WSJ: Layoffs on the horizon at Allergan
IRVINE, Calif. — In an effort to show investors that its able to deliver strong earnings growth, drug maker Allergan will be laying off workers and discontinuing some of its drug research, according to the Wall Street Journal. The layoffs will affect 13% of the company's workforce.
The cuts are reminiscent of actions that Valeant CEO Michael Pearson proposed in the event that Valeant and Allergan were to merge. Pearson said back in April that nearly 20% of the new company's 28,000 employees would be layed off if the companies merged.
According to the report, Allergan CEO David Pyott said he had more than 50 meetings with investors that convinced him that the cuts were needed. The company said its restructuring would save $475 million next year and would improve earnings above analysts'expectations in 2015 and 2016.
Cardinal Health RBC opening session encourages pharmacy owners to lead change
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Change. That is the word that attendees of this week’s Cardinal Health Retail Business Conference will hear over and over again, and it was the core theme of Thursday morning’s opening session.
Nearly 8,000 independent pharmacists headed to Washington, D.C., for the annual meeting held July 23 to 26 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
Kicking off the session was Steve Lawrence, SVP of Independent Sales for Cardinal Health, who took to the stage to encourage pharmacists to “lead change” amid today’s evolving healthcare system.
“Our leading theme this year, ‘leading change,’ is all about your vital role in moving healthcare forward. Independent pharmacists have successfully dealt with change over and over again. … You all make adjustments, and you think outside of the box every single day. You find paths around obstacles and new way to do things all the time. That’s what being independent means,” Lawrence told attendees.
To exemplify leading change within independent pharmacy, Lawrence invited to the stage Tom Menighan, EVP and CEO of the American Pharmacists Association; DJ Larson, VP of sales and marketing at Dekalb, Ill.-based Lehan Drugs; and young GenerationRx champion Lauren Luckie.
Menighan, a former Medicine Shoppe owner and pharmacy advocate, talked about the importance and efforts behind H.R. 4190 to expand recognition of pharmacists as providers and to expand Medicare coverage of pharmacist-delivered healthcare services in medically underserved areas. He also urged pharmacists to join APhA’s “Pharmacists Provide Care” campaign.
Larson spoke about the creation of a women’s health area within his pharmacy, which is a 2,000-sq.-ft. space that offers counseling and women’s health products. Larson also networks with local medical professionals and, through the initiative, serves about 600 new patients a month.
Luckie, 9-year-old daughter of Jim and Carrie Luckie, from Luckie Drug in Okeene, Okla., has promoted GenerationRx at her 4H club and throughout the state, and her efforts have been recognized and applauded by State Representative Mike Sanders. To celebrate her achievement, Lawrence presented Luckie with the GenerationRx Champions award.
“As these examples have shown, independent pharmacists are well-positioned for change. You are leading change in all aspects of what you do,” Lawrence told attendees.
Also taking the stage at the opening session were Mike Kaufmann, CEO of the Pharmaceutical segment at Cardinal Health, who shared memories of previous RBC events and the prior Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award winners, and Jon Giacomin, president of U.S. Pharmaceutical Distribution at Cardinal Health, who shared how he is impressed with the pharmacists and the relationships they have with their patients and how they enhance outcomes.
In addition, Ron Clerico, VP Marketing and Solutions, and Christi Pedra, SVP Marketing and Customer Solutions, briefly took to the stage to discuss new additions and services on the show floor.
Wrapping up Thursday’s session was a lively discussion on such hot button issues as the Affordable Care Act and the next Presidential election with guest speakers, and husband and wife team, Mary Matalin and James “The Ragin’ Cajun” Carville. Matalin is an author, TV and radio host, and political contributor. Carville is a political consultant.
New solutions and services
When visiting the tradeshow flow, which is nearly 180,000 sq. ft., Clerico and Pedra urged attendees to check out some new additions, including:
- Innovation Hub: This area features touchscreen kiosks and iPads where attendees can learn more about, and interact with, wearable health technology, health gaming, apps and technology tools that can improve pharmacy practice.
- Learning Lounge: This is a casual space on the RBC show floor that provides event goers the chance to learn about how they can get more involved with key community initiatives.
Clerico and Pedra also highlighted new Cardinal Health services and solutions available to pharmacists, including:
- A new co-branding opportunity available in the fall. Under this new initiative, owners will be able to co-brand their pharmacy alongside the Medicine Shoppe and Medicap brand names.
- Updated wellness offerings in the areas of heart health and immunizations, which includes a new travel vaccine management program;
- Good4Growth, a new initiative that focuses on healthy behavior in children; and
- “Reach for the Stars,” a suite of solutions to help pharmacists measure and improve their performance on key quality metrics.
Rite Aid appoints Darren Karst as CFO
CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has appointed former Roundy’s executive Darren Karst as EVP and CFO, effective Aug. 20, to succeed Frank Vitrano, who has announced he will retire in Sept. 2015. Karst will report to Rite Aid’s chairman and CEO John Standley.
Karst will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s finance, accounting, treasury, tax, investor relations, legal, risk management, internal assurance and asset protection functions.
“We are pleased to welcome Darren to the Rite Aid team,” said Standley. “He is a proven leader with a broad-based financial background and a track record of success across a range of operating and financial disciplines. I am confident Darren’s deep retail knowledge and experience will serve Rite Aid well as we move forward.”
At Roundy’s, a leading Midwest grocer based in Milwaukee, Wis., Karst served as EVP, CFO and assistant secretary since 2002. Prior to that, Karst was a partner at the Yucaipa Companies, a private equity investment firm. He also held executive financial positions within several Yucaipa portfolio companies, including Chicago-based Dominick’s, where he served as the CFO and a director.
Karst earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He is also a certified public accountant.
Until Sept. next year, Vitrano will retain the chief administrative officer responsibilities for the company’s information technology, real estate and indirect procurement functions. He will also serve as a key resource in the development and execution of new business and growth initiatives.
“I would also like to acknowledge the pivotal role Frank Vitrano has played in helping significantly improve Rite Aid’s business performance and results over the past six years,” added Standley. “We thank Frank for his dedication and hard work and we look forward to continuing to work together on executing our strategy to expand our health care offering and transform Rite Aid into a growing retail health care company.”