Rite Aid had hit pay dirt with its Wellness+ loyalty card program, growing sales and reversing several years of annual and quarterly losses. In April 2013, the company posted its first profitable fiscal year since 2007.

August 19, 2013

Walgreens last week made several executive moves to boost its Daily Living business organization, chief of which was the announcement that Alex Gourlay will make the transition from chief executive of Alliance Boots' health and beauty division to EVP, president of customer experience and daily living for Walgreens. http://www.drugstorenews.com/article/walgreens-announces-enhanced-daily-...

Gorley will fill in the vision and leadership hole Joe Magnacca left when he departed Walgreens to take on challenge of reinventing Radio Shack. The move showcases the kind of extended depth chart that is now enjoyed across Walgreens and Alliance Boots and takes Walgreens' strategy of tapping the best executives to fill strategic positions to a whole new global level.

August 5, 2013

Nearly a quarter of Americans are using electronic medical records for checking test results, refilling prescriptions and making appointments, while more than half say they would like to use them, but don't have access, according to a new study.

August 5, 2013

Express Scripts and Walgreens last week announced the launch of Smart90 Walgreens, a new option for Express Scripts clients interested in 90-day prescription drug programs and to help drive lower costs. The program is expected to improve medication adherence by both providing a cost value to the patient while maintaining what has more and more become a crucial patient-pharmacist face-to-face encounter.

What a difference a year makes. Far removed from its squabbles over reimubursement, the two companies partner on a new program that reinforces the value that retail pharmacy provides and the innovative ways that retail and mail can work together to create solutions that help get patients on, and keep them on, their medications.

August 5, 2013

When Seattle-based Bartell Drugs opened its 61st store in the city's rapidly growing South Lake Union neighborhood, it unveiled a store that included not only a nice new format, but also a variety of amenities rarely seen in drug stores, including cold beer on tap; such pet-friendly features as water bowls, pet-hitching posts and free dog biscuits; and a selection of local spirits.

The large-scale evolution of the American drug store has mostly happened in the big, national chains, and despite some doubts from naysayers about some of the concepts in the Walgreens flagship stores, that format has already expanded to several cities. CVS and Rite Aid have expanded their respective Urban Cluster and Wellness store formats as well, providing clear indication of their popularity with consumers.

August 1, 2013

Blueberries. Açai berries. Tea and coffee. Tomatoes. Nuts. All of these food and beverages are rich in healthy antioxidants, and a slew of advertisements and articles tout them as such. The only problem is that most Americans don't know what antioxidants or their health benefits are, according to a new study.

July 31, 2013

Nearly 450 drugs are under development for treating neurological disorders, according to a report by a drug industry trade group.

July 30, 2013

Some patients with Type 2 diabetes taking drugs to lower blood sugar may experience a greater drop than is healthy for them even though their disease may not be under control, according to a new study.

July 29, 2013

Walgreens and Duane Reade are testing a new mobile shopping system at stores in New York that help shoppers make choices by providing relevant product information from a network of friends and experts and then sending them "perks" they can redeem at checkout. The system combines the respective mobile platforms of Pretty in my Pocket and Sparkfly, and L'Oreal Paris has signed on as the first brand partner.

As retail industry futurist Doug Stephens recently told Drug Store News in an interview for an article in the Aug. 12 issue of the magazine about the future of retail pharmacy, younger consumers are "conditioned to understand that they can have whatever they want, whenever they want it, wherever they happen to be."

July 29, 2013

The evolution of services now available at retail pharmacy has gained traction with news organizations targeting the investment community. CNNMoney recently spoke at length with one of the retail pharmacy change catalysts — Greg Wasson of Walgreens.

Wasson and other retail pharmacy operators have been blazing a new pathway to cheaper and more convenient health care for some time now. Inoculations and medication therapy management programs were ever only the beginning, because the future of retail pharmacy is in successfully managing lives with a healthcare system partner. "There's an opportunity for the pharmacist to play a much greater role in health care, especially with what we have going on in this country with the shortage of primary-care physicians," Wasson explained to CNNMoney. "Plus, we can also involve the front of our store, being the first source for health and daily living, continuing to make sure we're relevant in today's society."

July 29, 2013

The same organization that reached the often-cited figure of nearly $300 billion wasted each year due to poor medication adherence has developed a six-point agenda for improving it.

July 26, 2013

While rates of human papillomavirus infection among girls ages 14 years to 19 years have dropped by half since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started recommending routine vaccination against it seven years ago, rates of vaccination have not increased, the agency said.

July 25, 2013

The majority of employers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania don't plan to change their hiring practices in response to Obamacare, according to a new survey.

July 24, 2013

Despite widespread doubt and dissatisfaction, most adults say they're not ready to repeal the healthcare-reform law signed into law two years ago by President Obama, according to a poll.

July 22, 2013

Cardinal Health and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation are calling for proposals to research the effects of pharmacist-provided medication therapy management services on hospital readmission rates.

Medications only do their jobs if patients take them as instructed by physicians, but physicians' ability to ensure that patients are doing what they're supposed to is limited. That's where pharmacists can step in to help make a difference.

July 22, 2013

Decisions on whether to bring new generic drugs to market depend significantly on companies' ability to settle patent lawsuits filed by branded drug companies, according to a new white paper.

July 22, 2013

Walgreens Infusion Services partners with a regional health care plan operator to better serve specialty infusion patients. Because alternate treatment sites represent a less-expensive care option, the possible savings that can be realized through this program falls between 30% and 70%, depending on the medication regimen, according to a Walgreens industry analysis.

Would you like to pay one-third, or even more than two-thirds, less on your healthcare? Of course you would. But allocating additional points-of-care, including home delivery, so that the care is better accessible and more convenient in an environment without as much overhead? That's just not paying less. That's paying less and getting more.

July 19, 2013

Boys whose mothers receive flu shots or Pap screenings are more likely to receive the human pappilomavirus vaccine, according to a new study.

July 18, 2013

More than one-third of U.S. consumers say they're likely to spend more during the back-to-school season this year, according to a study.

July 18, 2013

Almost twice as many drugs for neglected diseases have received regulatory approval around the world over the past few years compared with the beginning of the last decade, according to a new study.

July 17, 2013

New, abuse-deterrent formulations of two opioid painkillers have not necessarily reduced doctors' unease with prescribing them, according to a new study.

July 16, 2013

Men who took an erectile dysfunction drug made by Eli Lilly experienced normal erectile function when taking it once a day as opposed to taking erectile dysfunction treatment on an as-needed basis, according to a new study.

July 16, 2013

Pharmacists in Indiana want an active consultation role when customers purchase over-the-counter HIV tests, according to a new study.

July 15, 2013

Family Dollar Stores on Wednesday named Jason Reiser to the position of SVP merchandising where he will have executive responsibility for the company’s health, beauty, personal care and household teams. Reiser comes to Family Dollar from Sam’s Club, where he spent more than 17 years in a variety of roles, most recently serving as VP merchandising, health and family care.

Jason Reiser is one of the brightest young merchandising executives in this industry and has proven a knack for making health and wellness relevant and exciting to shoppers in alternative channels — Reiser was instrumental in developing and implementing Sam's Club's three-pillar strategy around Awareness, Prevention and Solutions. Expect Reiser to bring some innovation in the way health and wellness is sold in a dollar store environment.