Albertsons names industry veteran SVP of pharmacy, health and wellness
BOISE, Idaho — AB Acquisition LLC — parent company of Albertson's, New Albertson's and Safeway (collectively Albertsons) — has named industry veteran Mark Panzer as SVP of pharmacy, health and wellness, overseeing the company's 1,760 pharmacies in 34 states across the country.
Panzer succeeds Darren Singer, who has left the company to pursue other opportunities.
Panzer's retail career began at Osco Drug stores more than 40 years ago. He moved into roles in regional sales and marketing and regional operations for the drug store chain, eventually serving as district manager as well as director and subsequently VP of sales and marketing with American Drug Stores. Those roles led to his being named SVP of sales and marketing for Albertsons following its merger with American Stores in 1999. In 2001, Panzer left the company to join Rite Aid as EVP of store operations, and in 2005 was named senior EVP and chief marketing officer for that company, leaving in 2008 to become president and CEO of Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy.
"Mark understands and appreciates the entrepreneurial spirit that embodies how we go to market across our divisions, and we're thrilled that he's chosen to come back to our team," stated Shane Sampson, chief marketing and merchandising officer for Albertsons. "Early on in his career, Mark was part of the team that helped define what great customer service meant for pharmacy operations in a grocery company. Moreover, he has proven himself to be an extraordinary leader throughout his career and is well respected throughout the industry. His extensive retail, sales, and marketing experience will be invaluable to our Pharmacy team as we move forward with our goal to be the Favorite Local Supermarket™ for our customers and employees."
Panzer's new role is effective immediately, and he will relocate to the Boise office in the coming weeks.
Washington state signs ‘transformative legislation’ to recognize pharmacists as providers
WASHINGTON — Earlier this week, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed into law landmark legislation requiring health insurance carriers to include pharmacists as network providers. The legislation, ESSB 5557, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, is the first of its kind in the country to mandate coverage of pharmacists’ patient care services.
Previously, most health insurance carriers in the state of Washington only recognized pharmacists for dispensing medication. Similar barriers still exist at the federal level, where promoting patient access to and coverage of pharmacists’ patient care services continues to be a leading legislative issue for the pharmacy profession.
Thomas E. Menighan, EVP and CEO of The American Pharmacists Association applauded the move and stated, “We applaud the state legislators in Washington for recognizing that the future of health care is about access, quality and team-based care. This transformative legislation will improve patients’ access to direct patient care from pharmacists, while also allowing for greater collaboration among health care providers, both of which will result in improved patient outcomes.”
In late January, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act was introduced in both the U.S. House (H.R. 592) and Senate (S. 314), a critical step in better utilizing pharmacists to positively impact patients and health care. Today, there are 119 bipartisan co-sponsors on the House bill and 14 co-sponsors on the Senate bill.
“States cannot act alone. APhA urges members of Congress to take steps now to improve patient access to health care through pharmacists,” stated Menighan. “As highly accessible professionals with more medication education and training than any other health care provider, pharmacists are in a position to improve quality of care and patient outcomes, especially for those patients living in medically underserved areas.”