PHARMACY

CVS Caremark announces 4Q results and retirement of Dave Rickard

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark announced on Thursday record results for the fourth quarter and announced the retirement of Dave Rickard, EVP, CFO and chief administrative officer of CVS Caremark.

Net revenues for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 increased $2.2 billion to $24.1 billion, up from $21.9 billion during the year-ago period.

Revenues in the pharmacy services segment rose 1.5% to $11.8 billion during the quarter. Adjusting the growth rate for the impact of new generics, net revenues would have grown 7.8%. 

Revenues in the retail drug store segment increased 18.8% to $13.8 billion, while same-store sales rose 3.6 percent. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 4.5%and were negatively impacted by about 260 basis points due to recent generic introductions. Front-end same-store sales increased 1.8%. 

Earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter increased 17% to $953.3 million compared with last year’s earnings from continuing operations of $815 million. Diluted earnings per common share from continuing operations totaled 65 cents compared with 55 cents in the year-ago period. 

During the company’s fourth-quarter conference call with analysts Thursday morning, Tom Ryan, chairman, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, announced that Rickard, who has served as CFO since 1999, will retire at the end of the year. 

“Dave is in perfect health and the company is in perfect health and that is why he feels it is really time,” Ryan told analysts. “Dave has been a great CFO and a better partner with me for the past nine years, and his shoes will certainly be hard to fill but there are some terrific internal candidates who have worked side-by-side with Dave and we will also take time to canvas the external environment before making this important decision.” 

Rickard had originally planned on retiring in late 2010 but decided to move that up to achieve some personal goals. 

“I have reached a point in my life where I have accomplished everything I want to from a career and financial perspective, and now I have some personal goals I would like to tackle and I want to get on to them while I still have plenty of energy,” said Rickard, who noted he will work to ensure a smooth transition process. 

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FDA approves Takeda’s chronic hyperuricemia drug

BY Alaric DeArment

OSAKA, Japan The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug from Takeda for treating chronic hyperuricemia in patients with gout, the Japanese drug maker and its North American subsidiary announced last week.

Takeda said Friday that the FDA had approved Uloric (febuxostat) in the 40-mg and 80-mg strengths. It said the once-daily pill is the first new treatment option in more than 40 years for the condition. Tokyo-based Teijin Pharma discovered the drug and licensed it to Takeda for the United States market.

“The approval of Uloric offers clinicians and their patients who have hyperuricemia associated with gout a new treatment option that helps prevent uric acid production,” Takeda Global Research & Development Center Inc., U.S. president Nancy Joseph-Ridge said in a statement. “In the years that we’ve dedicated to studying patients who have gout, I know that many patients go to their doctor during a flare not understanding that gout is a chronic disease that needs to be managed on a long-term, daily basis.”

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NACDS to provide 85 pharmacy school scholarships

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation will give $172,000 in pharmacy school scholarships.

The foundation announced Wednesday that it gives the awards as part of its Pharmacy Student Scholarship Program. The amount includes 85 scholarships, including the Robert J. Bolger Scholarship and the Taro Research Foundation Scholarship. The NACDS Foundation gave 60 scholarships in 2007 and 40 in 2006. 

Students selected for Foundation scholarships must be enrolled as full-time pharmacy students, have experience in community pharmacy and have a desire to pursue a career in community pharmacy. 

The Robert J. Bolger Scholarship is named after the former NACDS president and CEO; Barr Labs, where Bolger served on the board for 14 years, sponsors the award. The recipients this year are University of Maryland School of Pharmacy student Rita Kasliwal and Texas A University Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy student Hui Yun. 

The Taro Research Foundation Scholarship is named for a private research foundation whose main purpose is to support public charitable organizations that conduct medical research, facilitate medical education and provide assistance to people with medical disorders. This year’s recipients are University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy student Sarah Providence and Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy student Emily Lunz. 

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