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H. D. Smith announces support of Fairness in Medicare Bidding Act

BY Michael Johnsen

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — H. D. Smith on Monday announced its support for H.R. 1041, otherwise known as the Fairness in Medicare Bidding Act.

Introduced in March by Reps. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., and Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., the bill seeks to repeal the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies competitive bidding program included in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). 

"We applaud the efforts of Reps. Altmire and Thompson in introducing this legislation that will help ensure marketplace competition, patient access and quality of care for home medical equipment suppliers and consumers," stated Ron Lanton, government affairs counsel for H. D. Smith. "H.R. 1041 provides a common sense solution to ensure an open and fair marketplace that can provide patients the healthcare options they need for their medical care and quality of life."

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New store further cements branding with Walgreens

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Walk through Duane Reade’s new flagship store at 40 Wall St., and it is clear to see why this 22,000-sq.-ft. location is important.

(THE NEWS: Duane Reade’s new flagship is glimpse of drug store of the future. For the full story, click here.) 

For starters, the co-branding “Powered by Walgreens Pharmacy Network” represents connectivity of the Duane Reade stores to Walgreens’ pharmacy universe. This connectively quitely has been taking place behind the scenes, but this new store marks the first time that Duane Reade has introduced the concept to its consumers.

Then there’s the food. Yes, in recent months, several pharmacy retailers have made a greater push into “fresh,” but this store completely redefines what it means to sell food in a drug store. There are in-store sushi chefs, a juice/smoothie bar and partnerships with local New York City gourmet retailers and such eateries as Zabars.

Another important element of the store is the innovative technology from the virtual assistant at the door to the magical makeover tool in beauty to the high-tech, mix-and-match Coke machine.

Even the beauty department has been beautified. In many stores, Duane Reade already has revamped its beauty department with its upscale Look Boutique, but this store has an expanded Look Boutique and beauty services, such as manicures and hair styling, typically not found in a drug chain. 

This store is clearly a drug store of the future.

For more on Duane Reade’s newest store, click here for Drug Store News‘ exclusive video coverage featuring Walgreens’ Joe Magnacca. For photos of the store, click here to view Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

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Giant-Carlisle to open first Philadelphia store

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA — Giant-Carlisle plans to open its first store in Philadelphia next week, the grocery chain said.

Giant-Carlisle, officially known as Giant Food Stores and owned by Dutch supermarket operator Royal Ahold, announced that it would open the 74,000-sq.-ft. store on July 20. The company already operated stores in the Philadelphia suburbs, but the new store is the first within the city itself.

In addition to the usual selection of food products, the store will emphasize health and wellness, with an assortment of natural and organic products in a dedicated section called Nature’s Promise Marketplace and the Healthy Ideas labeling system, which ranks foods according to their nutritional value.

The store also will have a full-service pharmacy that will include informational materials about healthy living, drugs, disease and diet. The company said the store would offer the same health and beauty products found in drug stores, but at prices 15% to 20% lower than in chain drug stores.

An on-site gas station will allow customers to save money with Gas Extra Rewards, which lets them get 10 cents off per gallon of gas for every $100 in grocery and out-of-pocket pharmacy purchases at any Giant using a BonusCard during promotional periods.

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