PHARMACY

Duane Reade names Scorpiniti senior VP pharmacy operations

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Manhattan-based retailer Duane Reade has tapped former Longs Drug Store executive Frank Scorpiniti to serve as senior vice president of pharmacy operations.

Scorpiniti succeeds Jerry Ray, former senior vice president of pharmacy operations, who resigned from the company in September. Ray had been with Duane Reade for 14 years and held a variety of positions in pharmacy and operations. While the company searched for a successor, the pharmacy team had absorbed Ray’s responsibilities.

Scorpiniti, a 13-year veteran of the pharmacy industry, will report to John Lederer, chairman and chief executive officer. While at Longs, Scorpiniti held positions of increasing responsibility and most recently served as vice president of pharmacy operations, overseeing all aspects of Longs pharmacy business.

“We are very pleased to have Frank Scorpiniti join our strong management team as senior vice president of pharmacy operations. We are confident that Frank’s many years of experience in the pharmacy industry and his strong track record in raising customer service standards will help us to significantly improve our pharmacy business and increase the accessibility and availability of our pharmacy offerings,” said Lederer.

In the wake of CVS Caremark’s acquisition of Longs, top Longs executives have started to resurface at other companies. In addition to Scorpiniti joining Duane Reade, Todd Vasos, former executive vice president and chief operating officer at Longs, recently joined Dollar General as division president and chief merchandising officer.

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PHARMACY

Healthcare affordability, availability are Americans’ top concerns

BY Jenna Duncan

WASHINGTON A Gallup Poll released Monday shows reported that more people are most concerned about the rising costs and possible limits to access of health care than they are worried about the effects of life-threatening conditions such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Of 1,000 people surveyed representing different sexes, ages and social groups, 55 percent said that availability and affordability of health care was the “the most urgent health problem” the nation has to deal with. Just 2 percent cited diabetes, AIDS and heart disease, while 11 percent cited cancer and 12 percent obesity. The Gallup Poll was taken between the dates of Nov. 11 and Nov. 13. A margin of error was reported at 3 percent.

Reports said that the nation’s total healthcare spending in 2007 was more than $2.3 trillion. That figure represents about 16 percent of the nation’s total domestic product and the National Coalition on Health Care has said that the total is expected to climb almost 7 percent by the end of the year.

The Census Bureau has reported that nearly 50 million Americans are currently without health insurance.

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CDC, Families Fighting Flu remind communities Tuesday is Children’s Influenza Vaccination Day

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Families Fighting Flu members and other public health organizations are partnering to commemorate Children’s Influenza Vaccination Day on Dec. 9, in an effort to remind parents to get children vaccinated.

The non-profit Families Fighting Flu organization was established for the children who die each year due to the influenza virus, and is made up of families and healthcare practitioners dedicated to educating people about the severity of influenza and the importance of vaccinating children against the flu every year.

“The willingness of the members of Families Fighting Flu to speak openly about their loss and the importance of vaccinating children is both courageous and selfless, and I thank them for helping to spread the word about this important issue,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC.

Yearly flu vaccination should begin as soon as the vaccine is available and continue throughout the flu season. The CDC recommends that children aged 6 months up to 19 years of age get vaccinated against the flu. The CDC also recommends that those in close contact with children younger than 5 years of age, such as family members and caregivers, get a flu vaccine each year. In addition, people who live with or are in close contact with a child of any age with a chronic health problem, such as asthma, diabetes or other conditions, should get a flu vaccine.

Each year, an average of 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized in the United States because of flu-related complications. As many as 1-in-5 children younger than 5 years old may have to see the doctor, visit the emergency room or other urgent care for treatment for flu. And about 100 children, on average, die from flu-related complications.

“Losing my infant son, Ian, to the flu has been an unbearable heartbreak, but he is the reason I want parents to know how important it is to protect their infants, especially those who are too young for vaccination, by getting themselves, their family members and every caregiver vaccinated against the flu,” said Julie Moise, a board member of Families Fighting Flu.

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