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Walgreens promotes Earth Day

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens is helping to promote Earth Day 2012 with the offer of a 20% discount on select beauty, personal care items and other grocery and household needs on Walgreens.com with the code 20NATURAL now through Sunday.

Twitter followers also can find out how to win a variety of eco-friendly products this Friday by searching for #WalgreensEarthDay on Twitter, the pharmacy operator noted.

Walgreens has a long-standing commitment to eco-friendly initiatives, such as reducing energy usage and creating ways to reduce its carbon footprint. Currently, the drug store chain has 134 solar panel installations at its stores, distribution centers and corporate headquarters. In addition, the company utilizes an energy management system that monitors electricity, water, lighting, refrigeration temperatures, heating and cooling, and waste management at more than 3,000 stores to help reduce energy usage and maintenance costs while extending equipment life.

Walgreens also is among the first of retailers hosting electric vehicle charging stations and has plans to offer this service at 800 locations. Drivers can already top off and charge while doing errands or traveling along major commuter routes in Baltimore; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; Orlando, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Tampa/St. Petersburg; Seattle; and Washington.

“Environmental sustainability is part of Walgreens commitment to help our customers live well, stay well and get well, and that’s why it’s important to be a first mover with EV charging stations,” stated Walgreens director of energy and sustainability Menno Enters. “Sustainability is not only smart for our communities and planet but [also] makes good business sense. The feedback we are receiving from customers and team members about all of our sustainability initiatives has been very positive, and we will continue to find ways to lead in this space.”

Walgreens also is participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. As part of the challenge, Walgreens is committed to achieving its goal of reducing its energy usage by 20% across all of its stores and facilities by 2020. In 2010, the company installed a geothermal energy system at one of its stores in Oak Park, Ill. The company’s Mira Mesa, Calif., location received LEED gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

 

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SXC, Catalyst announce merger as PBM market continues to consolidate

BY Michael Johnsen

LISLE, Ill. — SXC Health Solutions and Catalyst Health Solutions on Wednesday announced a merger agreement under which SXC and Catalyst will combine in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $4.4 billion. The announcement comes some three weeks after Express Scripts and Medco consummated their $29.1 billion merger.

The transaction will join SXC’s pharmacy benefit management tools, technology and expertise with Catalyst’s local and collaborative client-centric PBM business model, creating a leading independent provider of PBM solutions, the companies stated. “This is an extremely compelling combination that brings together SXC’s industry-leading tools and technology with Catalyst’s full-service PBM, best-in-class service and growing client base to create a company that is even better positioned to compete in the marketplace,” stated Mark Thierer, chairman and CEO of SXC, who will continue in that role in the combined company.

Shareholders from both companies still need to approve the deal. If they do, SXC shareholders would own about 65% of the combined company, and Catalyst shareholders would own about 35%.

Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will represent $13 billion in revenue. The combined company will cover approximately 25 million members, with annual prescription volume of more than 200 million adjusted PBM scripts.

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Cardinal Health Foundation kicks off annual grant program

BY Allison Cerra

DUBLIN, Ohio — The charitable arm of Cardinal Health is inviting nonprofit organizations to apply for grant funding to support local efforts to prevent the abuse and misuse of prescription medications.

The Cardinal Health Foundation said its grant program is intended to reduce the misuse or abuse of prescription medications by youth, adults and the elderly and will fund nonprofits in the United States and Puerto Rico that aim to increase awareness of the prescription drug abuse issue; increase knowledge of how to reduce access to prescription drugs and proper disposal and increase awareness of the consequences of misusing or abusing prescription medications. The grant allocations range from $5,000 to $15,000.

"This grant funding will empower grassroots initiatives to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse to a variety of audiences, so we can stop this deadly activity before it starts," said Jessica Lineberger, community relations manager for Cardinal Health.

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit Cardinalhealth.com/community. The deadline for applications is May 11.


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