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Cardinal Health provides $2 million in scholarships to nine pharmacy schools

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health on Monday announced that nine pharmacy schools across the country will collectively receive $2 million in funding through the Cardinal Health Pharmacy Scholarship Program in 2014.

 
The company has donated nearly $4.2 million to more than 20 universities through this program since its launch in June 2011.   
 
The nine schools that were selected to participate in this year's Cardinal Health Pharmacy Scholarship Program were chosen based on their commitment to advancing the independent pharmacy profession. These schools offer curricula focused on operating an independent pharmacy; support student-run chapters of the National Community Pharmacists Association; endorse internship and co-op programs with local independent retail pharmacies; and demonstrate high post-graduate placement rates in community pharmacy settings.
 
"We know community pharmacists play a critical role in improving the cost-effectiveness of health care, and in helping patients better manage their overall health," stated Mike Kaufmann, CEO of Cardinal Health's Pharmaceutical segment. "We're proud to support tomorrow's community pharmacy leaders through this scholarship program, and we're inspired by the impact we know they'll have on their patients and communities, when they become pharmacy owners."
 
The nine schools that received pharmacy scholarship funding from the Cardinal Health Pharmacy Scholarship Program in 2014 include:
 
  • East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy (Johnson City, Tenn.);
  • The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy (Columbus, Ohio);
  • Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy (Birmingham, Ala.);
  • Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Buies Creek, N.C.);
  • Northeastern University Bouve College of Health Sciences, School of Pharmacy (Boston);
  • St. Louis College of Pharmacy (St. Louis);Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy (Auburn, Ala.);
  • University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Stockton, Calif.); and
  • Idaho State University College of Pharmacy (Pocatello, Idaho). 

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America’s bend toward healthier living sparks two big nutrition M&A deals

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
There were two big deals in the nutrition space this week – Kroger bought one of the most successful VMS e-commerce sites in Vitacost.com and Hormel bought a dominant nutritional/supplement brand in Muscle Milk. 
 
With Vitacost.com, Kroger will offer customers the convenience to order online and ship to their door with an expanded assortment online. Vitacost.com fields about 45,000 SKUs, and there's a roughly 10,000 SKU overlap when Kroger's mix is factored in. 
 
Before the deal was announced, Vitacost.com was growing its active customer list – up 8% to 2.3 million according to Jeffery Horowitz during that company's last quarterly conference call. And if the name Horowitz rings a bell, it's because he's no stranger to the brick-and-mortar space – he founded Vitamin Shoppe and subsequently one of the pioneering online vitamin outlets VitaminShoppe.com. 
 
And Vitacost.com had been successfully moving into the natural and organic food business prior to the Kroger acquisition, so its customers are primed to shop natural and organic foods on top of their vitamins. "Our natural and organic food business continues to be our fastest growing category with first quarter sales up 42% year-over-year at our Vitacost Website," Horowitz told analysts in May. "We added nearly 900 food SKUs during this quarter and now carry close to 11,000 healthy food items on our site."
 
Sales of food accounted for 50% of sales, up 3 percentage points from the first quarter of 2013. Sales of sports products increased 16% year-over-year, beauty was up 12%, and Vitacost.com's smaller categories, primarily pet, baby and household, increased 4% year-over-year. Collectively, sales of non-VMHS products accounted for 42% of the sales the company's Website, Horowitz reported, up 4 percentage points year-over-year due to successful product diversification efforts.
 
And Hormel is buying the No. 4 brand in liquid weight control and nutritionals with its acquisition of Cytosport. For the 52 weeks ended May 18, Cytosport generated sales of $144.4 million across total U.S. multi-outlet channels, according to IRI. Sales were relatively flat with 0.6% growth and a 5.5% dollar share of the $2.6 billion category that includes nutritionals like Ensure, Boost and weight loss products Slim Fast. 
 
Within sports nutrition protein drinks specifically, sales of Muscle Milk are second only to NBTY's Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein.
 
While Muscle Milk started out as a protein powder, it has expanded into other categories, such as protein bars, oatmeal and ready-to-drink products. Hormel's Century Foods division supplies ingredients for such products, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Overall, Cytosport expects to take in $370 million in total sales, including $20 million in international sales, the Journal reported.
 

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