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Franchise model expands its brand of Care

BY DSN STAFF

The past year has been a case of addition through subtraction, noted Gerry Crocker, CEO of Care Pharmacies. “We’re doing more [volume] with less,” Crocker shared with Drug Store News.

Care Pharmacies represents a franchise model to the extent that each pharmacy is independently owned and operated, but together the franchisees possess a 100% stake in the company. “We’re attracting higher-volume independent operators because of our model,” he added. That’s how a franchisee like Care increased sales volumes by 30%, despite three fewer members than last year.

CARE

Headquarters: Alexandria, Va.2009 sales: $279.5 million% change vs. 2008: 30%No. of stores: 52No. of stores with Rx: 52Avg. store size: 3,500 sq. ft.Rx sales: $265.5 million% of sales from Rx: 95%Sales per store: $5.4 million

Source: Company reports

In the past year, Care extended its brand well beyond the D.C. metropolitan area and Vermont into Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, and plans to continue looking across the nation for viable franchise members. “We have very mature discussions going on in California, for instance. [And] New York seems to be a very fertile area for us,” Crocker said.

In addition to its franchise agreements, Care Pharmacies has extended a nonvoting affiliate membership to those independents who don’t necessarily want to fly the Care banner but need to take advantage of the collective buying power Care affords.

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Schnucks’ O’Brien to serve on Department of Agriculture advisory committee

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS An executive from Schnuck Markets will serve on an advisory committee of the Department of Agriculture, Schnucks said this week.

Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Schnucks VP produce and floral Mike O’Brien would be one of 25 people appointed to a two-year term on the USDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. O’Brien is also vice chairman of the Produce Marketing Association.

 

“I am honred to represent Schnuck Markets and the retail produce industry as a member of this committee,” O’Brien said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute and to make a difference for families across the nation.”

The committee, originally chartered in 2001, advises the secretary of agriculture on industry issues related to fruits and vegetables.

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Gilead commences phase 3 trial for single-tablet HIV treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

FOSTER CITY, Calif. Gilead Sciences has started a late-stage clinical trial of an investigational 4-in-1 treatment for HIV, the drug maker said.

Gilead announced the initiation of a phase 3 trial of its “Quad” HIV drug, a single-tablet treatment that combines elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. The study will compare the Quad regimen with the standard of care among adults with HIV-1 who have not taken antiretroviral treatments. The company is also investigating cobicistat as a standalone boosting agent for antiretroviral drugs.

“We are pleased to announce that the Quad phase 3 clinical program is underway,” Gilead EVP research and development and chief scientific officer Norbert Bischofberger said. “Efficacy and safety results from the phase 2 study suggest that the Quad may represent an important new option for patients with HIV.”

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