Bartell donates flu vaccines to help community outreach programs through local schools of pharmacy
SEATTLE — In an effort to help people in local underserved communities and students in need stay well this flu season, Bartell Drugs will give 4,000 flu vaccines to the University of Washington and Washington State University for use in pharmacy programs at both universities. Each school will receive 2,000 doses of the current flu vaccines to support local student pharmacy outreach programs.
"We’re proud to give the donations to both schools in support of their missions of teaching and community service," said Bartell Drugs chairman and CEO George Bartell. "We’ve been an advocate of the programs at both schools for many years. This is a way for us to show our support for their ongoing outreach efforts to the communities they serve.”
UW’s School of Pharmacy will use the donated vaccines to benefit several local tribal communities and safety-net nonprofit organizations, including Aloha House, the Salvation Army and area drug treatment centers.
WSU’s College of Pharmacy will use its vaccines to boost immunization rates among college students in Pullman and Spokane — a group that is known to be traditionally under-vaccinated and particularly vulnerable to influenza infection due to high-density living conditions, which help foster the spread of the illness.
Cephalon appoints new CEO
FRAZER, Pa. — Cephalon on Thursday appointed Kevin Buchi as CEO and a member of the company’s board.
The board will address the role of company chairman in the future, Cephalon stated in a press release. William Egan will continue to serve as Cephalon’s independent presiding director.
"Kevin is an experienced pharmaceutical executive who has been involved in every aspect of running our business," Egan stated. "Over the course of many years, Kevin worked closely with Frank Baldino Jr. to create the company that we know today, and he has the passion, leadership skills, organizational abilities and unwavering commitment to patients that are critical to ensuring Cephalon’s continued growth and success."
Buchi, who has been with Cephalon for almost 20 years, had assumed day-to-day chief executive responsibilities for the company in August 2010. He previously served as a member of the Cephalon executive management team in the roles of COO and CFO. Additionally, for the last seven years, he has led the business development function with responsibility for mergers, acquisitions and in-licensing of products.
"Cephalon is an extraordinary company with one of the most robust pipelines in the industry focused on patients suffering from rare disorders and diseases for which there are no cures,” Buchi said. “We have expanded our global footprint dramatically in the last few years. I am confident that our diverse product portfolio, rich pipeline and global presence position us well for long-term growth and success."
Walgreens drives accelerating renewal program to big profit gains in record-setting first quarter
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Everyone likes to be proven right. And Walgreens’ leaders are justifiably proud of the company’s record performance in first quarter fiscal 2011.
(THE NEWS: Walgreens drives accelerating renewal program. For the full story, click here)
Two years after launching a sweeping, top-to-bottom realignment of its management, its retail mission, its cost structure and its merchandising and marketing strategy, Walgreens rode its retooled business to a profit bonanza. Net earnings in the quarter ended Nov. 30 jumped nearly 19%, to $580 million, over the same three-month period last year. On a per-share basis, net income jumped 26.5% to 62 cents per diluted share. Sales also hit a record, rising 6% to $17.3 billion.
All this in the face of a still-weak economy, the continuing integration of the 257-store Duane Reade drug store operation that Walgreens bought last spring and a huge ongoing store remodeling effort as the chain converts its thousands of stores nationwide to its Customer Centric Retailing format.
Dow Jones called the earnings gain “much bigger than expected,” and cited a consensus estimate by analysts polled by Thompson Reuters forecasting that the company would earn 54 cents a share. Walgreens beat that estimate handily.
Also a factor in the solid profit performance: the company’s aggressive stock-repurchase plan, which it said added four cents a share to the bottom line in the first quarter. In that three-month period alone, Walgreens bought back another $510 million of its own stock.
As has been the case for many years, the engine pulling the train is the pharmacy, which now accounts for nearly two-thirds (65.8%) of sales. There’s always a risk in putting so many eggs in one basket, but Walgreens’ heavy reliance on its prescription business has, more often than not, paid big dividends through good times and bad. And being the nation’s biggest pharmacy provider — the company said it now has 19.7% of the nation’s total retail prescription business — is not a bad place to be in an aging America.
The first-quarter performance offers solid evidence that the company’s decision in 2008 to shift more of its retail focus and its resources to health, wellness and disease prevention — and away from store expansion — has been fundamentally sound.
In a time of 70 million aging baby boomers moving into their peak prescription-using years, and a time of a healthcare system in dire need of new solutions as it grapples with an unsustainable cost model, Walgreens wisely has repositioned itself as a solution. And with the nation’s largest private flu shot program, along with 8,133 “points of care” — including 7,529 drugstore pharmacies, 122 on-site hospital pharmacies, home care centers, specialty pharmacies and hundreds of in-store clinics and worksite health centers — the pharmacy and healthcare giant offers some pretty convincing numbers as it markets itself to employers and government health plans as a lower-cost, patient-accessible alternative to steadily rising healthcare costs.