PHARMACY

BioScrip trims costs with two-part initiative

BY Alaric DeArment

ELMSFORD, N.Y. — Specialty pharmacy provider BioScrip hopes to save $15 million through a cost-reduction and streamlining plan, the company said Monday.

Much of the two-part initiative will be implemented this year and completed by next year. Savings will mostly come from overhead, reduction of spending and restructuring of employee-benefit programs.

“Our leadership team has been undertaking an in-depth review of our organization to improve margins and increase operating cash flow,” president and CEO Richard Smith said. “While we are in the midst of this process and the early stages of implementing our plan, we believe there are additional areas for operational improvement and cost savings.”

In other news, the company appointed Mary Jane Graves as interim CFO, effective immediately, following the resignation of David Froesel as CFO, EVP and treasurer. Graves is the former CFO of Critical Homecare Solutions, which BioScrip acquired last year.

BioScrip said Froesel’s departure was for personal reasons and not due to any dispute with the company.

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PHARMACY

Walgreens introduces Way to Well Commitment program

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday announced the implementation of its Walgreens Way to Well Commitment program, a new Walgreens initiative geared toward improving the everyday health of Americans nationwide.

To kick off the Way to Well Commitment, more than 7,600 Walgreens pharmacies and Take Care Clinics now are offering free blood pressure testing daily throughout February, an offering announced on “The Dr. Oz Show.”

"Way to Well is our commitment to disease prevention and to improving everyday health through education and early detection," stated Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. "As a health and daily-living retailer trusted by millions of consumers every day, our ongoing effort is to help people get well, stay well and live well."

Through the Way to Well Commitment, Walgreens will bring $100 million in preventive healthcare resources, health-testing services and charitable programs to its stores over the next four years.

Walgreens realized the value in these types of programs and services during free diabetes health-testing offerings held at select stores and Take Care Clinics over three time periods from November 2009 through November 2010. Nearly 300,000 blood glucose and A1C tests were administered during these events, with more than 25% of patients testing "at risk" and consulting with Walgreens healthcare providers about their results.

In partnership with some of the nation’s top health organizations — including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, American Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation — Walgreens and Take Care Clinics will offer a range of free health-testing services, including blood glucose, A1C and blood pressure, as well as other wellness programs over the next four years. Currently scheduled programs include:

  • February — Heart Health Month: Free blood pressure testing at all Walgreens pharmacies and Take Care Clinics daily throughout February;

  • May — Women’s Health Month: Educational campaign in partnership with the American Cancer Society’s Choose You Movement; and

  • October/November — Health programs and testing to be offered in conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) and National Diabetes Awareness Month (November).

In addition, the purchase of every Walgreens brand health-and-wellness product will support bringing Way to Well Commitment services to local communities through the Walgreens Way to Well Fund.

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Giant Eagle’s HBW format takes flight under Heiser’s watchful eye

BY DSN STAFF

PITTSBURGH — Giant Eagle may be a regional player, but the company’s willingness to experiment with its pharmacy formats — including its latest HBW/pharmacy store-within-a-store concept — proves that it can shake things up.


In fall 2009, Giant Eagle put into motion its health, beauty, wellness pilot tests — a new wellness format that helps bridge the prescription files of the pharmacy with the natural health-and-wellness opportunities across the front end.


Creating a “whole health” destination for Giant Eagle customers is a key focus for Randy Heiser, Giant Eagle VP pharmacy. For example, store pharmacists proactively consult with patients whenever they fill a prescription for a new-to-them medicine as part of the initiative. Looking forward, this concept will afford cross-referral opportunities across Giant Eagle’s team of healthcare professionals — the pharmacist, dietitians and on-site nutritionists and 
licensed aestheticians.

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