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Drug store vet Van Howe signs on with Market Performance Group

BY Rob Eder

CHICAGO Dave Van Howe, most recently Walgreens VP purchasing and new business development, is joining Market Performance Group, an innovative strategy consulting and sales representation firm, effective immediately. As senior VP and retail adviser, Van Howe will be responsible for working with suppliers and retailers on a wide variety of go-to-market initiatives that focus on maximizing incremental sales and profit opportunities.

“Dave’s 30 plus years experience in retail operations, merchandising and supply operations make him a perfect fit for MPG,” said Tim Toohey, managing partner. “For MPG clients, Dave’s deep understanding of retailer strategies, merchandising acumen, and marketplace insights will translate into winning strategies designed to drive growth and efficiency in an increasingly competitive retail environment.”

“Dave’s philosophy of creating win-win scenarios and his ability to develop long lasting relationships are consistent with our values and operating practices at MPG,” added managing partner Marc Greenberger. “Plus, he is also known as a ‘go-to’ guy who gets things done.”

According to Van Howe, he was attracted to MPG because of the company’s reputation as a strategic go-to-market consulting firm, as well as a sales representation and in-market management group with a track record that goes far beyond traditional capabilities to deliver exceptional results. “What really impresses me about the MPG team is that they represent the whole package: they have a seasoned and talented team of industry veterans supported by a world-class analytical and cross-functional team, all focused on creating incremental value for suppliers and retailers. MPG recognizes that in today’s environment, retailers and manufacturers require a higher level of sophistication to create effective go-to-market strategies and MPG is perfectly positioned to satisfy that need. I am truly excited to be a member of MPG.”

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CVS extends reach to Puerto Rico

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has entered Puerto Rico with its first two locations slated to officially open Feb. 15. The company plans to open nine stores on the island in 2010.

“We are pleaded to introduce the CVS/pharmacy brand to the growing Puerto Rico market,” stated Larry Merlo, president of CVS/pharmacy. “CVS is committed to provided high quality pharmacy care and offering convenient products and services at a great value to the Puerto Rican community.”

The openings will create about 400 new jobs in Puerto Rico this year. In addition to the new stores opening this month in San Juan and Bayamon, more locations are expected to open this year in Arecibo, Bayamon (two additional stores), Dorado, Fajardo, Vega Alta and Vega Baja.

As part of its entry into Puerto Rico, CVS/pharmacy announced a donation of $10,000 to Instituto Psicopedagogico de PR, a Bayamon-based agency that provides specialized health, nutrition, education and essential care to adults and children in Puerto Rico with severe mental disabilties to improve their quality of life.

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Decision Resources: Ulcerative colitis drug market could double by 2018

BY Alaric DeArment

WALTHAM, Mass. The market for drugs to treat ulcerative colitis could almost double within less than 10 years, according to a report released Thursday.

Market research firm Decision Resources said the market for the drugs could rise from the $1.2 billion they had in sales in 2008 to $2.1 billion in 2018 in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan.

The primary drugs driving growth are expected to be Humira (adalimumab), by Abbott and Eisai, and Simponi (golimumab), by Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co. and Mitsubishi Tanabe. The two drugs, both monoclonal antibodies belonging to TNF-alpha inhibitor class, could prove to be effective alternatives to existing maintenance therapies, though their high prices could limit their overall uptake.

“However, the short-term nature of corticosteroid treatment and the waning efficacy observed with immunosupressants and TNF-alpha inhibitors highlight the shortcomings of marketed products for ulcerative colitis both in induction and maintenance regimens,” Decision Resources analyst Kathryn Benton said in a statement.

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