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Walgreens, Alliance Boots, AmerisourceBergen deal to benefit Good Neighbor Pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — AmerisourceBergen’s base of 3,452 independently owned Good Neighbor Pharmacies will be another benefactor out of the wholesaler’s blockbuster agreement with Walgreens and Alliance Boots, AmerisourceBergen CEO, president, director and chairman Steven Collis told analysts during a conference call Thursday.

"We’ve … already begun to look at opportunities for enhancing our Good Neighbor Pharmacy programs with the help of Walgreens and Alliance Boots," he said, "whether it is through an improved Pro Generics formulary, proprietary front-of-store products or new share clinical systems that will facilitate third-party contracting, we believe there will be compelling new offerings for our independent customers in the years ahead.

"Our new partners share our goal of strengthening Good Neighbor Pharmacy and enhancing and preserving the role of independent community pharmacy," Collis added. 

But the greatest benefit from the deal will be buying leverage. "We have before us an extraordinary opportunity to leverage global supply chain efficiencies and best practices with the largest pharmacy retailer in the United States and the leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group," Collis said. "I am more convinced than ever that this partnership will unlock tremendous value across the supply chain."

Collis broke the deal into three basic components, beginning with a 10-year distribution agreement with Walgreens that goes into effect Sept. 1. The Walgreens contract will yield $25 billion in incremental revenues for AmerisourceBergen in the fiscal year 2014, Collis said. 

The second component is the access Amerisource gains to generics and other products through the Walgreens-Alliance Boots development joint venture. "Importantly, AmerisourceBergen will, over time, be able to source products through the [joint venture], not just for the Walgreens stores but for our entire customer base," he said. 

Third is the assimilation of best practices across all three companies, or as Collis described it, "the platform leverage." "We have agreed to work collaboratively to share best practices and leverage the expertise of all three partners across all of our various platforms," Collis explained.

"We share a vision for enhancing and preserving the role of community pharmacy throughout the world, and we bring unique capabilities to facilitate that worthwhile goal," Collis added. "I have just returned from the [National Association of Chain Drug Stores] Annual Event in Florida, where I personally met with many manufacturers and chain customers. At several of the meetings, the three companies and our teams had joint meetings. These interactions affirmed that the vision and strategy for our relationship creates truly unparalleled knowledge, capabilities and leadership."

The timing for many of those synergies is still two years out, Collis noted. "This is a fairly complex work that involves many other parties," he said. "The benefits from the Walgreens-Alliance Boots development relationship [will] really start accruing in fiscal year 2015."

AmerisourceBergen posted $20.5 billion for its second quarter ended March 31, a 4.1% increase. The wholesaler also reaffirmed its expectations for fiscal year 2013 adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations in the range of $3.04 to $3.14. 

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BlenderBottle revolutionizes portable nutrition

BY Jason Owen

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — BlenderBottle Company today announced a new portable stacking device designed to carry powders, pills, snacks and more while traveling.

The GoStak is a system of durable interlocking jars. As an innovative alternative to messy baggies and bulky containers, it provides a way to carry protein powders, meal replacement ingredients, vitamins, supplements, flavored drink mixes, energy powders and electrolyte supplements. It can also be used for condiments, baby formula, toddler snacks and more.

The GoStak is made of durable, stain- and odor-resistant Eastman Tritan. A unique Twist n’ Lock system secures the jars together with a quick twist; and a secure seal ensures worry-free portability. Designed to work with the BlenderBottle SportMixer and Classic products, the GoStak fits inside the bottles for compact traveling. The inclusion of a removable carrying handle also makes it a snap to clip to your bag or purse and take anywhere.

“We designed the GoStak to complement and work in tandem with our other BlenderBottle products,” said Steve Sorensen, inventor and CEO of BlenderBottle. “So many people are taking nutritional supplements on the go, but have to resort to messy baggies or bulky containers. Since the GoStak fits right inside the BlenderBottle shaker cups, people can fill their GoStak jars, lock them together, and pop them in their BlenderBottle as they head out the door.”

Like all BlenderBottle products, the GoStak is BPA-free. The GoStak system features four different jar sizes (larger-diameter jars coming later this year), each able to lock interchangeably with others, allowing users to mix and match to fit their needs. The entire system is dishwasher safe.

The BlenderBottle GoStak is available in a variety of colors in the following configurations: 4 Pak Assorted (MSRP $12.99); 2 Pak 150 cc (MSRP $9.99); 3 Pak 100 cc (MSRP $9.99); 3 Pak 60 cc (MSRP $8.99); 4 Pak 40 cc (MSRP $8.99). The GoStak is available for purchase at blenderbottle.com, as well as several national retailers.


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Mallinckrodt collects unused medications in St. Louis

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS — Medical products manufacturer Covidien’s pharmaceutical division is expanding an initiative to collect unused and unwanted medications.

Mallinckrodt said it would expand communities’ access to drug take-back collection boxes and promote safe disposal practices, installing lock boxes in three police stations around St. Louis. The company said it purchased the boxes under a collaboration with the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators and also would provide a grant to help incinerate the medications that are collected.

"We’re proud to work with the St. Louis Police Department and the Missouri Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal on these efforts," Mallinckrodt president Mark Trudeau said. "Mallinckrodt has been a proud member of the St. Louis community since 1867, and we are experts at managing the complex nature of controlled substances."

 

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