Walgreens builds up pharmacy purchasing team
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Monday rounded out the pharmacy purchasing team led by Jeff Berkowitz, who joined Walgreens in the fall as SVP pharmaceutical development and market access. The team reporting to Berkowitz includes Walgreen veterans Frank DeStefano, Mike Bleser and Mike Allen, as well as newcomers Jeff Foreman and Gary Gleeson.
Following are the responsibilities each will be covering:
Frank DeStefano has been promoted to group VP pharmacy purchasing and supply chain. DeStefano, a 19-year veteran of Walgreens, has led the pharmacy purchasing department since April 2004. DeStefano will be responsible for the purchasing of brand and generic pharmaceutical purchases, as well as pharmaceutical inventory optimization for Walgreens’ retail, mail, specialty, home infusion, on-site and work-site pharmacy units;
Mike Bleser has been promoted to divisional VP pharmacy supply chain and analytics and will be responsible for the strategic management of pharmacy inventory across Walgreens. Bleser first joined Walgreens as manager of reporting and analysis in 1993 and “has been a big contributor in his roles in e-commerce, corporate strategy and most recently, pharmacy purchasing,” Walgreens stated;
Mike Allen has been promoted to divisional VP generic pharmacy purchasing and strategy, where he will be responsible for all generic drug purchasing for Walgreens. He previously was divisional merchandise manager for generics. Allen joined Walgreens in 1998 as a pharmacist after graduating from the Drake University School of Pharmacy that same year;
Jeff Foreman joined Walgreens as divisional VP brand pharmaceutical wholesaler and vaccine purchasing. Foreman comes to Walgreens from Cardinal Health, where he was VP strategic purchasing, marketing and business development. At Cardinal Health, he was responsible for half of the company’s pharmaceutical purchasing and for negotiating fee-for-service agreements with branded pharmaceutical manufacturers. Foreman also was responsible for clinical marketing programs and led the marketing and business development group. Prior to Cardinal, he spent 12 years with Walmart and was a pharmacy regional manager for Walmart’s across California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii. Foreman also held various positions at GlaxoSmithKline, Copper Country Apothecaries and Arbor Drugs and earned his B.S. in pharmacy from Ferris State University; and
Gerry Gleeson joined Walgreens as divisional VP of pharmaceutical development. Gleeson’s primary focus will be optimizing Walgreens’ relationships with pharmaceutical manufacturers. Gleeson comes to Walgreens by way of Merck (formerly Schering-Plough), where he was an executive leader in the global market access business unit. He was responsible for leading the payer marketing strategy for all core U.S. product franchises and managing the global diversified products business unit. Prior to his time at Merck, Gleeson was a senior consultant in the life sciences practice with KPMG Peat Marwick.
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Study: Bristol’s apixaban effective among atrial fibrillation patients
NEW YORK — An investigational drug made by Bristol-Myers Squibb works better than aspirin in reducing the risk of complications in certain patients with heart rhythm problems, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Bristol said results of the phase-3 study comparing apixaban with aspirin showed that in patients with atrial fibrillation who were not suited to take the drug warfarin, apixaban was more effective than aspirin in reducing stroke and systemic embolism.
The investigational drug also was more effective than aspirin in reducing the composite of stroke, systemic embolism, heart attack and vascular death in atrial fibrillation patients.
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Avandia’s labeling information revised
PHILADELPHIA — GlaxoSmithKline has changed prescribing information on the labeling for one of its Type 2 diabetes drugs to reflect new restrictions on the drug’s use, the drug maker said.
GSK said it revised the labeling for Avandia (rosiglitazone) to take into account the risks of heart attacks and heart failure in patients taking the drug.
The FDA moved to restrict access to Avandia last year and required GSK to create a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy for the drug.
This label change is long overdue. Many patients lives could have been saved if this warning was placed when GSK knew of the problems related to MI's, CHF and Strokes. It is now GSK's responsibility to pay damages to those who have suffered from this medication.