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Cardinal names Barrett CEO

BY Jim Frederick

DUBLIN, Ohio Culminating a three-year reorganization that split the company in two, drug wholesaler and health services giant Cardinal Health has promoted George Barrett to chairman and CEO.

Barrett, 54, replaced R. Kerry Clark, who previously announced that he would retire upon completion of the company’s planned spin-off of its CareFusion division. The change was effective Aug. 31.

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 also joined Cardinal’s board of directors.

The change in top management was anticipated, and may signal continuity in the way Cardinal supplies and services its independent and chain-pharmacy customers. For more than a year, Barrett has been 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 sweeping restructuring and consolidation program.

Before joining Cardinal in January 2008, the company’s new chief executive garnered more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry, most recently as president and CEO of North America for Teva Pharmaceuticals, and as a member of Teva’s Office of the CEO. In addition to his responsibility for North American operations, he led Teva’s global pharmaceutical strategy.

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. Cardinal also named John Finn the board’s presiding director and chairman of its audit committee.

Under the consolidation plan, which first was announced in July 2008, Cardinal retained its $80-billion-plus core business — its network of pharmaceutical and medical product distribution centers and nuclear pharmacies. The plan also included a tax-free spin-off of Cardinal’s clinical and medical product businesses as a separate public company.

The spin-off created a new, global company called CareFusion, under former Cardinal vice chairman and med-tech industry veteran David Schlotterbeck. Based in San Diego, CareFusion provides infusion, medication and supply dispensing, respiratory care, infection prevention, medical diagnostics and surgical procedures.

Among its product offerings: the Alaris IV infusion and Pyxis dispensing systems, AVEA and LTV series ventilators, V. Mueller surgical instruments, and products to reduce hospital-acquired infections through MedMined services and ChloraPrep preoperative skin preparation.

Clark, Cardinal’s outgoing top manager, drew praise from company director Richard Notebaert “for his clear vision and leadership during his tenure,” including “the repositioning of Cardinal Health to better serve our hospital and pharmacy customers.” The former chairman and CEO spearheaded the change in strategy that led to the spin-off of CareFusion and a sharper focus on the company’s core distribution and health services business, but also had to shepherd Cardinal through a major legal challenge after the company was charged with violating federal reporting requirements in its handling of controlled substances.

Those charges led to the temporary shutdown of controlled substance handling and distribution at several Cardinal distribution centers. Without admitting any wrongdoing, Cardinal agreed to pay $34 million in fines and alter its practices to prevent any possibility of diverted products.

Under Clark’s management, those changes left the company in a stronger position, with a greater ability to monitor and control its distribution practices. Among the changes: expanded training at its 27 DEA-registered distribution facilities, an electronic system that identifies and blocks potentially suspicious orders pending further investigation, and the hiring of former acting deputy U.S. attorney general Craig Morford as chief compliance officer.

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Stop & Shop to offer flu shots to customers

BY Allison Cerra

QUINCY, Mass. For more than twenty years, Stop & Shop has provided seasonal flu shots as part of its Health & Wellness initiative in a continuing effort to best meet the needs of its customersduring the cough and cold season. This year, Stop & Shop will offer seasonal influenza immunizations at a reduced price to Stop & Shop card holders in the pharmacy department beginning Sept. 11 through Nov. 26 or until quantities associated with this program last.

“As part of our continued commitment to provide value to our customers, Stop & Shop is offering seasonal flu shots for $20 when customers use their Stop & Shop card,” said Jim Wonderly, VP pharmacy operations for Stop & Shop. “Unfortunately, many Americans are foregoing medical care because of increased costs, and we want to do our part by offering affordable immunizations during these challenging economic times.”

Seasonal flu shots will be administered at a reduced price in most Stop & Shop stores starting Friday, expanding to all stores in October. Immunizations will be provided by certified and trained Stop & Shop pharmacists and through Stop & Shop’s partnership with Maxim Health Systems and their trained health care professionals. The cost of the seasonal immunization is $30, but customers with a Stop & Shop loyalty card can save an additional $10. Thus, the final cost to Stop & Shop customers, with the Card, is $20.

“Last month, we introduced millions of customers to the new Stop & Shop card along with a commitment to provide them with the best possible value,” said Stop & Shop EVP Jeff Martin. “With the savings Stop & Shop is offering on seasonal flu shots, we are demonstrating that ongoing value commitment as well as a commitment to the health and wellness of ourcustomers.”

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Louisiana seeks to curb methamphetamine abuse with new legislation

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Two government officials from Louisiana invited the National Association of Chain Drug Stores for a signing of a new law aimed at curbing methamphetamine abuse.

On Sept. 8, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Rep. Fred Mills invited NACDS, law enforcement and other select stakeholders to the Governor’s Mansion for a special signing ceremony for HB890 (Act 314). NACDS was instrumental in the negotiations and eventual passage of the new law which establishes a real-time pseudoephedrine reporting system once federal grants are secured.

The law also provides liability protections to pharmacy, and specifically states that no fees will be collected from pharmacies or pharmacists to operate or transmit the data to state police.

NACDS thanked both Gov. Jindal and Rep. Mills for initiating this important legislation, and for working with pharmacies to make it even better.

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