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Rite Aid’s Sammons to receive local award

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Mary Sammons, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Rite Aid will receive the Business Achievement Award from the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, which serves the Harrisburg, Pa. area, on Nov. 7, according to a report in the Harrisburg-area Patriot News published Wednesday.

Sammons was chosen for her role in helping move East Pennsboro Twp.-based Rite Aid from the brink of bankruptcy to completion of one of the largest acquisitions in retail drug store history.

According to the Patriot News, Rite Aid’s acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd drugstore chains is projected to bring 350 jobs to the midstate over the next three years.

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Walgreen’s 4Q Drops

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO One of the nation­­’s biggest drug store chain operators announced that its fourth-quarter profit dropped nearly 4 percent, according to Mo­nday’s reports.

Walgreens explained that because of lower reimbursements for popular generic drugs and increased store and staff costs, its net income tumbled.

According to the company’s earnings report, total expenses increased by more than 11 percent to $12.8 billion, which chairman Jeffrey Rein said was out of line with reimbursements the company received. Prescription sales accounted for nearly two-thirds of the company’s business.

“Managing both expenses and lower reimbursements on some generic drugs is my top priority,” he said in a company release. “We’re going to fix this, and at the same time continue our aggressive growth plan.”

While company’s revenues rose more than 10 percent to $13.4 billion from $12.2 billion, its net income slipped to $396.5 million, compared to $412.3 million earnings at the same time last year. 

For the year, the company said that its earnings increased by to $2.04 billion ($2.03 per share), compared with $1.75 billion ($1.72 per share).

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Wyeth names Poussot next CEO

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK Wyeth has named a replacement for its retiring chief executive officer Robert Essner. Chief operating officer Bernard Poussot will take the reigns effective Jan. 1, according to Reuters.

Poussot will face a number of challenges including generic competition of Wyeth’s blockbuster drugs Protonix and Effexor. The key will be how the company develops its new drugs and how quickly it can get them on the market.

The company also announced that its board approved an increase in its previously authorized share repurchase program to up to $5 billion, which includes about $1.2 billion in stock buybacks already completed this year.

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