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AmerisourceBergen to host annual manufacturer summit ThinkLive 2013

BY Michael Johnsen

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — AmerisourceBergen on Friday announced the company will hold its annual manufacturer summit, ThinkLive 2013, Oct. 7 to 8 at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. The trade show is expected to draw a diverse group of manufacturer executives from the pharmaceutical industry, including those responsible for pharmaceutical brand management, trade relations, supply chain, market access, reimbursement strategy, global pharmaceuticals, medical devices, over-the-counter products and global pharmaceuticals. 

Steve Collis, president and CEO AmerisourceBergen, will kick off the summit and share his thoughts on where the dynamic pharmaceutical industry is headed and AmerisourceBergen’s role in shaping the future of healthcare. Collis will provide updates on several of the company’s core business initiatives, including the Good Neighbor Pharmacy brand, the World Courier acquisition and the strategic 10-year relationship with Walgreens and Alliance Boots, and will demonstrate how these initiatives are strengthening AmerisourceBergen, benefiting its partners, and revolutionizing the industry. 

“Healthcare reform and growing global competition have created an environment of heightened challenges — and increased opportunities — for our manufacturer partners,” stated Peyton Howell, president, global sourcing and manufacturer relations for AmerisourceBergen. “ThinkLive is designed to bring the industry together to brainstorm ways to collectively address these obstacles and learn from one another. This year’s program will cover many timely topics that we know our manufacturer partners will benefit from, including market access, patient adherence, generics strategy and distribution optimization.”

ThinkLive will welcome oncologist and biomedical researcher David Agus as this year’s keynote speaker. Agus, author of the New York Times bestselling book, "The End of Illness", will discuss his innovations in medicine and contributions to new technologies that will change how people maintain their health.

Senior executives from AmerisourceBergen’s business units also will deliver presentations during the general session, addressing topics ranging from integrated commercialization strategies to the impact of the Patient ProtAffordable Care Act health insurance exchanges on brand name and generic products, and the evolution of pharmaceutical distribution. In addition, providers from across the healthcare industry – including a community oncologist, independent community pharmacist and a health systems executive – will participate in a panel discussion titled, “What’s keeping your end-customers awake at night?”

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Harris Teeter shareholders approve proposed Kroger merger agreement

BY Michael Johnsen

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Harris Teeter Supermarkets on Thursday announced that Harris Teeter’s shareholders overwhelmingly voted to approve the previously announced merger agreement among Harris Teeter, Hornet Acquisition and Kroger. Approximately 98.6% of the votes cast during the day’s special meeting were voted in favor of the merger agreement, representing approximately 82.5% of Harris Teeter’s outstanding common stock as of Aug. 22, 2013, the record date for the special meeting. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Harris Teeter shareholders will receive $49.38 per share in cash for each share of Harris Teeter common stock that they own. Upon closing of the transaction, Harris Teeter’s common stock will no longer be publicly traded, and Harris Teeter will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kroger.

The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. Harris Teeter continues to expect that the transaction will close in the fourth calendar quarter of 2013.

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Walgreens’ Greg Wasson and Sona Chawla talk omnichannel retailing at Shop.org Annual Summit 2013

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson and Sona Chawla, Walgreens president e-commerce, on Wednesday made a keynote presentation on the closing day of the Shop.org Annual Summit 2013 here to talk about the opportunities associated with omnichannel retailing.  

Walgreens has successfully placed its shingle where their patients are, which more and more means a virtual corner location in cyberspace. According to a blog post by Jessica Elenstar on blog.shop.org, 45 million shoppers visit a Walgreens store, and 14 million visit Walgreens online or on mobile. 

"Our median mobile customer is a 45-year-old woman," Wasson told Summit attendees. "Our median desktop web customer is a 52-year-old woman. … Walgreen customers are in fact leading the digital, mobile revolution."

And it’s not just Walgreens’ broad customer base that are tech savvy, the company’s employees are learning new ways tablet and smartphone technology can help them do their jobs better and more efficiently. 

For Shop.org’s full one-hour presentation, click here

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