PHARMACY

CVS/pharmacy expands role of two field executives, 37-year retail veteran announces retirement

BY Michael Johnsen

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy on Thursday expanded the role of two retail field executives as SVP operations Dennis Palmer, a 37-year retail veteran, announced his retirement.

Effective Nov. 5, Hanley Wheeler, SVP operations has assumed responsibility of CVS/pharmacy’s Western and Southwestern markets while continuing to have responsibility for the company’s retail operations in its Midwest and Southeast markets.

Assuming responsibility for CVS/pharmacy’s retail operations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic is Kevin Hourican, SVP operations, who joined the CVS/pharmacy in June 2012 from Macy’s. 

A pharmacist by training, Wheeler began his career at CVS/pharmacy in 1994 as an area VP. Prior to joining CVS, he spent 13 years at Revco Drug, where he held various managerial positions across the company. During his tenure at CVS and among his many accomplishments, Wheeler played a key role in the successful conversion of the acquired Osco and Sav-on stores, and led CVS/pharmacy’s organic growth into Chicago, Southern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix, as well as its entry into Puerto Rico, the company’s first market outside of the 50 U.S. states.     

Prior to joining CVS/pharmacy, Hourican served as Macy’s SVP and Mid-Atlantic regional director of stores. He also served as Macy’s SVP of direct-to-consumer logistics and worked for Sears from 1999 through 2006 in a series of increasingly responsible operational roles.

Palmer has served in his current role since 2006, when he entered the company through the Albertson’s Drug Division acquisition. He began his retail career in 1975 with American Stores and held positions of increasing scope and responsibility, including store, district, regional and corporate management for American Stores, Sav-On and Albertsons. He was a key player in American Stores’ integration of Jewel in the mid-1980s and subsequently served in executive roles in real estate, store strategy and planning and store operations, before being named SVP western operations for CVS/pharmacy in 2006.

During his tenure with CVS/pharmacy, Palmer was responsible for the Sav-On/Osco integration and the conversion of Longs Drugs stores, increasing profitability faster than any other acquisition. He also led the company’s entry into several new markets including New Mexico; Tulsa, Okla.; Omaha, Neb.; and Midland/Odessa, Texas.

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MonoSol Rx, BiondVax form partnership to develop oral-film vaccine delivery

BY Alaric DeArment

WARREN, N.J. — A company developing drug-delivery technology based on films inserted into the mouth and a company developing a flu vaccine have entered a deal to combine their products.

MonoSol Rx on Wednesday announced that it had entered a partnership with Israel-based BiondVax to combine MonoSol’s PharmFilm technology with BiondVax’s universal flu vaccine, M-001, to create a way to deliver vaccines without needles. MonoSol Rx co-president and CEO A. Mark Schobel said using his company’s technology for vaccinations could lead to increased acceptance of flu vaccination.

"We have believed for some time in the significant advantages PharmFilm can offer in the delivery of a broad range of vaccines," Schobel said. "We view this partnership with BiondVax as an opportunity to demonstrate the clear advantages our proprietary PharmFilm technology platform offers the vaccine industry."


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NCPA commends Congress leaders for urging CMS to maintain diabetes delivery for independents

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday commended seven U.S. Representatives for recently writing the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to urge the agency to allow independent community pharmacists to continue same-day home delivery of diabetes test supplies to certain Medicare beneficiaries. 

Under current policy scheduled to take effect July 2013, many community pharmacists would effectively be prohibited from delivering these essential medical products to patients who are homebound, or in assisted living communities. The ban on deliveries is a provision included in CMS’ competitive bidding policy for diabetes test supplies.

“When implemented, this policy will cause disruption in the care provided to Medicare patients,” the representatives wrote. “We know that many Medicare Part B beneficiaries that are in need of DTS are homebound and may not have a caregiver available to pick up DTS from the local independent pharmacy.”

They added, “In our view, this delivery prohibition could result in serious health consequences for Medicare patients and will help drive up costs. We ask that you review this policy expeditiously.”

The letter was signed by U.S. Reps. Aaron Schock, R-Ill.; Peter Welch, D-Vt.; Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo.; Morgan Griffith, R-Va.; Brett Guthrie R-Ky.; Tom Marino, R-Pa.; and Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y.

“These lawmakers are absolutely justified in their concern for seniors and the independent pharmacists who care for them. We appreciate their bringing this issue to CMS’ attention,” stated NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey. “Pharmacists help reduce healthcare costs for patients managing diabetes by mitigating the chances for more expensive treatments and interventions, such as hospitalizations. We hope that, through administrative or legislative action, independent community pharmacists can continue providing same-day home delivery to these most vulnerable of patients.”

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