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McKesson highlights Health Mart annual meeting during first-quarter conference call

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — With the Supreme Court maintaining a status quo of sorts with regard to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last month, retail pharmacy operators are going to need to continually drive efficiencies into their businesses, McKesson chairman and CEO John Hammergren noted during the wholesaler’s first-quarter conference call.

McKesson recently held its annual meeting for its independent pharmacy customers where more than just supply chain solutions were on display. "At the conference we highlighted solutions that helped independent pharmacists enhance patient loyalty and outcomes and broaden the range of services they provide," Hammergren said. "Solutions like McKesson’s sponsored clinical services network, which enables independent pharmacists to play a greater role in providing patient care and services, in addition to growing their revenues." Sponsored clinical services is a network of 13,000 community pharmacies delivering a suite of patient-centered programs, including education, support and behavioral coaching, he added. "The network streamlines the relationship between pharmacies, manufacturers and payer-sponsored programs focused on increasing adherence and improving patient care. Participating pharmacies benefit from the opportunity to increase customer loyalty, earn service fees and build their relationships with patients as a partner in their health care."

McKesson also is making available new social, Web and mobile technologies to help independents connect with their patients. "A significant number of attendees were Heath Mart pharmacy owners and pharmacists. With nearly 3,000 stores across the country, Health Mart has become the franchise model of choice for independent pharmacy owners looking to complement their local identity with a national brand," he said. "Health Mart continues to invest in new solutions to help these stores grow their business, including private label over-the-counter healthcare products and new consumer-facing web and mobile platforms."

McKesson on Thursday reported revenues of $30.8 billion, up 3%, for its first quarter ended June 30.

Distribution Solutions revenues were up 3% for the first quarter. U.S. pharmaceutical distribution revenues were up 4% for the first quarter, primarily reflecting market growth and new business with existing customers.

Medical-Surgical distribution and services revenues were up 9% for the first quarter.

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WaterField Designs launches Google Nexus 7 Android tablet cases

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO — WaterField Designs has introduced new cases for the Google Nexus 7 Android tablet.

Custom-fitted Google Nexus 7 cases include the ultimate sleeve case, the smart case, the slip case, the suede jacket and the travel express. Each Nexus 7 Case offers unique functionality, protection and style.

"With the Google Nexus 7 flying off shelves and the 16GB version delayed, many eager early adopters are in search of a way to protect the tablet that meets their individual needs," WaterField Designs owner Gary Waterfield said. "We offer our customers choices so that they can find a unique case that feels just right for their use and style."

The cases carry a suggested retail price range from $19 to $59, depending on style. For more information, click here.

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Stater Bros. to open new Hesperia store

BY Allison Cerra

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. has opened its newest and most modern supermarket in Hesperia, Calif.

The new Hesperia supermarket will replace a smaller Stater Bros. supermarket located nearby, which will close on July 31. At 56,586 sq. ft., the new state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly store is more than twice the size of the current supermarket by featuring wider aisles and nearly double the amount of parking spaces. Stater Bros. also operates two other supermarkets in Hesperia.

In celebration of the grand opening, which will be held Aug. 1, Stater Bros. Charities will be making donations to the Hesperia Police Department for the Police Activities League, the Sultana High School Band, who also will perform at the ribbon cutting ceremony, the Hesperia Library and to Feed My Sheep community food pantry.

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