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Armada Health Care gears up for 2010 Specialty Pharmacy Summit

BY Allison Cerra

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. One of the nation’s largest specialty pharmacy groups is expecting a record turnout for its 6th Annual Specialty Pharmacy Summit.

Armada Health Care announced its return to the Wynn Las Vegas from May 4 to 7 this year for its 2010 Armada Specialty Pharmacy Summit. The group expects registration for this year’s event to supass last year’s attendance record by as much as 40%. Attendees will have access to all programs, scheduled events, meetings, exhibit halls, seminars, receptions and the general session and also will gain powerful knowledge to translate today’s specialty pharmacy trends into tomorrow’s successful business opportunities, Armada said. This year’s keynotes speakers will include Gov. Mitt Romney; Albert Thigpen, VP specialty pharmacy at CVS Caremark and Chris Goff, Employers Health CEO.

The complete agenda is available on the Armada Summit Web site at www.armadasummit.com.

“Participation at our annual meeting continues to grow year after year at an amazing pace,” said Robert Irene, Armada president and co-founder. “Attendance has expanded well beyond national, regional and local specialty pharmacy providers. It now attracts prominent industry leaders, biotech and pharmaceutical manufacturers, national wholesalers, payors and a wide variety of non-traditional healthcare organizations. Our venue and agenda are exceptional in the industry and we welcome every specialty pharmacy stakeholder to attend.”

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Giant Eagle purchases five stores from Tops Markets

BY Allison Cerra

PITTSBURGH Giant Eagle has agreed to purchase five former Penn Traffic stores in the western Pennsylvania market.

The stores, which currently are owned by Tops Markets, will immediately begin its planned store inventory liquidation sales in preparation for their eventual closures. At the time of the stores’ closings, the properties will be turned over to Giant Eagle. Giant Eagle also has agreed to acquire the pharmacy records for the former Penn Traffic pharmacies in the Brookville, DuBois and Johnstown locations, and plans to operate the existing pharmacies at Brookville and DuBois. The pharmacy files from the Johnstown location are being transferred to a nearby Giant Eagle store.

Further details about the transaction and Giant Eagle’s evolving plans will be released as details become available.

“Given our nearly 80-year history as a leading regional food retailer with strong western Pennsylvania roots, we were approached by Tops Markets more than a month ago regarding these locations,” said Giant Eagle special counsel Dan Shapira. “Tops informed us that these stores were outside of their geographic footprint, and as such would ultimately be closed and the employees terminated. We believe there is an opportunity to refurbish these stores and bring to consumers of the area an overall improved shopping experience.

“We are thrilled to be able to not only preserve these grocery shopping options for area residents, but to deliver the type of high quality offerings that our customers have come to expect from us,” Shapira added.

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Meijer adds 2,000 items to NuVal scoring system

BY Allison Cerra

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Meijer is adding 2,000 new items to an independent nutritional scoring system that was implemented in its stores last year.

NuVal, designed to take the guesswork out of determining the nutritional value of a product, now will feature 19 new grocery categories, including frozen snacks, mustards, baked goods, soups, pancake mixes, tomato pastes and creamers. In total, Meijer will now have more than 15,000 private label and national brands assigned a NuVal nutritional score on its store shelves.

“This independent nutritional scoring system has become an incredibly important tool for our shoppers over the past 10 months,” said Ralph Fischer, group VP grocery at Meijer. “It’s been a resounding success, and our customers wanted more products brought into the NuVal system. We’re only too happy to help them in their effort to make well-informed nutritional choices on a product-by-product basis.”

Those products analyzed by NuVal will sport small tags that reveal their scientifically calculated nutritional value score, ranging from 1-100, with 100 being the most nutritious. The NuVal system was developed by a team of renowned nutritional experts from leading universities and health organizations, and is currently in use by a handful of major grocery chains across the country.

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