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ECRM launches European business unit

BY Seth Mendelson

Seeking to expand its capabilities to European retailers and distributors in discovering new and emerging global brands in food, HBC and general merchandise, ECRM has launched a business unit that consists of a team of multilingual sales and account management staff.

Company officials said that ECRM Europe, headquartered in Utrecht, the Netherlands, is looking to mirror the success of its United States-based counterpart, making the product discovery process more efficient through its Efficient Program Planning Sessions, or EPPS — private, pre-scheduled face-to-face meetings between buyers and sellers.

“Innovation and creativity are increasingly being developed by emerging and mid-level suppliers that don’t readily have easy access to European retailers and distributors outside of their own countries,” said ECRM vice president of international Liz Lantz. “ECRM’s European sessions provide these suppliers with greater access to these buyers, and in turn, enable the buyers to find new and unique products that will help differentiate their businesses.”

ECRM has been hosting several EPPS sessions in Europe for the past several years, and already has a successful track record in connecting global suppliers with European buyers, company officials noted. To best serve its European customers, ECRM has engaged Michael Wheeldon, an international business consultant, to help create its European business and develop the ECRM Europe team of sales managers and account managers, each of whom speaks several languages and is familiar with the European retail markets.

Building on the success of 2017, ECRM’s 2018 International sessions will include its existing food and health and beauty sessions, with a couple of new editions in the general merchandise category. Here is a list of events for the ECRM Europe Team:

European Cosmetics, Fragrance and Bath EPPS
February 4-7, 2018 at the Marriott Budapest (Budapest, Hungary)
Manufacturers of Color Cosmetics, Accessories, Nails, Fragrance and Bath will present programs to buyers and distributors from Europe.

European Skin, Personal, Hair and Sun Care EPPS
February 4-7, 2018 at the Marriott Budapest (Budapest, Hungary)
Manufacturers of Skin Care, Hair Care, Baby, Shaving/Toiletries, Family Planning, Feminine Hygiene, Oral Care, and Sun Care will present programs to buyers and distributors from Europe.

European Premium Beauty Care EPPS
February 5-6, 2018 at the Marriott Budapest (Budapest, Hungary)
Manufacturers of Higher End and Niche Cosmetics, Bath, Fragrances, Hair Care, Natural/Organic, and Skin Care categories will present new programs to department stores, prestige buyers and specialty stores from Europe.

European Dry Food, Snack and Confectionery EPPS
March 25-27, 2018 at the Hilton Berlin (Berlin, Germany)
Branded and Private Label Dry Food, Confectionery, Snack, Natural and Organic suppliers will present products to global retailers and distributors across all channels.

European Health, Nutrition and Wellness EPPS
September 30- October 2, 2018 (Location to be announced)

European Home and Garden EPPS
September 30-October 2, 2018 (Location to be announced)

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Diplomat CEO, chairman Hagerman retires

BY David Salazar

Diplomat Pharmacy has announced that co-founder, CEO and chairman Phil Hagerman is retiring. The Flint, Mich.-based company has named board member Jeff Park as interim CEO, effective immediately. Hagerman will continue as a member of the board and become chairman emeritus, with Ben Wolin taking over as chairman, effective immediately.

Hagerman co-founded Diplomat in 1975 and has served as chairman and CEO since 1991. The company said that it has launched a search for a permanent successor. During the search process, Hagerman will act as a consultant to ensure a smooth transition, advising the management team on the execution of the company’s growth plans. His retirement comes as the company transitions into a more broad-based healthcare company, having recently completed the acquisition of LDI Integrated Pharmacy Services — one of two pharmacy benefits managers the company acquired at the end of 2017.

“Diplomat has a significant opportunity to enhance shareholder value by building on our recent acquisitions and accelerating our evolution from a specialty pharmacy provider to a broader health care company,” Wolin said. “While we have made meaningful progress over this past year, there remains work ahead to build on the growth plans we have in place. Phil and the Board have mutually determined that now is the right time to identify a new CEO to help drive the Company forward and position Diplomat for long-term growth and success. As we continue to execute on our strategy, we will remain true to our one essential tenet: take good care of patients and the rest falls into place.”

The company has emphasized its leadership team as a core component of its new strategy in conference calls. Park — formerly executive vice president and CEO of Catamaran joined the company in 2017 and has worked in the PBM and pharmacy industry.

“Throughout his career, Jeff has overseen the integration of over a dozen transactions, and we look forward to benefitting from his operational expertise as we continue to integrate our recent acquisitions,” Wolin said. “As Jeff and the management team work to realize Diplomat’s potential, the Board will conduct a comprehensive search to identify a leader with a proven track record of performance in the key areas of growth and focus for Diplomat. We look forward to Phil’s continued contributions on the Board, and wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

Alongside the announcement of Hagerman’s retirement, Diplomat affirmed its 2017 guidance and offered a preliminary 2018 outlook. The company said it anticipates revenue to be in the midpoint between $4.4 billion and $4.6 billion in 2017.

“Our continued expansion into a broader-based healthcare company, driven by our entry into the pharmacy benefit management space, presents new opportunities,” Diplomat president Joel Saban said. “In addition to our integral PBM capabilities, we can accelerate our specialty and infusion services growth. Now, we are focused on continuing to realize synergies from these acquisitions as we move through the integration process.”

The company projected a 2018 revenue range of between $5.3 billion and $5.6 billion — or a roughly 20% increase based on the midpoint of 2017’s range. The 2018 projection includes the impact of LDI’s integration, as well as the addition of National Pharmaceutical Services.

“With expanded capabilities under our three complementary focus areas of pharmacy services, payer services, and industry services, we can meet stakeholders’ evolving needs and enable exceptional patient care through our unique industry position and innovative service model,” Saban said. “We are proud to have made a number of strategic, disciplined acquisitions; added to our leadership team; and diversified our services—all to be a springboard for growth in 2018.”

Hagerman said, “We have added great talent to Diplomat’s leadership team over the past year, and the time is right for this leadership change to help accelerate Diplomat’s growth into a broader-based healthcare company. I look forward to presenting together with Jeff on this strategy next week at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco.”

 

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Hy-Vee introduces resource for opioid, substance abuse issues

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Hy-Vee has announced that all pharmacies located within Iowa will partner with the Iowa Department of Public Health, or IDPH, in providing both patients and employees with information on how help for opioid and other substance abuse issues can be obtained.

All 104 locations will post information on a new website recently launched by IDPH called YourLifeIowa.org, which will bring awareness and offer help to individuals and families dealing with substance abuse and gambling addiction. Resources on assisting with suicide prevention also will be included.

“There are Iowans who are facing adversity and need help when it comes to substance abuse and other addictions,” Kristin Williams, Hy-Vee’s senior vice president and chief health officer, said. “As a pharmaceutical leader in Iowa, we want to direct our patients and employees to a place where they can get help for themselves or for loved ones, and YourLifeIowa is an excellent starting point.”

A new 24-hour hotline also is in place which can be reached by dialing (855) 581-8111. Each West Des Moines, Iowa-based pharmacy will display counter cards and information tear pads, along with informational posters in employee break rooms.

YourLifeIowa.org incorporates information previously found on the IDPH Suicide Prevention website, as well as the 1-800-BETS OFF and DrugFreeInfo. All services offered by YourLifeIowa are free and confidential.

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