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In wake of Bloom departure, CVS recasts key positions

BY Rob Eder

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Less than a month following the departure of former EVP merchandising and supply chain Mike Bloom to lead Family Dollar, it’s official — Judy Strauss Sansone will lead CVS’ merchandising team, the company announced Monday, naming the 30-year CVS veteran SVP merchandising.

Well-liked and respected by the vendor community, Sansone widely is regarded as a straight-shooting, savvy merchant with experience at various ends of the merchandising team, including stops as VP merchandising and pricing, VP healthcare merchandising, and VP retail innovation and store design. Sansone also was a core part of the integration team that helped bring acquired chains Eckerd, Osco, Sav-on and Longs Drug into the CVS fold.

In addition, the company also announced that Robert Price, chief marketing officer, would take on an expanded role in the areas of retail innovation and store design. “With more than 20 years of retail, strategy and marketing experience, Price will more tightly integrate the store and digital environments to create a more personalized experience for shoppers and patients. At the center of this effort are the proprietary insights drawn from CVS/pharmacy’s ExtraCare loyalty program, the largest of its kind,” CVS noted in a statement.

Lastly, Scott Baker, EVP internal operations, real estate and supply chain, also will take on the added responsibilities of inventory management and logistics. In his new role, Baker will provide senior-level support for inventory management and product flow in partnership with the merchandising and pharmacy teams, the company noted. Baker also will continue to have oversight of real estate, construction and facilities, and front store operations.

“These appointments tap the deep bench strength and diverse talents of our CVS/pharmacy team,” said Mark Cosby, president of CVS/pharmacy. “Through the focus of these leaders and their teams, we’re in the unique position to improve the lives of millions of Americans by providing easy, innovative solutions and personalized pharmacy health care at their neighborhood drug store, CVS/pharmacy.”

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Pumping some iron

BY Michael Johnsen

Meda Consu­mer Healthcare has put together an entire line of iron supplements in an effort to create a resurgence in the category. While sales of iron supplements have been relatively flat of late — it’s the second-largest mineral supplement as measured by sales — the consumer need for iron is on the rise.

Young women with heavy menstruation, expectant women and the aging population are all traditional iron markets. But yet-to-be targeted is a rapidly growing segment — active baby boomers and other recreational athletes. Meda is setting the stage for a good/better/best proposition through a family of iron supplements, including Bifera, Geritol Tonic and Feosol.

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Cystex cranberry challenge

BY Michael Johnsen

It’s the largest herbal supplement category that’s growing at almost a double-digit pace, in part because of its association with improving urinary tract health.

DSE Healthcare Solutions recently reached out to volunteers with recurrent urinary tract infections through social media sites for a 12-week Cystex challenge. The outreach incorporated the Cystex Facebook page, Cystex Ladies Room Blog and outreach to bloggers, who spread the word through their network of consumers and other bloggers.

“All of the patients reported improvement after initiating use of Cystex Liquid Cranberry Complex, and none reported an adverse reaction,” said Elizabeth Kavaler, a New York City urologist and Cystex spokeswoman. “The personal accounts of the impact that this supplement had, from reduced stress to improvements in quality of life, are great substantiation.”

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