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Take Care Health Systems’ new chief medical officer marks further evolution of U.S. health care

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The news that Walgreens has appointed Alan London as chief medical officer of Take Care Health Systems Consumer Solutions Group is important especially since he is a family physician who has more than three decades of experience in patient care delivery, healthcare strategy and business development, and spent 12 years at Cleveland Clinic.

(THE NEWS: Walgreens appoints chief medical officer of Take Care Health Systems Consumer Solutions Group. For the full story, click here)

There were plenty of squeaky wheels with little blogs that questioned the integrity of Dr. Cristine Cassel for her JAMA article, which shed a highly positive light on the convenient care industry, and outlined significant ways in which retail-based clinics are playing an important role in today’s U.S. healthcare system by improving access, cost and coordination of care for patients. But the fact that JAMA published the article, and the fact that guys like London and Andy Sussman, who serves as president of MinuteClinic and SVP and associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, are serving in such roles are more evidence that physicians who matter are behind the retail clinic model.

Prior to joining CVS Caremark in 2009, Sussman served as EVP and chief operating officer of UMass Memorial Medical Center, the major teaching affiliate of UMass Medical School, and also served as an associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

You know what happens with squeaky wheels? Eventually you get tired of giving them grease and you just get a new wheel. That’s what the American health care needs. Like the wheel, its design needs to evolve — because everyone knows the round wheel worked better than the square wheel.

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FDA approves Perjeta

BY Allison Cerra

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Genentech has received regulatory approval for a drug designed to treat breast cancer.

Perjeta (pertuzumab) is approved in combination with Herceptin (trastuzumab) and docetaxel chemotherapy for the treatment of people with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer who have not received prior anti-HER2 therapy or chemotherapy for metastatic disease. With the approval, Genentech has agreed to post-marketing commitments related to the manufacturing process for Perjeta. These include FDA review of data from the next several productions of the medicine.

"[Today’s] approval of Perjeta is an important advance in the treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer," said Hal Barron, chief medical officer and head of global product development at Genentech. "Perjeta attacks HER2-positive tumors differently than Herceptin. Based on the way the two medicines work together, the combination plus chemotherapy can prolong the time before this aggressive cancer worsens compared to Herceptin and chemotherapy alone. We are very pleased to see our efforts in studying the science of HER2 translate into another personalized medicine."


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Weis set to reopen former Genuardi’s stores this weekend

BY Allison Cerra

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets has closed on its purchase of three former Genuardi’s stores and is slated to reopen them this weekend.

In advance of these store openings on June 16, located in Conshohocken, Doylestown and East Norristown, Pa., Weis said it will reopen each store’s pharmacy Monday at 12 noon to minimize prescription service disruption.

Weis added that it has hired 218 former Genuardi employees and has added 150 positions, which will allow each store to double the number of cashiers it employs and increase front-end service.

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