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Coca-Cola overhauls operating structure

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA — Coca-Cola has streamlined its operating structure and the senior leaders for those businesses, the company said.

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, Coca-Cola will organize around three major operating businesses: Coca-Cola International — which will consist of the company’s Europe, Pacific and Eurasia and Africa operations; Coca-Cola Americas — which will consist of the company’s North America and Latin America operations; and the Bottling Investments Group, which oversees the Coca-Cola-owned bottling operations outside of North America.

As part of the structure change, Ahmet Bozer, currently president of the Eurasia and Africa group, will be appointed president of Coca-Cola International; Steve Cahillane, currently president and CEO of Coca-Cola Refreshments, will be appointed president of Coca-Cola Americas; and Irial Finan will continue as president of BIG. All three executives will continue to report to Coca-Cola chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent.

"This is the right structure for the next phase of our journey toward achieving our 2020 vision," Kent said. "Over the last couple of years, we have systematically been adapting our business model to better address the changing demands of the global marketplace. We have a solid foundation and momentum in our business. Now is the time to take the next step in our evolution. By consolidating leadership of our global operations under two large, but similar sized geographic regions and BIG, we will streamline reporting lines, intensify our focus on key markets and create a structure that leverages synergies and gives us flexibility to strategically adjust our business within those geographies in the future."

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Takeda resubmits diabetes drug applications

BY Alaric DeArment

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Drug maker Takeda Pharmaceutical has resubmitted regulatory approval applications for two drugs designed to treat diabetes, the company said.

Takeda announced the resubmission to the Food and Drug Administration of applications for alogliptin and a drug that combines alogliptin with pioglitazone, the active ingredient in the Takeda drug Actos.

The applications were submitted after the company received a complete response letter from the FDA for the drugs in April. A complete response letter means that the agency has finished reviewing an application, but questions remain that preclude final approval. Takeda’s resubmissions include additional data from three phase-3 clinical trials that the FDA had requested.


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Walgreens, HHS latest partnership continues to expand scope of retail pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — If you’re a student of pharmacy today, this is what you have to look forward to in the retail pharmacy setting: working with local, state and national health departments on creating market-driven disease state management programs; actually practicing what your professors have been preaching over the past six years; applying patient management skills over prescription adjudication skills; and making a real difference in your patients’ lives. If you’re not a student of pharmacy today, you should hurry up and enroll because you may have time to squeeze into the 2012 fall semester. 

(THE NEWS: Walgreens develops MTM for HIV patients in pilot with HHS. For the full story, click here.)

This isn’t the first time at the make-retail-pharmacy-matter rodeo for either Walgreens or the Department of Health and Human Services. Both Walgreens and HHS have worked together on raising awareness that flu shots, along with a number of other vaccinations, are readily available at retail. Walgreens and HHS partnered on delivering free flu shots to underprivileged communities in December 2010 — pledging 350,000 flu shot vouchers to uninsured or underinsured Americans.

And in September 2011, Walgreens was one of the first pharmacy retailers to sign on with HHS on the Million Hearts program, a public-private sector initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in five years.

This also marks Walgreens’ continued foray into specialty pharmacy, specifically with regard to HIV management. In addition to Walgreens’ participation in the two-year pilot with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that will grow the role of the pharmacist in managing HIV, earlier this month, the D.C. Department of Health expanded its pharmacy network serving the District of Columbia’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program to include Walgreens.

But this is less about what one Chicagoland pharmacy retailer is doing in expanding the scope of pharmacy and more about how the role of retail pharmacist is evolving to meet the demands of health care today. Just what are those demands, though? I see the need for more healthcare touchpoints, a more ubiquitous access to healthcare consultations, if we’re ever to transform our national healthcare system from sick care to well care. (And subsequently, better control the costs of managing disease states.) I see these partnerships around flu, heart health and even HIV as first steps — helping to lay the foundation of pharmacy as a destination for all things health.

What do you think? How do you see the role of retail pharmacist evolving? And what are some examples you’re seeing out in the marketplace? Share your thoughts below, or email me at mjohnsen@drugstorenews.com.

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