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Drugstore.com reports booming business, plans for expansion with microsite

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Drugstore.com’s recent foray within the last year into being the “intel inside” of two fairly large healthcare companies’ e-tailing sites is shaping up to be a pretty significant revenue driver going forward.

 

It’s also a potential opportunity for companies with a stake in healthcare to outsource OTC e-tailing capability and functionality through a company with a successful heritage in online retailing that already boasts such venerable companies as Medco or Rite Aid as clients. Rite Aid’s Drugstore.com-driven site went live late last year and Medco’s OTC store went live June 1.

 

Beyond that, as a pureplay online retailer, companies like Drugstore.com and Amazon.com, along with brick-and-click retailers like Walgreens.com and CVS.com, have successfully created a true national reach online, reinforced by Drugstore.com’s rising star in the sale of OTCs (none of the other companies regularly release OTC-specific online sales results).

And instead of distribution being measured by the tens of thousands of retail doors, it’s measured by Internet portals in the millions. These companies with their collective online reach have created a new paradigm for new-to-market companies with potentially-hot-but-not-yet-proven products. It doesn’t require near the inventory commitment as does feeding a 6,000-store supply chain and reaching that consumer (or healthcare professional if you’re striving for that influencer recommendation) through online advertising is both less expensive as compared to traditional print, radio or television placements and yields richer demographic data as to who the actual targets are.

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Craig C. Phillips elected VP, general manager of the oncology business unit at Cephalon

BY Anna Mcgrath

FRAZER, Pa. Cephalon announced Craig C. Phillips was elected VP and general manager of the oncology business unit.

Phillips will be responsible for managing all aspects of the U.S. oncology business including sales, marketing and medical affairs.

“Since joining Cephalon two years ago, Craig has clearly demonstrated an ability to exceed expectations and bring value to our organization through his leadership,” said Robert Roche, EVP of worldwide pharmaceutical operations. “I am confident that Craig’s leadership and vision will support the dynamic growth of the Cephalon oncology business and allow us to continue to bring medicines that matter to the healthcare professionals and patients battling cancer.”

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Spartan fights economy with jump in net sales

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Supermarket operator Spartan Stores had a $9.3 million jump in consolidated net sales during first quarter of its fiscal year 2010, the company announced in an earnings release this week.

That and a 9.4% increase in EBITDA stemmed mostly from Spartan’s acquisition of VG’s Food and Pharmacy stores, the company said. First-quarter operating earnings increased moderately, to $15.1 million compared with first quarter fiscal year 2009.

“We are pleased to report steady operating profits despite the prolonged economic challenges and the incremental costs associated with this year’s business and operational initiatives,” Spartan president and CEO Dennis Eidson said in a statement. “As anticipated, comparable store sales at our retail supermarkets declined during the quarter due to economic uncertainty, which is causing changes in consumer purchase behavior, such as a shift to lower-priced private label products, and price deflation in certain high-volume product categories.”

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