PHARMACY

Walgreens elevates three key executives

BY Jim Frederick

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens Friday announced the promotion of three key executives in pharmacy, corporate innovation and legal services, effective immediately.

Walgreens veteran Kermit Crawford was elevated from SVP to EVP pharmacy services. Also promoted to the EVP level is general counsel Dana Green. Colin Watts, formerly a divisional VP in charge of innovation and new-product development, has been named a corporate VP.

Crawford, 50, began his Walgreens career in 1983 as a pharmacy intern while earning his pharmacy degree at Texas Southern University in Houston. After rising through store and field operations management, he was named VP-store operations in 2000. That was followed by a stint as head of Walgreens’ pharmacy benefit management business in the Walgreens Health Services division, and by a promotion to top pharmacy executive in 2007.

“In the last few years, Kermit has led our pharmacy business on an upward path while managing a complex regulatory and competitive environment,” said Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. “He drives results and places a special emphasis on developing the people he works with.”

Green, 60, joined Walgreens in 1974 as an attorney in employee relations, rising to divisional VP of that department in 1998. By 2004, she was SVP human resources. Green was named Walgreens’ general counsel in 2005.

“As we’ve entered new businesses over the last few years, the extent and complexity of the company?s legal responsibilities have increased dramatically,” said Wasson. “Throughout this transition, Dana has helped expand our company while maintaining our strong ethics. Her professionalism has garnered much respect across our company.”

Watts, 44, is a relative newcomer to the 7,149-store drug chain and health services giant. He was VP and general manager at the Campbell Soup Co. and president of McNeil Consumer Healthcare Worldwide, a division of Johnson & Johnson, before joining Walgreens in 2008.

At Walgreens, Watts is working to integrate the company’s sprawling capabilities and exploit new marketing opportunities. “Colin has developed an impressive team from all our businesses,” Wasson said, “and is collaborating with many groups to develop a solid pipeline of new products and services to bring to market, including our Walgreens Optimal Wellness program we announced this week. Under Colin?s leadership, our focus on innovation and on accelerating the process for developing new products and services will help grow our company.”

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PHARMACY

Publix joins H1N1 efforts during National Influenza Vaccination Week

BY Michael Johnsen

LAKELAND, Fla. To coincide with National Influenza Vaccination Week, Publix Pharmacies announced Wednesday an inoculation offer of the H1N1 vaccine for $10. The special pricing for the vaccine will remain in effect until the vaccine supply is depleted. Customers do not need an appointment for the vaccination, but are encouraged to call their local Publix Pharmacy to ensure an immunizing pharmacist is on duty and vaccine supply still is available.

In addition, every customer who receives an H1N1 vaccine from a Publix Pharmacy will also receive a coupon good for a $10 Publix gift card with a new or transferred prescription.

“While influenza is unpredictable, we know that if more people are vaccinated, the disease is less likely to spread in the upcoming months,” stated Maria Brous, Publix media and community relations director. “Our Publix Pharmacists are committed to the total health and wellness of our customers and their families.”

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FDA finds Spiriva does not raise risk of heart attack, stroke

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. Data from a recent review of a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease do not support allegations that it raises the risk of stroke, heart attack or death, the Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday.

The FDA reviewed a 5,992-patient study of the Spiriva HandiHaler (tiotropium), made by Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim as a treatment for COPD, a disease that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

In March 2008, an FDA Early Communication described data submitted by one of the companies suggesting a small increased risk of stroke in patients who had taken the inhaler’s active ingredient. An update in October of that year highlighted two additional publications suggesting an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and death in patients using the drug.

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