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Walgreens to shutter certain USA Drug-affiliated stores

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens announced plans to close more than half of the stores it is acquiring in its deal with USA Drug.

The company — which said in July it would purchase the mid-South drug store chain for approximately $438 million — confirmed it would close approximately 76 stores across the region. USA Drug operates 144 stores under the USA Drug, Super D Drug, May’s Drug, Med-X and Drug Warehouse banners.

"Although we have not completed the purchase of the USA Drug chain, we are taking steps in anticipation of the completion of the transaction, which is expected to occur in mid-September," Walgreens spokesman Jim Graham told DSN. "After careful planning and market analysis, on Monday we began to notify employees of our intent to close [the stores]. Our decisions about store closures are based on a number of considerations, including size of the market and proximity to other Walgreens and USA Drug stores and affiliates. We expect to close the stores by November."

In its initial acquisition announcement, Walgreens said that the acquired drug stores would continue to operate under their current brand names after the transaction closes, and decisions would be made over time regarding the best, most effective way to harmonize Walgreens and the acquired brands.

"When a store is closed, all its prescription drug customers will be notified of the location of a nearby Walgreens or USA Drug-affiliated store where their prescription information will be transferred," Graham noted. "No other action is needed by pharmacy customers to have their existing prescriptions filled at any Walgreens store."

USA Drug ranked No. 31 on the DSN PoweRx 50, with projected pharmacy sales of approximately $409 million in 2011. For a complete USA Drug profile, see DSN PoweRx Players 2012.

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Lilly, BI launch diabetes-education program

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS — Drug makers Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly have created a new online educational program for people with Type 2 diabetes.

The companies, which have had a deal to develop drugs for diabetes since January 2011 and co-market the drugs Tradjenta (linagliptin) and Jentadueto (linagliptin and metformin), announced Thursday the creation of My Well Planner, a lifestyle-improvement program for adults with the disease.

The program is a free resource for adults with Type 2 diabetes modeled on a behavioral-change approach that offers customized educational content and is designed to help patients and their healthcare providers set small lifestyle goals, featuring topics like general information about the disease, better eating habits, physical activity and others, the companies said.


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Here comes the sun to Arizona Walmart distribution center

BY DSN STAFF

BUCKEYE, Ariz. — Walmart boosted its sustainable reputation Thursday with the announcement of a new solar initiative at its distribution center near Phoenix.

The retailer will outfit the DC with more than 14,000 solar panels — making it Walmart’s largest solar installation to date. The panels will cover the 1,000-sq.-ft. building and parking canopies. The panels will produce up to 30% of the center’s energy needs and generate up to 5.3 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year, according to Walmart.

Walmart’s solar project in Buckeye, Ariz., is the company’s second distribution center solar project in Arizona, coming just over a year after 2 MW project in Casa Grande, Ariz., that used a combination of ground mounted and solar shaded parking canopy structures.

"Environmental sustainability is an essential ingredient to us for doing business responsibly and successfully," said David Ozment, senior director of Walmart Energy. "As the world’s largest retailer, our actions have the potential to save our customers money and help substantially reduce our carbon footprint for generations to come."

Since launching its solar pilot program in May 2007, Walmart strengthened its commitment to renewable energy across the country. Currently, Walmart has more than 180 renewable energy projects in operation and development around the world. These renewable energy projects include solar rooftops, micro-wind on parking lots, biodiesel generators and fuel cells. In fact, the company recently unveiled the addition of a 1MW wind turbine at its Red Bluff distribution center in California, as well as the 100th solar installation in the state. The combined focus on renewable energy in Arizona and across the country contributes to the company’s aspirational goal to be supplied 100% by renewable energy.

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