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McKesson announces Hammergen’s retirement, chooses successors

BY David Salazar

McKesson has announced the retirement of its chairman and CEO John Hammergen, effective March 31, 2019. The company’s board has unanimously elected Brian Tyler, who currently is president and COO of the San Francisco-based company, to succeed him as CEO, effective April 1, 2019. Edward Mueller, McKesson’s lead independent director, will become chairman, also effective April 1, 2019.

“It has been an honor to serve as McKesson’s CEO for nearly 20 years,” Hammergren said. “We are making solid progress with our strategic growth initiative and the company is in a strong financial position. This is the right time to turn the leadership reins over to the next generation and no one is better equipped than Brian to lead McKesson into the future. He is a gifted leader with deep industry knowledge and an unwavering commitment to enhancing value for our customers and their patients.”

Since Hammergen became CEO in April 2001, McKesson said that it has quadrupled its revenues to $208 billion, expanded into global markets and reached the No. 6 spot on the Fortune 500. He also has established the company’s ICARE shared principles, which the company said underpin its value and culture globally.

Hammergen’s planned successor, Tyler, has been with McKesson for 21 years, leading nearly every major business unit, as well as its corporate strategy and business development unit. He has served as CEO of McKesson Europe, led the company’s North American pharmaceutical distribution services, overseen McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical, McKesson Medical-Surgical and McKesson Specialty Care Solutions. He joined the company in 1997 as vice president of strategy for the McKesson’s distribution solutions unit.

“Brian is the ideal leader to guide McKesson through the next era,” said Mueller. “Having spent his entire career in healthcare, he has a strong point of view on the future of the industry, both in the U.S. and globally, as well as how McKesson will continue to play an integral role in improving care while driving value for McKesson’s shareholders.”

Mueller, who will become chairman, has been a McKesson director since 2008, serving as lead independent director since July 2013. His career experience has included a stint as chairman and CEO of Qwest Communications, CEO of Williams Sonoma and CEO of Ameritech.

“Ed Mueller will be a terrific chairman of our Board of Directors,” said Hammergren. “During his 10 years of service on our Board, Ed has developed a deep knowledge of McKesson and our industry. He has the respect of our board, McKesson’s leaders and our investors.”

McKesson said its board would work with Hammergen, Tyler and Mueller to ensure a smooth transition. Following his retirement, Hammergen will remain chairman of the Change Healthcare board, and will support McKesson in an advisory capacity, the company said.

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Study: Misuse of acetaminophen combo products in decline

BY DSN STAFF

A recent study published in the journal Clinical Toxicology found a decline in the incidence of therapeutic misuse of OTC combination products with acetaminophen during the 10 years between 2007 and 2016. The new study follows a 2016 Food and Drug Administration study in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.

The study, funded by the Consumer Health Products Association, used data from the National Poison Data System to identify when consumers exceeded the maximum dose of an ingredient while using it for its intended purpose for products containing acetaminophen. Overall, the number of therapeutic misuse involving OTC combination products with acetaminophen dropped from 8,753 in 2007 to 6,278 in 2016 — a decline of 28%.

“When used as labeled and directed, acetaminophen is safe and effective,” said Barbara Kochanowski, senior vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs at CHPA. “This research provides reassuring evidence that incidents of misuse are rare and continue decreasing. But consumer education is key to continuing this downward trend.”

The study’s authors noted that continued consumer education is necessary to highlight the safe use of acetaminophen. The CHPA Educational Foundation helps lead the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition, which launched the “Know Your Dose” campaign, that looks to educate consumers about safe use of the medication to prevent accidental overdoses, in 2011.

“We remain committed to efforts aimed at reducing these incidents,” Kochanowski said. “In addition to our consumer education campaign, the OTC industry, in collaboration with FDA, provides clear packaging, labeling, dosing, directions, appropriate warnings and education to help physicians and consumers who rely on these medicines.”

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Pharmacy Quality Solutions expands to Canadian retail pharmacy

BY Sandra Levy

Pharmacy Quality Solutions, a provider of performance management services for payer and pharmacy organizations, is working with Loblaw Companies, one of Canada’s largest retail pharmacy networks with Shoppers Drug Mart, PharmaPrix, Loblaw Pharmacy and DRUGStore Pharmacy and CENTRESante locations, to integrate the EQuIPP information management platform to facilitate pharmacy quality initiatives.

PQS will provide pharmacy quality measurements and performance data within EQuIPP for the entire organization to help improve patient quality care pursuant to the Green Shield Canada, or GSC, Value-Based Pharmacy Initiative.

“We are excited at the opportunity to work with the Loblaw team,” PQS’ senior vice president Elliott Sogol said in a press statement. “PQS looks forward to supporting the company in its efforts to improve the quality of medication use and deliver high-impact, high-quality pharmacist-centered care.”

“We are pleased with the continued expansion into Canada, and being able to help pharmacies achieve their patient care quality improvement goals,” PQS’ CEO Jeff Newell said in a statement. “We are excited to work with Loblaw and play a role in making a difference in patient lives.”

The first agreement of its kind with a retail pharmacy in Canada, this is PQS’ second international endeavor after announcing its collaboration with provider GSC in June of this year.

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