PHARMACY

Signs continue to point to growth for retail health clinics

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Two speakers at the American Telemedicine Association’s annual meeting last week had positive words for the convenient care industry and essentially told attendees what Drug Store News has been saying for some time: Retail clinics are poised for significant growth.

(THE NEWS: Retail clinics positioned for dramatic growth. For the full story, click here.)

As the article stated, Health Resources chairman and CEO Ron Hammerle, and Jay Sanders, president and CEO of at the Global Telemedicine Group and Health Resources VP, told attendees that smartphones, medical centers of excellence, automated clinical labs and digital medical devices will transform retail-affiliated clinics into global ports of entry to prime health care at dramatically lower costs to patients, physicians, employers, governments and insurers.

Hammerle also said that such clinic retailers as Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Safeway, Kroger, Target and Rite Aid are beginning to see "major growth opportunities.”

As DSN has stated, this year is looking to be a significant year for the convenient care industry as retail-based health clinics gear up for expansion and move even closer to version 2.0.

With an anticipated growth of consumer-driven care and more of the burden for managing costs falling on patients’ shoulders, expect retail clinic visits to continue to rise, clinic operators to open more locations and services to increasing extend beyond treating acute ailments and further integrate with medication therapy management.

In fact, CVS Caremark just reported on May 2 that its MinuteClinic business experienced nearly a 22% boost in revenues during the first quarter.

During the quarterly conference call with analysts, CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo told analysts: “It is important to note that, while MinuteClinic is a small business relative to the overall enterprise, it does receive a fair amount of airtime with [pharmacy benefit management] clients. It is an important piece of our integrated strategy, and our clients are very interested in how MinuteClinic can help them reduce costs while keeping their members healthy. We believe our plans to double our clinic count over the next several years should position us well to play an important role in solving the primary care physician shortage, especially with millions of newly insured individuals expected to the healthcare marketplace.”

Meanwhile, Kalorama Information, an independent healthcare market research firm, has stated that, through 2015, retail clinic sales are expected to continue expanding, rising by 19.3% per year to reach $1.7 billion.

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PHARMACY

Manchester College EVP named pharmacy school dean

BY Allison Cerra

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. — Manchester College has tapped Dave McFadden to serve as the dean of the university’s pharmacy school.

McFadden, who has served as interim dean for the past five months, has more than 20 years of higher education leadership experience and has led enrollment, strategic planning and marketing initiatives, as well as the name change to University scheduled for July 1 at Manchester College, the school said.

"Dave was at the forefront in our thinking and planning for the Pharmacy School and has immersed himself in learning about pharmacy for the past five years," Manchester College president Jo Young Switzer in announcing the appointment, effective May 4. "He worked with the core team that developed the successful $35 million grant proposal for the School of Pharmacy to Lilly Endowment."

Pharmacy classes begin Aug. 13 on the new Manchester campus in north Fort Wayne. Working from a national pool of 470 applicants, Manchester is within a week of filling its first class of 70 students for the four-year program.


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PHARMACY

Kmart sells prescription pet medications

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart is introducing prescription pet medications at its stores, the mass merchandise retail chain said Friday.

The company said the new program was designed to make it easier for customers to get branded and generic pet drugs and more convenient to shop for the whole family. More than 60% of American households own a pet, and families spent more than $50 billion on their pets in 2011, according to the American Pet Products Association.

"This new pet program is just another example of how we strive to make the shopping experience seamless for our customers," Kmart VP and general manager for pharmacy administration Ghassan Hourani said. "In addition to our wide variety of pet products — including the Kmart-exclusive Champion Breed food, toys and treats — we are thrilled that we can now offer our customers and their furry family members a one-stop shopping experience."

The company also said it would mark National Pet Month by giving free cat and dog treats made by Purina by buying a pet medication or $20 worth of Purina products.


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