PHARMACY

American Diabetes Association CEO to serve as National Health Council board chairman

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — Larry Hausner, the CEO of the American Diabetes Association, will serve as the 2012 chairman of the National Health Council’s board of directors, NHC said.

Hauser, who has served as ADA CEO since 2007, brings more than 20 years of extensive management experience in nonprofits, coupled with a strong understanding of mission-driven organizations, to his role, the organization said. In the coming year, NHC — which brings together segments of the health community to provide a united voice for the more than 133 million people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers — will focus on the following issues:

  • Working with various federal agencies to define essential health benefits, required under the healthcare-reform law, in a way to balance effective coverage with appropriate cost;

  • Encouraging the development of new treatments and diagnostic tools for people with chronic conditions through passage of HR 3497, the MODDERN Cures Act;

  • Encouraging sustained funding for federal health programs and health research; and

  • Supporting comparative effectiveness research and the work of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

NHC consists of 100 national health-related organizations and businesses, including approximately 50 of the nation’s leading patient advocacy groups, which control its governance. Other members include professional and membership associations, nonprofit organizations with an interest in health, and major pharmaceutical, medical device, health insurance and biotechnology companies.


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PHARMACY

Amneal launches felbamate oral suspension

BY Allison Cerra

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Amneal Pharmaceuticals has launched its generic version of a drug designed to treat seizures in adults and children with epilepsy.

The generic drug maker said it received approval from the Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 16 for felbamate oral suspension in the 600-mg/5-mL strength. The Amneal generic is available in two sizes, 8 fl. oz./240 mL and 16 fl. oz./473 mL. It is a generic version of Meda Pharmaceuticals’ antiepileptic Felbatol.

“This approval further expands our liquids portfolio and complements our tablet form of felbamate, which launched in September,” Amneal president Chirag Patel said. “Additionally, by bringing another first-to-market generic to the public, we are reinforcing our commitment to provide pharmacy customers and the consumer with high-quality, affordable pharmaceuticals.”


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PHARMACY

Bi-Lo, Winn-Dixie combo would create a $780 million-plus pharmacy operation

BY Michael Johnsen

GREENVILLE, S.C. — The proposed acquisition of Winn-Dixie by fellow Southeast grocer Bi-Lo would create a regional pharmacy operator with almost 500 pharmacy operations and pharmacy revenue of around $780 million, according to Drug Store News projections.

That would make the Bi-Lo/Winn-Dixie combination No. 24 on Drug Store News’ PoweRx50 — a list of the top 50 pharmacy retailers operating in the U.S. — falling in just behind Albertsons LLC (which posted $787 million in pharmacy revenue in 2010) and well ahead of Fred’s ($628 million).

And there will be no store closures associated with the mergers, according to both Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie — the only potential for overlapping markets lay in Georgia, where Winn-Dixie operates 21 stores.

Both chains have come out of bankruptcy over the past decade — Winn-Dixie in 2006 and Bi-Lo more recently in 2010 — during which many of their underperforming operations already had been shuttered.

Today, both Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie have put into play extensive remodel plans to help foster growth and interest in their respective banners. "We successfully grand-opened two more transformational remodeled stores that are generating promising financial results and building brand equity in their respective markets," Winn-Dixie chairman, president and CEO Peter Lynch told analysts in November, bringing the number of remodeled stores in operation to five.

Winn-Dixie’s transformational remodels generate between $400 and $500 in sales per sq. ft. vs. around $300 in sales per sq. ft. in a traditional Winn-Dixie. Already, Winn-Dixie had planned to roll out some of the learnings gleaned from the transformational remodels across its store base under the direction of Larry Appel, SVP retail operations. Appel could play a key role in applying any Winn-Dixie learnings to Bi-Lo’s remodel program.

Before the proposed merger, Winn-Dixie had planned to institute its transformational format across 60% of its store base, or 290 stores.

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