PHARMACY

Vermont AG investigating generic drug price spikes

BY Michael Johnsen

COLCHESTER, Vt. — Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell is investigating what's behind generic drug price increases, according to a story published by Vermont Public Radio earlier this month. 
 
According to the report, Attorney General Sorrell is heading up a coalition of attorneys general from around the country to investigate this situation. "Each of us trying to get state-specific information on some very significant price spikes,” Sorrell shared with VPR. “And sharing that information and seeing where it takes us." 
 
Sorrell has also been in touch with the Federal Trade Commission about the price increases, VPR reported.
 

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Rite Aid promotes Jocelyn Zazyczny Konrad to group VP pharmacy initiatives and clinical services

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid on Tuesday announced that Jocelyn Zazyczny Konrad, currently VP healthcare initiatives, has been promoted to group VP pharmacy initiatives and clinical services. Konrad succeeds Karen Staniforth, who was recently promoted to the role of COO at Health Dialog, a subsidiary of Rite Aid.
 
Konrad, a licensed pharmacist with more than 20 years’ experience in retail pharmacy, will be responsible for the development, implementation and management of new pharmacy business and clinical programs, including Rite Aid Health Alliance, immunizations, medication therapy management and medication adherence. Additionally, Konrad will oversee the company’s Wellness Ambassador strategy. Unique to Rite Aid’s Wellness Stores, Wellness Ambassadors work closely with Rite Aid pharmacists and are specially trained to provide customers with access to information on over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements, and Rite Aid programs and services. She will report to Dan Miller, Rite Aid’s SVP pharmacy.
 
“Already a valued member of our pharmacy leadership team, in her new role, Jocelyn will undoubtedly contribute to the continued development of our 11,000 pharmacists, as well as key pharmacy initiatives and our clinical services programs,” Miller said. “We look forward to benefitting from her knowledge and retail pharmacy expertise as she leads our clinical pharmacy team and works toward our goal of providing impactful patient care programs that create an outstanding experience for our pharmacy customers, each and every day.”
 
Konrad began her career in pharmacy in 1992, serving as a pharmacist for Thrift Drug Pharmacy. In 1997, she joined Eckerd Pharmacy as a district manager. Konrad joined Rite Aid in 2007, when Rite Aid acquired the Eckerd and the Brooks pharmacy chains from Jean Coutu. In 2011, she was promoted to regional pharmacy VP, overseeing 350 pharmacists at approximately 150 Rite Aid pharmacies in Pennsylvania, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and had responsibility for implementing company programs, growing pharmacy business, managing costs, talent management and enhancing both the customer and Rite Aid associate experience. She was promoted to her current role in 2012.
 
Konrad holds a bachelor’s of science degree from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science.

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Walgreens December same-store sales up 9.2%

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday announced that December sales increased 10.2% to $7.9 billion. Sales in comparable stores increased by 9.2% in December. 
 
December pharmacy sales increased by 15.7%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 14.2% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 12.1%. This year’s December had one additional Wednesday and one fewer Sunday compared with December 2013. Calendar day shifts positively impacted pharmacy sales in comparable stores by 2.1 percentage points. Calendar day-shift adjusted comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 1.5 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, and were positively impacted by 0.9 percentage point due to higher incidence of flu compared with the same month a year ago. Pharmacy sales accounted for 61.3% of total sales for the month.
 
Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 7.8% in December and increased 5.7% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. Calendar shifts positively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 2.1 percentage points. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores also were positively impacted by 1.2 percentage points due to higher incidence of flu compared with the same month a year ago.
            
Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season to date were nearly 7.6 million versus more than 6.7 million last year.
 
Total front-end sales increased 3.5% compared with the same month in fiscal 2014, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2.6%. Customer traffic in comparable stores increased 0.3% while basket size increased 2.3%.
 
Calendar 2014 sales were $78.4 billion, an increase of 6.4%. Fiscal 2015 year-to-date sales for the first four months were $27.5 billion, up 7.7%.
 
Walgreens opened four stores during December and closed four.
 

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