PHARMACY

Barrett named Cardinal chairman, CEO

BY Jim Frederick

DUBLIN, Ohio Drug wholesaler and health services giant Cardinal Health revealed Wednesday that George Barrett has been promoted to chairman and CEO, effective Aug. 31. Barrett, 54, will replace R. Kerry Clark, who previously announced that he would retire upon completion of the company’s planned spinoff of its CareFusion division.

Since joining Cardinal early last year, Barrett has been vice chairman and CEO of the company’s Healthcare Supply Chain Services segment. In addition to his promotion to the top management spot, Barrett will also join Cardinal’s board of directors.

Barrett’s selection as the next-in-line for the top spot was little surprise to those who have watched Cardinal’s progress. Under a sweeping consolidation program unveiled in mid-2008, he was put in charge of the company’s flagship Healthcare Supply Chain Services division, by far the largest of the two core components to emerge from Cardinal’s restructuring. That segment, including the company’s network of pharmaceutical and medical product distribution centers and nuclear pharmacies, generates roughly $80 billion in annual revenues.

The company later announced its plan to spin off the smaller clinical and medical products segment, which was grouped under vice chairman David Schlotterbeck. The CareFusion operation provides products for home infusion, medication dispensing, respiratory care and infection prevention.

Richard Notebaert, a Cardinal Health director since 1999, praised Clark, the outgoing chairman and CEO, “for his clear vision and leadership during his tenure.

“His legacy begins with the repositioning of Cardinal Health to better serve our hospital and pharmacy customers and will culminate in the planned spinoff of CareFusion – enabling two companies to better serve their customers, employees and shareholders,” Notebaert added.

Besides Barrett, another new board member will be Glenn Britt, the 60-year-old chairman, president and CEO of Time Warner Cable, whose appointment is effective Oct. 1.

Meanwhile, Cardinal has named John Finn the board’s presiding director. Finn will also chair the board’s audit committee.

In another move, Cardinal’s board also authorized a $500 million share repurchase program, primarily to offset the dilutive effects of granting stock to employees in line with its long-term incentive program. The share repurchase authorization expires Aug. 31, 2012.

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Par reports increase in revenue, income and EPS for Q2

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. Generic drug maker Par Pharmaceutical Cos. got a jump in revenues and net income during second quarter 2009, the company announced in an earnings report Tuesday.

Par reported total revenues of $404 million, net income of $23.8 million and diluted earnings per share of 71 cents. This compared with reported revenues of $112.9 million, a net loss of $21.2 million and diluted earnings per share of 64 cents during second quarter 2008.

The company also saw increases in product sales. Sales of the heart disease drug metoprolol succinate – an authorized generic version of AstraZeneca’s Toprol XL – were $306 million during the quarter, a 173% increase over first quarter 2009. The injected migraine headache drug sumatriptan, a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s Imitrex, had sales of $21.8 million, compared to $16 million during the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the antihistamine meclizine, a generic version of Pfizer’s Antivert, was $8.9 million, compared with $9.8 million during first quarter, the decrease resulting primarily from trade buying patterns.

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FlavorX Flavoring System helps the medicine go down

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON Mary Poppins may have observed a spoonful of sugar’s ability to help wash medicine down, but a mouthful of bitter syrup continues to be an unpleasant experience for any child.

FlavorX, a company based in the Baltimore and Washington area, has designed an automation dispensing aid designed to improve the palatability of medicines for children.

The FlavorX Flavoring System uses a bitterness suppressor and sweetness enhancer to allow pharmacists to mask the taste of many prescription and OTC medications in a wide variety of flavors, speeding up the flavoring process while giving the pharmacist complete control of the process.

According to some research, 86% of parents found that flavoring by the pharmacist influenced children’s success in taking the asthma drug prednisone, while 40% of children completed their therapies without flavoring.

“These figures clearly illustrate that flavoring medications promotes better patient compliance and increases positive clinical outcomes,” FlavorX president and CEO Stuart Amos said in a statement. “We wanted to help pharmacists fill a flavored prescription faster and meet the increasing demand as well as help patients get well.”

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