PHARMACY

Focus on healthcare value charts Giant Eagle flight path

BY Michael Johnsen

Regional operator Giant Eagle always has pushed the envelope with new store concepts, as evidenced by its high-end Market District grocery brand and Giant Eagle Express, a convenience store/gas station replete with a wide offering of food items and a full-service, drive-through pharmacy.

That entrepreneurial tendency is replicated in the $8.2 billion grocer’s pharmacy department under the direction of VP pharmacy Randy Heiser. In fall 2009, Giant Eagle put into motion the first of its HBW (health/beauty/wellness) pilot tests — a new wellness format that helps bridge pharmacy and a more natural, wellness-oriented front end.

Led by corporate nutritionist Judy Dodd, Giant Eagle fields a staff of registered dietitians to help answer any food and nutrition questions that one of its 3.8 million Giant Eagle Advantage cardholders may have. “We look to [help those in our communities] by expanding upon the high-quality service found in our pharmacies, and by continuing to develop initiatives, such as our health and beauty care business, in-store retail health clinics and our group of skilled dietitians,” said Daniel Donovan, Giant Eagle spokesman.

Giant Eagle also is focused on delivering healthcare value to its customers with such offerings as the $4 generic prescription program and the free antibiotic initiatives. In summer 2010, Giant Eagle also began offering five commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes — glimepiride, glipizide, glyburide, metformin and chlorpropamid — at no cost to patients.

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PHARMACY

Bristol-Myers Squibb, WuXi to open testing facility

BY Alaric DeArment

SHANGHAI — Drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb is opening a new testing facility in China under collaboration with a local company there, Bristol said Monday.

WuXi PharmaTech will build, equip and operate the 25,000-sq.-ft. lab in Shanghai to store and test stability samples and perform other services for Bristol.

“This new agreement expands our already productive relationship with Bristol-Myers Squibb, a valued customer for many years,” WuXi CEO and chairman Ge Li said. “We will continue to help them to improve their [research and development] productivity with our innovation-driven, cost-effective and fully integrated R&D service platform.”

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Innovation’s PharmAssist Symphony system achieves Microsoft certification

BY Alaric DeArment

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. — Innovation’s PharmAssist Symphony pharmacy workflow system has received certification from Microsoft for applications running on Windows Server 2008 R2, Innovation said Friday.

The pharmacy automation company said the system was independently tested to meet the software giant’s standards for security, stability, availability, reliability and compatibility with the operating system.

The company said the certification built on its Gold Certified Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Program.

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