Healthaxis denies Ebix’ acquisition offer
IRVING, Texas Healthaxis said Thursday that it had responded to an unsolicited acquisition offer by Ebix.
Healthaxis’ board of directors carefully evaluated Ebix’s proposal with financial and legal advisers, concluding that Ebix’s terms are “substantially inferior” to BPO Management Services’ terms and declining the offer.
Healthaxis provides outsourcing and administration services for healthcare payers.
Standley replaces Easley as Rite Aid COO in executive shakeup
CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid Corp. on Thursday announced a major shakeup of its operational executives—bringing back John Standley to replace Robert Easley as chief operating officer and naming Frank Vitrano to the combined role of chief financial officer and chief administrative officer, replacing outgoing Kevin Twomey, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Pierre Legault, chief administrative officer. Easley, Twomey and Legault were all reported as leaving Rite Aid to pursue other interests
“I would like to thank Rob, Kevin and Pierre for their dedicated service and contributions to Rite Aid and wish them well,” stated Mary Sammons, chairman and chief executive officer, Rite Aid.
Standley had left Rite Aid in 2005 to pursue a turnaround opportunity at Pathmark as chief executive officer. Vitrano, also from Pathmark, served as that company’s president, chief financial officer and treasurer. Both executives left Pathmark following the grocerOs acquisition by A&P
Standley and Vitrano will report directly to Sammons. The appointments are effective immediately.
“This is the right time for these changes as Rite Aid focuses on delivering strong value for shareholders, suppliers, customers and associates in a challenging business environment,O Sammons said. “With the integration of Brooks/Eckerd behind us and same-store sales in the acquired stores continuing to trend upward, the key task before us is to drive profitable growth.”
At Pathmark, Standley, 45, engineered and led the successful turnaround and sale of the company to A&P. He has intimate knowledge of Rite Aid’s operations gained during six years at the company between 1999 and 2005, serving most recently as senior executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief administration officer. During that period, Standley oversaw the implementation of new financial controls and was integrally involved in the development of the company’s current information systems, real estate strategy and compliance programs. He also has served for the past several months in an advisory capacity to the company.
“John is a proven leader with a broad-based financial background, backed by hands-on operational experience in a 23-year career in the retail grocery and pharmacy industry. He spearheaded a remarkable success story at Pathmark; and while at Rite Aid earlier this decade, he was a key member of the team that helped turn around our operating results. I am confident that he is ready to hit the ground running,” Sammons said.
Vitrano, 53, served in a variety of positions during a 35-year career at Pathmark. Among his many achievements, he was instrumental in driving the company’s rebound and sale to A&P during 2005 to 2007, reporting to Standley. His new role at Rite Aid combines the functions of CFO and CAO, which will help the company further improve operational efficiency.
“Frank’s track record of success across a range of operating and financial disciplines – from implementing cost savings initiatives to engineering debt and credit facilities – will serve Rite Aid well as we move forward. He forged a strong partnership with John at Pathmark, which will enable them to begin working quickly with me to deliver results for the company,” Sammons said.
Rite Aid adds RX Savings Card discount program chain-wide
CAMP HILL, Pa. Beginning Sept. 29, Rite Aid will makes its RX Savings Card available across the chain, enabling consumers to save on more than 10,000 prescription drugs and more than 3,200 Rite Aid brand products.
“The Rite Aid RX Savings Card has been so successful in Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and California that we have expanded the program nationwide,” stated Bill Wolfe, Rite Aid group vice president, pharmacy. “Residents in those states really embraced the card and in only a few months have saved over $5 million on their prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines and Rite Aid brand items.”
Benefits of the free card include:
• Access to more than 400 generic medications at $8.99 for a 30-day supply and $15.99 for a 90-day supply for each prescription;
• a 20 percent discount on all other generic medications and brand drug prescriptions;
• a 30-day supply of select generic oral contraceptives for $19.99; and
• a 10 percent savings on more than 3,200 Rite Aid brand products, which include more than 1,500 over-the-counter medications.
The Rite Aid RX Savings Card will especially benefit those who have no or limited prescription insurance. Others who will find particular benefit from the card are those whose prescription plan does not cover certain drugs or who have reached their benefit limits, the company stated.
“Many Americans are without health insurance, even though they may be steadily employed. Combine that with record-high gas prices, increasing food prices and the increasing cost of living in general, and there is a serious need for a card like this to help people take care of themselves and their families,” Wolfe said. “That’s why our list of 30 and 90 day generics at $8.99 and $15.99 cuts across most therapeutic categories and includes some of the most widely used generic drugs such as amlodipine/simvastatin to treat cardiovascular conditions, loratadine for allergies, ranitadine for gastrointestinal conditions, and sertraline which is an antidepressant.”