PHARMACY

Canning exits Health Mart, nabs top marketing spot at Omnicare

BY Rob Eder

SAN FRANCISCO — Drug Store News has learned that Tim Canning, president of McKesson’s Health Mart division, is leaving the company to take the position of SVP and chief marketing officer at Omnicare. The move is effective June 17.

“Tim has played an important role in advancing the success of McKesson’s retail independent pharmacy customers through his leadership of key solutions and programs, such as Health Mart,” noted a company representative.

According to a company statement, an active search for a new president of the Health Mart division currently is under way. “In the meantime, McKesson’s focus on empowering independent pharmacy remains stronger than ever, and the experienced Health Mart leadership team will continue to build on Health Mart’s momentum in the marketplace,” the company stated.

Canning — who was profiled in the Feb. 7, 2011, edition of Drug Store News as one of 10 Visionary Retailers — played a key role in the growth of McKesson’s Health Mart franchise, with full operational responsibility for the group, including the development and implementation of its long-term strategic plan. Under Canning’s watch, Health Mart has grown from about 260 stores to more than 2,800 today. According to the DSN PoweRx50 ranking of the top 50 pharmacy retailers in America, Health Mart ranked No. 8, with total sales of almost $7 billion.

Canning will join Omnicare, a leading provider of pharmaceutical services to elderly patients in long-term care facilities, chronic care and other settings, based in Covington, Ky., officially on June 27. Canning will oversee and lead the marketing function across Omnicare, and also will take full responsibility for the company’s retail pharmacy operations. He will report directly to Omnicare CEO John Figueroa.

In 2010, Omnicare made news when the company swapped its home infusion services business for Walgreens’ long-term care business. Later that year, Omnicare, strategically split its pharmacy services business into two divisions, a long-term care group and a specialty care group, in an effort to make its services more effective and more focused on its customers.

"Tim is a world-class executive who has successfully grown a number of healthcare brands through a passionate approach to meeting the customer’s needs and an exceptional marketing aptitude," Figueroa said. "He will be a very important member of our executive team as we look to rebrand the company and create a unified message in the marketplace to better leverage our industry-leading platform."

In all, Canning spent nine years with McKesson in a variety of executive positions. Prior to McKesson, Canning served in an executive marketing role for Pharmacia Consumer Healthcare (now Pfizer Consumer Healthcare), as well as in brand management for several products in the Wyeth Consumer Healthcare portfolio (also now part of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare).

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Watson confirms patent challenge for generic Pataday

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals has filed a regulatory approval application with the Food and Drug Administration for a generic drug for eye disease, the company said Tuesday.

Watson is seeking approval for olopatadine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution in the 0.2% strength. The drug, used to treat itching in the eye resulting from allergic conjunctivitis, is a generic version of Alcon’s Pataday.

Alcon, along with biotechnology company Kyowa Hakko Kirin, sued Watson last Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, alleging that Watson’s regulatory filing infringes two of their patents. Under the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984, the FDA can’t give final approval until October 2013, or until both companies reach a settlement. The two patents are scheduled to expire between 2015 and 2024.

Pataday had sales of $224 million during the 12-month period ended in April, according to IMS Health.

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Novo Nordisk tapped as premier sponsor for Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Novo Nordisk will serve as the national premier sponsor for the American Diabetes Association’s annual fundraising walk in 2011 and 2012, the ADA announced.

The drug maker, a leading company in diabetes management, will sponsor the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes for the next two years. The walk supports ADA’s mission to prevent and cure diabetes, as well as to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. As part of their involvement with the Step Out walk, Novo Nordisk also will recognize the thousands of people with diabetes who walk in the event as the national Red Strider sponsor for Step Out. Red Striders are people with diabetes that participate in the walk. In 2010, more than 22,000 people participated in the Step Out event as Red Striders.

"Sponsoring Step Out is one other important way Novo Nordisk is supporting the American Diabetes Association and its efforts to serve people living with diabetes. We’re so pleased to be a part of this national effort," Novo Nordisk corporate VP sales Andy Ajello said. "We ask that everyone — including the business community, which is actively forming employee teams across the country — join with the thousands who are walking to take steps toward fighting this disease."

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