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American Greetings reports fiscal 2008 profit

BY Doug Desjardins

CLEVELAND American Greetings generated $83.3 million in earnings for fiscal 2008, including $15.6 million in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 29, and more than $1.77 billion in total sales for year. Total sales were down about 1 percent from $1.79 billion the previous year, but earnings were up 96 percent from $42.4 million.

“I’m pleased we were able to achieve earnings within our forecasted range and exceed our cash flow guidance,” said American Greetings chief executive officer Zev Weiss. “Our strong cash flow allowed us to make two acquisitions in the digital photo space and repurchase shares.”

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Medicine Shoppe opens 100th in-store diabetes center

BY Drew Buono

ST. LOUIS Medicine Shoppe International recently celebrated its 100th store operating a Specialized Care Center for diabetic patients. The centers offer education and counsel from pharmacists, who receive certification as diabetes managers, as well as products specifically for people with diabetes.

“There currently are nearly 15 million diagnosed cases of diabetes in the U.S., plus an estimated six million undiagnosed cases,” said Keith Cook, vice president of pharmacy solutions for MSI. “As this population grows, so too does the opportunity and challenge of helping customers with diabetes. People with diabetes need pharmacies where healthcare professionals can dedicate enough time to provide thorough education on proper diabetes management. It is our goal to be a destination for these individuals.”

In order for pharmacists to qualify as diabetes manager, they must pass an intensive certification program entitled “Pharmaceutical Care for Patients with Diabetes,” a program developed by the American Pharmacists Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

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Pharmaca acquires Seattle pharmacy

BY Doug Desjardins

SEATTLE Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has acquired Morton’s Pharmacy in Seattle, a 46-year-old neighborhood store. The purchase is expected to be complete by the end of May and will bring Pharmaca’s store count to three in Seattle.

“I felt an obligation to sell to someone who would continue dedicated service to my loyal customers,” said Morton’s owner Bill McNary. “They [Pharmaca] are a good fit for this area of Seattle.”

Pharmaca, based in Boulder, Colo., opened its first store in Seattle in 2002 and a second in June 2007. The acquisition will give Pharmaca a total of 22 stores ranging from Seattle to Albuquerque, N.M.

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