John Fegan, 43-year industry vet, retires from Southeastern Grocers
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — John Fegan, Southeastern Grocers’s VP pharmacy who began his retail pharmacy career in 1973 at Osco Drug will be retiring, Southeastern Grocers confirmed Monday evening.
“John has been with Winn-Dixie for nine years and has led the pharmacy business with enthusiasm," Southeastern Grocers corporate communications manager Joe Caldwell told Drug Store News. "Southeastern Grocers would like to thank John for his years of support and commitment to SEG, and wish him all the best for the future.”
Some of the most marked progress for pharmacies under his leadership in Fegan’s 43-year career has taken place since 2008, when he became Winn-Dixie’s VP pharmacy three years before its 2011 acquisition by Bi-Lo Holdings, which became Southeastern Grocers in October 2015 following years of growth. His work since joining Winn-Dixie has been characterized by his efforts to expand pharmacy services and medication accessibility over a period of time that saw the American healthcare system — and pharmacy's role within it — change dramatically.
Fegan joined Winn-Dixie from Ahold USA, where he oversaw more than 400 pharmacies within the company’s Stop & Shop and Giant divisions. Once there, he got to work on Winn-Dixie’s health and wellness initiatives, working in 2010 to build customers’s trust while helping them navigate a changing healthcare environment.
“Our stated mission is to earn trust and loyalty every day,” Fegan told Drug Store News in 2010. “Trust comes from having the best products and the best services available at the right price. From the pharmacy perspective, we [also] would want to provide the most inclusive information available in the marketplace to assure the overall health and well-being of the patients that we serve.”
In the years before Winn-Dixie’s acquisition, Fegan oversaw the expansion of pharmacy services beyond filling prescriptions. Among the efforts made during this time was the implementation of training programs for pharmacists to provide immunizations and medication therapy management, to the point where in 2011, all but 30 of the company’s more than 800 pharmacists were certified to vaccinate patients and 400 were MTM-qualified.
At the same time, Fegan oversaw the expansion of its prescription program, which in 2013 became linked to Bi-Lo’s BonusCard and expanded discounts to more than 450 generics, offered free blood pressure and diabetes medication and included varied discounts on certain brand-name drugs for an enrollment fee of $5. The company also offered screenings for such conditions as colorectal cancer through its "Test for Life Campaign"
“Not everyone has insurance or health benefits that adequately cover prescriptions,” Fegan said at the time “This expanded program offers significantly deeper services to our customers, provides a wider array of discounted medications and is significantly easier for our customers to use now that it runs directly through our BonusCard."
In 2014 — the same year the company closed its acquisition of Harveys, Sweetbay and Reid’s Banners from Delhaize Group, and acquired several Piggly Wiggly Stores — Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie’s pharmacies introduced their medicatisynchronizationion program, Refill Sync. By April 2015, Fegan was overseeing 527 pharmacies across Bi-Lo’s 800 supermarkets and Refill Sync had 40,000 enrollees.
“Our pharmacists did a great job of talking to the patients we serve,” Fegan told Drug Store News in 2015. “The goal is to improve the overall health of the patients that we serve by having them be compliant and persistent on the medications they’re supposed to be taking.”
Fegan participated in the Tech Roundtable at DSN’s 2014 Industry Issues Summit, where he spoke about the characteristic that differentiates one pharmacy from another — namely, a focus on service that he worked to emphasize over his time in the industry and in the face of a shifting industry landscape that places emphasis on pharmacy’s impact on outcomes.
“I’ve said this before, … the services we offer are probably more important — or at least as important— as the products we offer,” Fegan said. “Everybody has the same product. How do you interact with the patient? What services do you provide?”
FDA approves Propeller platform for use with GSK’s Ellipta
MADISON, Wis. — The Food and Drug Administration has cleared Propeller Health’s Propeller platform — a leading digital solution for respiratory medicine — to be used with GSK’s Ellipta, its dry powder inhaler.
“While it is still in the early stages of development, the emerging field of digital healthcare holds great promise for respiratory medicine,” GSK’s head of respiratory R&D, Dave Allen, said. “The approval of the Propeller platform for use with the Ellipta inhaler will help us understand how patients interact with the Ellipta inhaler accurately and in real-time. By exploring the benefits of sensor technology in this way, we hope to gain valuable insights into usage patterns with the ultimate goal of driving improvements in patient care while reducing the complexity and cost of clinical trials."
The Propeller platform works to help patients better understand asthma and COPD and help improve the symptoms and outcomes of chronic respiratory diseases. Using its proprietary sensor technology, software and services, Peropeller’s digitally guided therapy platform combines information from multiple sources, among them connected medications, and uses machine intelligence to help patients manage their condition. The platform has been used in more than 45 commercial programs across the United States, including major health systems, payers and employers.
“Inclusion of GSK's Ellipta inhaler in Propeller's digitally-guided therapy platform is an important step in our goal of modernizing the management of respiratory disease. We look forward to working closely with GSK to deploy sensors for the Ellipta inhaler in the U.S. and abroad, in the near term,” Propeller Health CEO and co-founder David Van Sickle said.
Owen Mumford debuts package redesign for Unifine Pentips, Unifine Pentips Plus lines
Atlanta, Ga. — Owen Mumford is giving the packaging for its Unifine Pentips and Unifine Pentips Plus product lines a refresh, the company announced Monday. The new cartons will begin shipping this month, with the expectation that they will be fully phased in by January 2017.
Owen Mumford said that the new packaging includes a clean, modern design aesthetic that includes bold pops of color implemented to highlight each products unique device specifications. The packaging is also designed to offer flexible merchandising options to maximize shelf space, allowing the cartons to be stacked facing forward or with the top lid facing outward.
“Better serving the needs of pharmacists is a priority with our redesign,” Owen Mumford marketing director Casey Pflieger said. “We know that time is a critical factor in pharmacies, and anything we can do to improve speed and efficiency is appreciated. By enlarging our pen needle specifications, pharmacy staff can identify the right product at a glance, making pen needle fulfillment faster and easier. We’ve also addressed shelving constraints by offering stackable merchandising options to optimize shelf space.”
The company said that it’s also working to make an impression on patients with the new packaging, which features enhanced product benefit call-outs, including a pen needle compatibility guide specifying injection pens the pen needles have been tested against. Design was also used to convey product usage.
“Many people think of pen needles as a commodity product, but when it comes to Unifine Pentips Plus, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” Pflieger said. “Unifine Pentips Plus is a pen needle, plus so much more. Yet, when people looked at our prior packaging they saw a blue device that didn’t resemble any other pen needle on the market. They didn’t think it was a pen needle. They simply didn’t know what it was.”
Owen Mumford’s Unifine Pentips Plus packaging now prominently depicts a pen needle in use, approaching the device’s removal chamber. By showcasing the product in use, the company said it hopes to better convey the device’s functionality and uniqueness.
“The new look of Unifine echoes the core values of the brand, reflecting the intersection between functionality, performance and flexibility,” Pflieger said. “For years we’ve joked that ‘it’s what inside the box that counts.’ Now the outside finally matches what’s inside.”
Unifine Pentips and Unifine Pentips Plus are available to patients through any U.S. pharmacy and are covered under most insurance plans. These devices are available in a wide range of sizes (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm and 12mm), and universally fit most injection therapy pens.
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