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Drugstorenews.com unveils new look, new functions

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK www.drugstorenews.com, unveiling not only a bold, sleek new look, but, more important, a host of new functionalities, including up-to-the-minute breaking news reports, expert analysis, new photo and audio capabilities, and, perhaps most notably, video.—In celebration of its 10th anniversary online, The Drug Store News Group this month relaunched its Web site,

The new-look www.drugstorenews.com debuted Sept. 24, featuring an inaugural video address from National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson on the value retail pharmacy delivers not only to the communities it serves, but also the economy. Most important, Anderson noted, the critical need to communicate that story; “that’s why this is a terrific opportunity to be here with DrugStoreNews. TV to talk a little bit about what the community pharmacy industry is doing—and what their trade association, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, is doing [to tell that story],” Anderson said during the exclusive DrugStoreNews. TV appearance filmed live at the NACDS Pharmacy and Technology Conference last month in Boston.

Anderson’s comments underscore the significance of the relaunch of the Web site, not the least of which is the ability to deliver more effective communications “to, for and about the retail pharmacy industry—all the news, all the time, as it happens,” explained Drug Store News Group editor in chief Rob Eder. “This puts Drug Store News in a whole other league in terms of the way that news is delivered in the world today.” The site debuted in the first quarter of 1998.

“If you’re a retailer or a vendor, you need to go to drugstorenews.com every day, even if it’s for just two minutes, because no other news source—I don’t care if it’s the Wall Street Journal or CNN—covers the details, intricacies and nuances of retail pharmacy in real time,” echoed Drug Store News Group publisher John Kenlon. “When Rite Aid announced Jim Mastrian’s new position and the hiring of Robert Easley from HEB, we had that news the moment it broke. If you’re in the business of retail pharmacy, that was big news, and you needed to know that immediately. Drugstorenews.com delivered this news to its 60,000 registered users, while other industry papers waited two weeks to tell their readers. Who in our business do you know that can wait that long to get such important news?”

In addition to Anderson’s address, initial video content offerings on the new Drug Store News Web site include interviews with executives from 10 vendor companies. Shot at the NACDS Pharmacy and Technology Conference, the three-minute videos, from Abbott Diabetes Care, Actavis, AstraZeneca, Cognitive Solutions, Centice, GlaxoSmithKline, Humco, Mirixa, Pharmitas/McKesson Pharmacy Systems and Purdue Pharmaceuticals, focused on new products and service offerings the companies were presenting to retailers at the show.

Of course, the videos enabled them to reach a much wider audience. Prior to the relaunch of the newly enhanced site, www.drugstorenews.com had more than 60,000 registered users, marking more than a one-third rise since March. “And that of course was before we unveiled the new video capabilities,” remarked Eder, who said he expected a similar increase in usage of the site in the months ahead.

In tandem with the relaunch of the new Drug Store News Web site, the company also debuted a vastly enhanced new site for Retail Clinician—a new magazine introduced by The Drug Store News Group in 2006 to target the rapidly expanding in-store health clinic industry—featuring daily news updates and a new community blog capability that enables readers from across the industry to share insights and best practices in patient care.

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Kroger appoints Going as Michigan division president

BY Adam Kraemer

CINCINNATI The Kroger Co. announced Wednesday that it has named Rick Going president of the company’s new Michigan division.

Kroger currently operates 138 stores in the state; Going will oversee operations in them, effective immediately.

During his 26-year tenure with Kroger, Going has held a number of district- and division-level leadership positions at the store and has served as vice president of Retail Operations and vice president of Merchandising for Kroger’s Cincinnati/Dayton division.

“Rick brings extensive experience in operations and merchandising to this new role,” said Don McGeorge, Kroger’s president and chief operating officer. “We look forward to his leadership as he works with our associates to build on Kroger’s growth in Michigan by focusing on our customers to create even better shopping experiences for them.”

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NACDS responds to “misleading” New York Times article

BY DSN STAFF

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has fired back at The New York Times after the publication ran an article in its Sept. 18 issue titled, “The ‘Poisonous Cocktail’ of Multiple Drugs.”

The NACDS said the article misrepresented the role of chain pharmacies in the prevention of harmful drug interactions. The article blamed, “places where chain stores have replaced independent pharmacies or when the patient’s drug plan requires that medications be ordered by mail.” The NACDS retaliated by stating that all pharmacists, no matter whether they work in a chain or at an independent pharmacy, counsel patients for drug interactions and rely on medication information for this purpose.

The NACDS said the article misrepresented the role of chain pharmacies in the prevention of harmful drug interactions. The article blamed, “places where chain stores have replaced independent pharmacies or when the patient’s drug plan requires that medications be ordered by mail.” The NACDS retaliated by stating that all pharmacists, no matter whether they work in a chain or at an independent pharmacy, counsel patients for drug interactions and rely on medication information for this purpose.

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