PHARMACY

Duane Reade reports Q1 earnings

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Duane Reade reported retail store sales increased 2.8% to $426.7 million from $414.9 million in the first quarter 2008.

Net retail store sales excluded pharmacy resale activity.

In a release Tuesday morning, the company reported total net sales increased 4.1% to $444.5 million, compared with $427.1 million in the first quarter 2008. Meanwhile, total same-store sales increased by 1.1% during the first quarter of 2009, with a front-end same-store sales decreased of 0.8%, and a pharmacy same-store sales increase of 3.5%.

During the first quarter, the company opened one new store and did not close any stores. At the end of the first quarter 2009, the company operated 252 stores, compared with 251 stores at December 27, 2008 and 242 stores at the end of the first quarter of 2008.

The first quarter operating loss was $4.4 million, compared with $4.1 million in the prior-year period. The increased loss was primarily attributable to an increase in other expenses of $0.5 million during the first quarter of 2009 due primarily to litigation activity associated with a former CEO.

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New details emerge on NACDS realignment

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Monday revealed further details of a sweeping management realignment and staff reduction. The announcement followed the organization’s first revelation on Thursday, April 30, that it was undertaking a streamlining and consolidation to shed operating costs in a difficult economy, and to respond more effectively to member needs in a shifting political and healthcare environment.

The overhaul includes the consolidation of some departments and a reduction of 15 filled full-time positions, from 92 to 77, or 16%.

Among the NACDS staff members leaving under the reorganization are Fitz Elder, VP of member relations and chief member relations officer; Phil Schneider, VP external relations and president of the NACDS Foundation; and membership coordinator Conchi Vallecillo. All three are taking voluntary retirement, NACDS revealed, and their positions “will not be refilled.”

A dozen other staff members are also headed for the exits, and their positions are being eliminated, according to the organization. They include Kate Crummett, manager of meetings and special events; senior graphic designer Kerrin Cuison; director of technology standards Michele Davidson; IT support specialist David Dorsey and Dan Faoro, VP communications production and strategic marketing.

Also leaving are Resource Center coordinator Marcy Gascoine; Ashley Matthews, coordinator of conference services and exhibits; membership coordinator Teresa Muldrow; Steve Poston, director of IT and facility services; web/database applications specialist Bikrum Saluja, director of policy and programs Christina Thompson; and Lisa White, manager of meetings and international affairs.

On Thursday, NACDS termed the staff cutbacks “very difficult” but necessary in the current economic downturn. The changes, noted the group, are “part of a comprehensive, multi-year plan to refocus and realign…activities and programs” to make NACDS more responsive to its members’ goals and current market realities.

In line with the streamlining effort, NACDS has grouped its 77-member team and its activities under six senior executives, all of who report to president and CEO Steven Anderson. They include:

  • Finance and Accounting, human resources and administration and information services, headed by EVP and CFO Jim Huber;
  • Membership, meetings and exhibits and international affairs, under the direction of Jim Whitman, SVP meetings and exhibits;
  • Federal and state policy and programs, headed by Carol Kelly, SVP government affairs and public policy;
  • Legal affairs, under SVP legal affairs and general counsel Don Bell;
  • Pharmacy affairs, pharmacy education and the NACDS Foundation, headed by Edith Rosato, SVP pharmacy affairs;
  • Media relations, member communications and Internet activities, under Chris Krese, SVP marketing, communications and media relations.

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Antibiotic voluntarily recalled by Ranbaxy

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. All supplies of an antibiotic will be recalled amid concerns that it could cause nausea and vomiting.

Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals announced last week that it would voluntarily recall all lots of the drug Nitrofurantoin (monohydrate and macrocrystals) capsules in the 100-mg strength.

The company said some lots were defective, but decided to recall all lots as a precaution. The company, based in Gurgaon, India, said it is conducting the recall in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration at the retail level. Recalled lots of the drug are unlikely to produce serious adverse effects, Ranbaxy said, but a remote possibility exists of nausea and vomiting. The company said patients using the drug should consult their physicians about alternative medication options.

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