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ESI gets hit from both sides

BY Rob Eder

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — If this were a fist-fight, you might say Express Scripts just took the old "one-two" to the jaw — though in this case, the punches came from two different directions.

(THE NEWS: Walgreens makes case of value outside of Express Scripts in SEC filing. For the full story, click here)

Just as the FTC was calling out for a second request for information regarding ESI’s proposed deal to buy Medco, Walgreens was taking its widely publicized battle with ESI public, submitting a seven-page white paper, entitled "The Value of Walgreens," as part of its 8K Securities Exchange Commission filing.

In a statement to Drug Store News, ESI argued that while it still is open to negotiating with Walgreens, "Walgreens would be the highest-cost pharmacy in our network with its current proposed rates," the company said. According to Walgreens, its acquisition of Duane Reade "confirmed our unit prices are highly competitive," and that "in most cases, Walgreens average cost per adjusted script will be within 2% of the average cost per script of the non-Walgreens retail pharmacy network."

ESI claimed it has 56,000 other pharmacies in its network, and doesn¹t need Walgreens to be able to offer its members convenient access. "It’s a short drive or short walk in most instances," ESI noted. But according to Walgreens, "In many communities, Walgreens is the most convenient pharmacy or the only open pharmacy at the time a plan member needs help. For example, in Topeka, Kan., the nearest non-Walgreens 24-hour pharmacy is [more than] an hour drive. In Colorado Springs, Col., Walgreens is the only 24-hour pharmacy."

ESI said it already has been preparing its clients for life after its contract with Walgreens expires Jan. 1, 2012. Walgreens wants to make sure those clients understand their options — work directly with Walgreens, find a new PBM that has Walgreens in its network or force ESI to create a customized network with Walgreens in it if ESI wants to keep their business.

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Booyah! Buy! Buy! Buy! Jim Cramer gets bullish on WAG

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Jim Cramer on Thursday shared his bullishness on Walgreens’ stock with viewers of his "Mad Money" investment advice program on CNBC during a discussion and personal tour of Walgreens’ new flagship location smack in the middle of the money-makers on Wall Street. Cramer’s not just a fan of Walgreens stock — he visits that new Duane Reade/Walgreens prototype two to three times per week. That makes it his personal neighborhood drug store.

"Part of my routine … is to come down to Wall Street every single morning, do my show here," Cramer said after introducing Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson during an on-location interview for his show. "I walk by this store, I was blown away and I realized you are reinventing the drug store format."

"What you’re seeing here is a true transformation from what we call the traditional retail drug store to a retail health and daily living destination," Wasson responded. The new format features the best Walgreens has to offer in terms of on-site health care. "We’re extending the scope of services that our pharmacists offer, but we’re also co-locating doctors on premise and nurse practitioners on premise to extend the services that we can offer in community pharmacies," he added. Such services as on-demand immunizations and on-site acute care. "We’re beginning to look at where health care’s going, and you’re actually going to see healthcare reform in action back here," Wasson told Cramer, motioning toward the pharmacy. "We’re improving access, quality of care and lowering costs across the country with this kind of a concept."

Wasson also shared with Cramer the other important touchpoints Walgreens has with its consumers, such as its multichannel outreach through Walgreens.com and drugstore.com, and with its commitment to establish fresh and healthy food destinations in urban food deserts — where fresh food is not conveniently available to local communities. Other points of interest: Wasson assured Cramer that the Duane Reade Doctor on Premise was a profit and revenue stream, not just a loss-leading traffic driver. And Walgreens has been super successful with its "Up Market" department specifically catering to the local community, in this case Wall Street.

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A.Hans says:
Mar-18-2013 05:52 am

I should have traveled because I helps me think a lot especially the adventure travel. palawan tours

R.HAMMERLE says:
Jun-25-2012 10:41 am

If Walgreens does more to connect its doctor on the premises office than it has done with its nurse practitioner on the premises clinic it will be more than a loss leader. Otherwise, it will not. Ron Hammerle, Chairman and CEO Health Resources, Ltd. Tampa, Florida

j.watkinson says:
Apr-26-2012 06:50 am

That's a excellent news which Wasson has shared with us, as Walgreens has it's multichannel outreach through Walgreens.com and drugstore.com. Now local people will get relaxed because they will get a good service.

jack1000 says:
Apr-04-2012 11:09 pm

Jim is definitely so right on this. Walgreens is one of the best drug stores out there. Their sales are going through the roof. The stock is such a great investment.

D.Johansen says:
Mar-03-2012 01:53 am

Most do not know that Walgreens has with its consumers, such as its multichannel outreach through Walgreens.com and drugstore.com, and with its commitment to establish fresh and healthy food destinations in urban food deserts — where fresh food is not conveniently available to local communities. Other points of interest: Wasson assured Cramer that the Duane Reade Doctor on Premise was a profit and revenue stream, not just a loss-leading traffic driver.

Danniel Cruz says:
Feb-29-2012 01:02 am

Really Jim Cramer has a lot of experience in the stock market. I always try to go on his steps. I din't knew about the Walgreen's stock until I heard Jim Cramer talking about it. He is a wise adviser.

h.nelson says:
Feb-03-2012 12:33 am

I think hardly any people knew about it, it will surely be helpful to others i think so due to this the traditional retail drug store to a retail health and daily living destination will have a rise in the market.

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Scrubbing Bubbles hands-free toilet bowl cleaner comes to market

BY Allison Cerra

RACINE, Wis. — SC Johnson is enhancing its Scrubbing Bubbles line with an easy-to-use toilet bowl cleaner.

New one step toilet bowl cleaner is a foot activated, hands-free toilet cleaner that helps keep the toilet clean for 30 days, SC Johnson said. To assure it toilets stay clean, it is recommended that consumers use the product twice a day.

The suggested retail price for the easy-to-use Scrubbing Bubbles one step toilet bowl cleaner is $9.99 for the starter kit and $3.99 for each refill.

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