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GNC names new EVP business development

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — GNC on Monday named Carmine Fortino EVP business development. Fortino comes to GNC from Atrium Innovations, a Canadian natural health products company, where he was president. Fortino also was a former director of GNC from 2007 to 2011.

"[Carmine’s] background in multi-channel development across the health & wellness segment will enhance our approach to new market opportunities as we continue to implement GNC’s proven growth strategy," stated Joseph Fortunato, GNC’s chairman, president and CEO.

Before Atrium Innovations, Fortino served Seroyal International as CEO. Fortino also has held various management roles within Loblaw Companies, including EVP of Ontario operations. Earlier, he served as EVP of Zehrmart Limited, an Ontario-based grocery chain owned by Loblaw Companies. 

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Rite Aid launches marketing campaign for Wellness65+

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is launching a marketing campaign centered around its new extension to the Wellness+ loyalty card program aimed at seniors, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

The integrated campaign for Wellness65+ – launched last month – features seniors actively engaged in activites like swimming laps, riding a roller coaster or having a water fight with grandchildren. It promotes the various features of the program, which is aimed at seniors and provides several benefits in addition to the standard Wellness+ program. Ad agency Marc USA created the program, which includes TV and radio spots and social media advertising.

"Amid new healthcare legislation and the growing array of options, heath care can be more confusing than ever," Rite Aid SVP marketing John Learish said. "A key goal of Wellness65+ is to create ongoing dialogue between Rite Aid pharmacists and their patients to better help them reach their wellness goals. Retail brands have an opportunity to create in-store experiences and offerings that foster stronger relationships and truly build loyalty. It’s just one more way we can provide value. Wellness65+ provides seniors, one of our most important consumer bases, with products and services specifically targeted to meet their needs." 

A cross-country mobile tour will visit more than 30 Rite Aid markets between now and March 2014 to promote the program, with partnerships in each city between Rite Aid and local organizations to host special community wellness events for seniors and their families. These will include free health screenings, pharmacist consultations and local experts on fitness, finance, legal and technology issues.

"Each Wellness65+ TV spot opens with a senior reflecting… ‘How did I get here?’" Marc USA chief creative officer Bryan Hadlock said. "The scenarios personify health and wellness as being able to do what you enjoy most whether it’s a physical challenge or special moments with the people you love. The spots complete the loop by showing the role of the Rite Aid pharmacist in the senior’s life — helping each customer get to a place where he or she is living life to the fullest."


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Pfizer to form three business segments for branded, generic drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Drug maker Pfizer is planning to split its commercial division into three business lines that will separate its branded and generic products, the company said Monday.

Pfizer said its would form two "innovative" business segments and one "value" segment. One innovative segment would focus on OTC, vaccines and cancer drugs, while the other would focus on treatments for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological, pain, rare diseases and women’s and men’s health. The value segment will focus on generics, products that are expected to face generic competition in the next few years and biosimilars, as well as collaborations with generic companies in other countries.

The changes will be made first in countries where Pfizer does not need to negotiate with unions, and later in countries where it does, after negotiations are finished.

Geno Germano will lead the first innovative group as group president of the innovative products group; Amy Schulman has been appointed group president of vaccines, oncology and consumer health care; and John Young has been appointed group president of the value products group. Leadership changes will become effective on Jan. 1, 2014.

 

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