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Report: Mainstream pharmacy won’t dispense medical marijuana

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Sales of medical marijuana will remain within a burgeoning specialty channel without competition from traditional retail players like CVS Caremark, Rite Aid or Walgreens, Bloomberg Businessweek reported Tuesday

Though more than 21 states have legalized marijuana for medical use, according to the report, pharmacy operators would violate the registrations with the Drug Enforcement Agency that enables them to dispense controlled substances. 

At the federal level, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, making it illegal to prescribe or dispense, the report noted. 

 

 

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McKesson’s fiscal 2014 revenues reach $137.6 billion, up 12.7%

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson Monday afternoon reported that revenues for the fourth quarter ended March 31 were $38.1 billion, up 25%. “Distribution solutions had another outstanding year with strong performance across the segment," stated John Hammergren, McKesson chairman and CEO. "We continue to deliver tremendous value for our customers through the combination of our industry-leading service, our depth of experience in the healthcare supply chain and our global sourcing expertise.”

For the fiscal year, McKesson had revenues of $137.6 billion, representing a boost of 12.7%. Full-year GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations was $5.83 compared to $5.62 a year ago.

“For the full year, we had strong growth in adjusted earnings, up 31% from the prior year, and a record year for operating cash flow generated by the business," Hammergren said. "These results were driven primarily by outstanding performance in the distribution solutions segment and disciplined working capital management across the company. Additionally, during the fourth-quarter, we secured the acquisition of Celesio which marks an important step for McKesson as we expand to serve our customers and manufacturing partners with global scale.”

Distribution solutions revenues were up 26% for the fourth quarter and up 13% for the full year compared to the prior year. North America pharmaceutical distribution and services revenues, which include results from U.S. Pharmaceutical, McKesson Canada and McKesson Specialty Health, were up 9% for the fourth quarter, primarily reflecting market growth and growth from existing customers. For the full year, North America pharmaceutical distribution and services revenues were up 7% compared to the prior year.

International pharmaceutical distribution and services revenues, which represent the results of Celesio for the two months ended March 31, 2014, were $4.8 billion for the fourth quarter and full year.

Medical-surgical distribution and services revenues were up 28% for the fourth quarter and 57% for the full year driven by the acquisition of PSS World Medical and market growth.

Technology solutions products and services revenues were down 1% for the fourth quarter and up 5% for the full year. “Fourth-quarter Technology solutions revenues were impacted by an anticipated year-over-year decline in our Horizon hospital software business. This revenue decline was partially offset by the solid growth we experienced in our connectivity and payer-focused businesses. Our technology businesses remain focused on innovating for important customer priorities including solutions for value-based reimbursement, business intelligence and analytics, and healthcare data interoperability,” Hammergren said.

 

 

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MasterCard: Sales reflect recovery in April

BY Marianne Wilson

PURCHASE, N.Y. — After several months of sluggish retail sales, consumer shopping in the United States rebounded in April, according to the latest MasterCard SpendingPulse report, which aggregates national retail sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with estimates for all other payment forms, including cash and check.

Total U.S. retail sales grew 4.4% year-over-year, a significant comeback from the 2.2% growth in March, and the strongest growth since December of last year. The recovery extended broadly across every retail industry sector tracked by SpendingPulse.

“Improving weather, lower gas prices and a calendar shift for Easter from March of last year to April this year, all had impacts on retail sales growth, according to MasterCard’s analysis,” said Sarah Quinlan, senior VP market insights, MasterCard Advisors. "The bulk of April’s gains seems to have come from a particularly strong shopping run in the week leading up to Easter, with momentum cooling quickly in the last week of the month.”

The long-term outlook may still be cautious, but retailers across the board had a big win in April. Most notably, the apparel category, which has seen sales decline for several consecutive months, had the highest growth in April since January 2013. Specialty and family apparel were particularly hot items. Other big category winners were lodging and grocery, which both grew nearly 10% in April.

"April’s gains do not make up for last quarter’s sluggishness, when year-to-year growth rates slipped for three consecutive months," said Quinlan. "But we’ve been saying that warmer weather would bring improved sales, and with April’s spring temperatures, every industry sector seems to have shrugged off the weakness of earlier this year and made a strong comeback."

 

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