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Family Dollar board recommends against Dollar General tender offer

BY Michael Johnsen

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores on Wednesday announced that its board of directors unanimously recommends that Family Dollar’s shareholders reject the unsolicited conditional tender offer made by Dollar General Corp. and not tender its shares. In conjunction with its rejection of Dollar General’s offer, Family Dollar’s board unanimously reaffirms its recommendation in support of the transaction with Dollar Tree. 
 
The terms of the tender offer are the same as those in the proposal made by Dollar General on Sept. 2, which the board of directors of Family Dollar unanimously rejected on Sept. 5, on the basis of antitrust regulatory considerations. 
 
“Our board of directors, with the assistance of outside advisors and consultants, reviewed all aspects of Dollar General’s tender offer and concluded unanimously that this highly conditional Offer is illusory because, as Dollar General is well aware, the Offer cannot close on the terms proposed," stated Howard Levine, chairman and CEO of Family Dollar. "Tenders into the Dollar General offer will be meaningless since there is no way that Dollar General can purchase shares that are tendered," he said. “There is a very real and material risk that the transaction proposed by Dollar General would fail to close, after a lengthy and disruptive review process. Accordingly, our board has rejected Dollar General’s tender offer and reaffirmed its support of the transaction with Dollar Tree, which delivers attractive value in the form of immediate upfront cash and upside participation in a combined Dollar Tree-Family Dollar entity, as well as closing certainty.” 
 
Ed Garden, a Family Dollar director and co-founder and chief investment officer at Trian Fund Management, a large shareholder of the company, stated, “We are focused on delivering to Family Dollar shareholders the highest value with certainty, and the Dollar Tree transaction does just that. Dollar Tree has taken the antitrust risk off the table by committing to divest as many stores as necessary to obtain antitrust clearance. We remain fully committed to the Dollar Tree transaction.” 
 
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Panelists at NACDS TSE examine in-store testing

BY Jim Frederick

Cheryl Miller and John Tamerius of Quidel, Karen Mankowski of Meijer, Michael Klepser of Ferris State and Alex Adams of NACDS discuss point-of-care screening in the pharmacy.

With diabetes and other diseases at epidemic levels, the need for more pharmacies to step up and offer accessible, convenient patient screening for a variety of serious and even life-threatening conditions is clear, a panel of pharmacists asserted at the NACDS Total Store Expo “Convenient Care — Point of Care Testing in the Pharmacy” Insight Session in late August. So, too, is the opportunity to drive new business to the pharmacy through point-of-care testing services.

(For the full report, including charts, click here.)

Panelists included Michael Klepser, professor of pharmacy practice with Ferris State University in Michigan; Karen Mankowski, VP pharmacy retail operations at Meijer; John Tamerius, SVP clinical and regulatory affairs for Quidel Corp.; and Cheryl Miller, Quidel’s director of strategic operations. The event was moderated by Alex Adams, National Association of Chain Drug Stores VP
pharmacy programs.

Point-of-care screening of patients at the pharmacy is rapidly gaining validity among patients and other health professionals, including doctors, as the need for more immediate and responsive health and preventive care
services grows.

To advance the concept, Ferris State collaborated with Meijer on a pilot project funded by the NACDS Foundation. Under the program, Meijer offered free testing for influenza and strep throat at 12 of its stores. Six of those stores were set up as collaborative practice sites integrated with a local physician.

The results showed real benefits both for patients and participating pharmacies, Mankowski said. Not only did pharmacists catch undiagnosed conditions among some patients, but “1-in-3 patients who came into the test program did not have a primary care physician,” she said.

Although there was “some apprehension” among some pharmacists and “some push back” from a few local doctors, Mankowski said resistance melted away as the value of point-of-care pharmacy-based health screenings became clear. “We view point-of-care testing as a very viable model,” she said.

Klepser added, “This is going to be bigger than immunizations” for retail pharmacy. “Pharmacists are essentially going to be the GPs (general practitioners) of the future.”

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Hispanic surge bodes well for retail pharmacy

BY DSN STAFF

The U.S. Hispanic population is projected to reach 128.8 million by 2060, or more than 30% of the U.S. population. This could bode especially well for purveyors of health products and services in the pharmacy setting. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute, perhaps more than any other consumer group, Hispanics are cost-conscious, mobile savvy and do not necessarily seek health care within the traditional $2.8 trillion U.S. healthcare system.

(For the full report, including charts, click here.)

In fact, Hispanics are less likely than other consumers to use a doctor as their primary caregiver when facing a non-emergency condition (66% vs. 76%). The key attribute that makes the Hispanic demographic so critical to retail pharmacy operators is the fact that Hispanic health consumers are open to means of care that are an alternative to seeing a doctor. This means they’re not only shopping the OTC aisles more often, but Hispanic consumers also are more likely to frequent retail clinics.

According to the HRI Hispanic consumer survey, 57% of Hispanic consumers have utilized a retail clinic at least once, vs. 45% of non-Hispanics. “They may postpone or delay going to see a physician, but they may be open to seeking alternatives or alternative sources of care, whether it’s at a retail clinic or at a pharmacy,” said Frank Lemmon, strategy and operations principal for PricewaterhouseCoopers. There could be a number of factors driving that decision, Lemmon said, such as the value associated with the healthcare visit or the credence associated with pharmacy. “Because pharmacies are so prevalent in many Latin American countries, there’s more trust in the pharmacy and the pharmacist to treat their condition than there is in any sort of medical institution.”

On average, cost is most important to Hispanics when it comes to care, while quality is most important for non-Hispanics. Approximately 46% of Hispanics vs. 35% of non-Hispanics consider cost most important; 53% of non-Hispanics vs. 42% of Hispanics consider quality most important.
Hispanics also are more likely with download coupons to a phone than other consumers (25% compared with 17%). PwC suggested this might be an opportunity for pharmaceutical companies and retail pharmacies to improve medication adherence by making prescription discounts accessible by mobile devices.

Overall, more Hispanics than non-Hispanics use social media, mobile apps and Internet searches to find information about their medical care, and Hispanics are more likely to be influenced by the information when making decisions about care. According to PwC research, nearly one-fifth of Hispanics said they are already using an app or the Internet to make medical appointments. Another 31% said they would be very willing to. “For many of them, mobile is their only access to the Internet, so it’s the way they’re using technology to connect [to] social groups,” Lemmon said.

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