Walgreens has all the pieces in place to really advance retail pharmacy and retailing into the future
By November, Walgreens will have completed fine-tuning its management structure for maximum effectiveness in realizing its three-pronged strategy. That strategy includes improving the front-end experience through retail theater. It includes establishing the pharmacist as the go-to source for healthcare, not just for the patient but for the payer, too. And it includes creating an unrivaled global economy of scale.
Now with all of the pieces in place, Walgreens has shown it has both a knack for creating the optimal retail health experience and identifying the corporate talent who possess a proven track record of transforming good ideas into better realities.
To recap, Walgreens tapped strategic partner Alliance Boots for Alex Gourlay, who as of Oct. 1 was named Walgreens EVP, president of customer experience and daily living. Together with Mark Wagner, president of operations and community management and Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness, you have a trifecta of top-notch talent who have been successfully redefining the retail pharmacy experience today.
Tomorrow can only be better.
Bryan Pugh had been named corporate VP of U.S. merchandising program development and execution. Reporting to Wagner, Pugh is the bridge between Walgreens’ merchandising and operations teams. He will oversee rollout of new merchandising initiatives to the field, including operating standards, cross-functional deployment and flagship rollout.
Shannon Curtin, Robert Tompkins and Moe Alkemade are the three general merchandising managers contributing to Walgreens’ front-end experience across beauty, health and wellness and seasonal, general merchandise and consumables, respecively. Alkemade was one of the architects behind Walgreens’ private label strategies.
Linda Severin, formerly of Kroger, where she led the redevelopment of its private brand portfolio, in October joined Walgreens as divisional VP of private brands and is now responsible for the product development, brand management and program execution of Walgreens private brands.
Throw in Walgreens’ focus on omnichannel retailing and you have a culture of executives who aren’t afraid to try new initiatives. "Everything we do for the customer, we are thinking about how to bring a digital experience along the way," commented Greg Wasson at the recent Shop.org Annual Summit 2013. "I’m the chief road-block remover and doubt remover. When you’re a brick-and-mortar organization, that’s my No. 1 responsibility."
There should be no doubt, however, that this team will realize many successes in the years to come.
Pharmacy-accreditation group to develop program for specialty
WASHINGTON — The Center for Pharmacy Practice Accreditation is developing an accreditation program for specialty pharmacy practices, the group said.
The CPPA said its accreditation would meet the public’s need for predictable and measurable pharmacy-based patient care services, noting that voluntary accreditation programs recognize pharmacy practices committed to quality, patient safety and improved care. Specialty pharmacy is focused on treatments for such difficult-to-treat, chronic conditions as cancers, autoimmune disorders, genetic diseases and chronic viral infections.
According to IMS Health, estimated costs for specialty drugs will be more than $260 billion by the end of this year, and according to a recent report by the Drug Channels Institute, eight of the top 10 best-selling drugs, by revenue, will be specialty drugs by 2016, with specialty accounting for 31% of pharmacy industry revenues in the United States.
U.S. to command more than 90% of opioid-induced constipation market by 2017
LONDON — The global market for drugs to treat constipation resulting from use of opioid painkillers will increase more than tenfold by 2017, according to new research.
The research report, by London-based GlobalData, found that the opioid-induced constipation market would grow from 2012’s $144.42 million to $1.98 billion by 2017. The market, according to the group, remains "untapped," with only two drugs approved for OIC in the European Union and United States. The growth comes from the upcoming introduction of several new drugs, including AstraZeneca’s naloxegol, Cubist’s bevenopran and Salix’s Relistor (methylnatrexone).
"OIC remains a hugely untapped market with little competition among players in the pharmaceutical arena, especially as the first pharmacological treatment only became licensed in 2008," GlobalData analyst Claire Gibson said.
Most of the sales have come from the European Union, which contributed about $75.4 million in 2012, of which $41.5 million came from Germany. But by 2017, the United States will command more than 90% of the market, with sales of $1.79 billion.