DIR fees tops list of legislative concerns among independents
DIR fees remains the top legislative or regulatory thorn in the side of community pharmacists, according to the fourth annual survey of National Community Pharmacists Association members.
“NCPA’s annual survey of independent community pharmacies helps focus our advocacy efforts, which take on more urgency with a new Congress and president taking office,” Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO, said. “This year’s top priorities are tied to the questionable business practices of lightly-regulated PBM corporations. Complaints about DIR fees have skyrocketed, so it is not surprising that reining in PBM clawbacks would top the list. The second and third highest ranked priorities are long-standing, PBM-generated challenges—the lack of transparency with generic prescription drug reimbursements and Medicare Part D’s ‘preferred pharmacy’ plans that prevent independent community pharmacy patients from having access to discounted copays.”
NCPA also is equally focused on the changed political landscape and potentially dramatic changes in health care, Hoey said. “As a result, we will make sure the voice of independent community pharmacies is heard. Our main objective is always to maintain patient access to prescription drug services at community pharmacies and continue pushing for pharmacists to be fully utilized as clinically-trained medication experts who improve health outcomes while reducing costs.”
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CVS’ Foulkes named CEO at Hudson’s Bay Company
Helena Foulkes, the executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy, has been named CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, the parent company of Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Hudson’s Bay and other retail banners.
Foulkes’ appointment is effective Feb. 19. She will be responsible for HBC’s global strategy and operations for all banners, overseeing more than 66,000 associates worldwide across a portfolio of more than 480 stores, related e-commerce platforms, supply chain, logistics and technology. Upon joining HBC, she will also be appointed the company’s board.
Foulkes joined CVS in 1992. She has served as executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy since January 2014. In the role, she led the strategic vision as well as the operations for all aspects of the company’s retail business, including its nearly 9,700 retail stores, 20 distribution centers and e-commerce sites, as well as merchandising, supply chain, marketing and real estate. She helped lead CVS’s move to discontinue sales of tobacco products. Most recently, she led the company’s decision to eliminate airbrushing of models from the imagery used to promote its in-house beauty brands.
Her vision and leadership will be missed in healthcare at the very time it's most needed.
Kroger sells c-store unit to U.K. retailer
Kroger on Monday inked a deal with EG Group, a privately-held petrol forecourt c-store retailer based in Blackburn, England, on the sale of Kroger’s c-store business unit for $2.2 billion. The companies expect to close the transaction during the first quarter of Kroger’s fiscal year.
As part of the agreement, EG Group will establish their North American headquarters in Kroger’s hometown market Cincinnati and continue to operate stores under their established banner names, which include Turkey Hill, Tom Thumb and Quik Stop.
“Our convenience store business has been a part of our company for many years. We want to thank our management team and associates for their enduring commitment to our customers, and for the contributions they have made to build our supermarket fuel business,” said Mike Schlotman, Kroger executive vice president and CFO. “As part of our regular review of assets, it has become clear that our strong convenience store business unit will better meet its full potential outside of our business.”
“This is an exciting time for EG Group, the entry into the U.S. market presents a fantastic opportunity to deliver a successful retail offer to consumers across the various states,” Mohsin Issa, EG Group founder and co-CEO, said. “We have had much success across Europe and we firmly believe the Kroger assets present a fantastic foundation to overlay our retail experience and know-how in the US. We are committed to investing in the Kroger network, partnering with leading retail brands and working with the exceptional management team and associates transferring across to deliver a comprehensive retail offer.”
Kroger’s convenience store business operates in 18 states. It includes 66 franchise operations. The stores employ 11,000 associates and operate under the following banner names: Turkey Hill, Loaf ‘N Jug, Kwik Shop, Tom Thumb and Quik Stop. Kroger’s convenience store business generated revenue of $4 billion, including selling 1.2 billion gallons of fuel, in 2016.
Kroger announced in October 2017 its intention to explore strategic alternatives for its convenience store business, including a potential sale, in conjunction with Restock Kroger.
Kroger plans to use net proceeds from the sale to repurchase shares and to lower its net total debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio.
Kroger’s supermarket fuel centers and its Turkey Hill Dairy are not included in the sale.
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