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Helena Foulkes to investors: CVS Health remains ‘a category of one’

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Fresh from two major acquisition announcements — Target’s pharmacy business and Omnicare — CVS Health remains "a category of one” and continues to look ahead to its next innovative move, Helena Foulkes, EVP of CVS Health and president of CVS/pharmacy, told investors at the Jefferies 2015 Global Consumer Conference Tuesday morning.

“We foresaw the coming changes in healthcare and over the past several years we have built a one-of-a-kind company with unmatched, integrated assets. Our model has continued to fuel our growth by enabling us to bring differentiated solutions that our competitors simply cannot match,” Foulkes said during the presentation, which was webcast. “So, how can I summarize competitive edge? We are the only company with the ability impact consumer, payors and providers with innovative, channel-agnostic solutions.”

The company's retail pharmacy business continues its history of strong performance as the company is outpacing the market, Foulkes told investors. That growth is being driven not only by CVS Caremark, but also by share gains with other payors.

Commenting on the acquisition of Target’s pharmacy business, Foulkes said, “This strategic relationship brings together two leading retailers who complement in strength, brand and culture to enhance the experience for Target guests, while expanding CVS Health’s presence in new markets. … This transaction also enables us to reach more patients, adding a new retail channel for our offering such as Maintenance Choice, Pharmacy Advisor and Specialty Connect.”

The deal also includes the rebranding of Target’s nearly 80 medical clinic with CVS Health’s MinuteClinic banner, and the building of another 20 clinics in stores, which will become part of CVS Health’s larger growth goal of operating 1,500 clinics by 2017.

CVS Health currently operates nearly 1,000 clinics in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Over the past two years, the company has opened more than 340 clinics while entering 20 new markets.

As previously reported, CVS Health also reached an agreement to acquire Omnicare, a provider of pharmacy services to long-term care facilities. The move will significantly expand CVS Health’s its ability to dispense prescriptions in assisted living and long-term care facilities.

“The acquisition of Omnicare provides a new pharmacy dispensing channel for CVS Health, expanding our customer reach to a broader population of chronic care patients and seniors at an important time as the population ages,” Foulkes told investors.

Omnicare also has a specialty pharmacy business — the eighth largest in the United States — so the deal no doubt complements CVS Health’s existing specialty business and further expands CVS Health’s presence in the space.

During her presentation, Foulkes also reiterated the five strategic themes previously outlined by CVS Health to further grow the front-store business:
•    Better health made easy
•    Elevate beauty
•    Customer-driven personalization
•    MyCVS store
•    Digital innovation

In wrapping up her comments, Foulkes left investors with four key takeaways:

•    CVS Heath foresaw the coming changes of the healthcare landscape and built a suite of assets to capitalize on the opportunities;
•    CVS Health remains "a category of one.” “It is still CVS Health with an integrated pharmacy model and one that is resonating with clients and customers and driving success in the market. Our unique suite of assets remain unmatched,” Foulkes said;
•    Change is not over. “We are looking ahead and remain focused on our next innovative move to further differentiate CVS Health,” Foulkes told investors; and
•    CVS Health remains focused on achieving sustainable, long-term growth and returning value to its shareholders.
 

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CVS Health names chief marketing officer

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health announced on Tuesday that Norman de Greve will join CVS Health as chief marketing officer, effective July 15.

In this role, de Greve will be accountable for marketing strategy across the enterprise. Currently, president of the Boston and Detroit offices of DigitasLBi, an agency considered a pioneer in marketing, de Greve has deep experience in cross-channel communications planning, brand campaigns, media, loyalty and analytics in some of the most competitive industries, such as financial services, health care, travel, retail and automotive.

"As we continue our journey to becoming a world-class health care company, it is even more important for us to articulate a clear message to our patients and customers whose health we are working to improve through our leading pharmacy care programs, clinical services and front store products," stated Helena Foulkes, president, CVS/pharmacy. "Norman's background makes him ideally suited to directing a comprehensive marketing strategy that will build our enterprise brand and clearly position us as the preferred pharmacy innovation company. Building loyalty among our existing customers, while activating and engaging new customers, is how we'll drive future growth."

In addition to his 14 years at DigitasLBi, de Greve spent time in management consulting where he honed his expertise in developing customer-driven growth strategies and analytics. De Greve earned a B.A. from Ithaca College and an MBA from University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
 

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Ahold, Delhaize Group close to deal or no deal

BY Michael Johnsen

ZAANDAM, the Netherlands – Ahold and Delhaize Group are close to closing discussions on a possible merger, Ahold announced Tuesday. While the company stressed there is not yet a definitive deal, Ahold expects to issue a press release "in due course."
 
 
Ahold USA is currently the 14th largest retail pharmacy operation in the U.S. with $2.1 billion in pharmacy sales, according to DSN's Annual PoweRx report, which ranks the leading pharmacy operators in the country. Delhaize America ranks No. 31. 
 
Barring any store closures, the combined U.S. operations of Ahold and Delhaize would net 825 pharmacy locations. 
 
 
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