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Kerr Drug launches Web site aimed at addressing diabetes in North Carolina

BY Adam Kraemer

RALEIGH, N.C. North Carolina-based Kerr Drug is taking new measures to address the growing number of diabetes cases in the state by launching www.fightdiabetesnc.com.

Currently, diabetes ranks fifth in the state for the leading cause of mortality. Patients with diabetes and the general public can access the state’s first and only free online diabetes forum to communicate their problems, seek assistance and help others.

“Nationally, North Carolina is a top priority in the fight against diabetes,” says Ron DeVizia, manager of diabetes services at Kerr Drug and clinical assistant professor at University of North Carolina’s School of Pharmacy. “This disease is reaching epidemic levels and more information about diabetes needs to be available so the community can become better educated about this serious disease.”

The prevalence of diabetes in North Carolina is higher than the national median, with incidences having grown from 4.7 percent in 1994 to 8.3 percent ten years later. North Carolina currently ranks fifth among states with the highest rates of incidence.

The web site launch is part of Kerr’s ongoing campaign centered on chronic disease awareness and prevention called, Don’t Gamble With Your Health. The Web site offers useful information on products, clinical information, relevant local news and events and even information for employers.

Kerr hopes that the site fosters a sense of community and purpose directed specifically to North Carolina. Users can seek advice in the diabetes forum from an expert in diabetes or join in open discussion to anyone who wants to contribute.

“Prevention is only half the battle in the fight against diabetes,” says DeVizia, who was a recipient of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation’s 2006 Incentive Grants for diabetes. “This website will help patients with diabetes receive additional education and information on important topics about the disease.”

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Rite Aid holds first managers conference since Brooks/Eckerd acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

BALTIMORE Bigger. Better. Bolder.

That’s Rite Aid’s new credo, unveiled today at the opening session for the thousands of veteran Rite Aid store managers and pharmacists and the thousands more Brooks and Eckerd personnel who attended their first Rite Aid managers conference.

“This is a union of two strong and established companies,” Mary Sammons, Rite Aid president, chairman and chief executive officer told a conference room of Rite Aid associates Monday morning. “We have created a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts,” she said.

The meeting served as a refresher of Rite Aid’s mission statement, corporate objectives and core corporate values for Rite Aid’s veteran employees and emphasized the importance of delivering to Rite Aid’s new employees. “[Customers] know we’re bigger—they expect better. … Now is the time to be bolder,” Sammons said. “Our acquisition of Brooks and Eckerd has established us as a bold drug store.”

With the recently completed acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd stores along the East Coast, Rite Aid joins the list of Fortune 100 companies, Sammons said, and has notched the first or second position in pharmacy market share in 70 percent of its East Coast markets, including Baltimore, Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York and Washington.

And while the company converts those Brooks and Eckerd store banners to Rite Aid, Sammons said Rite Aid still is committed to growing organically with 1,000 additional Customer World prototype stores to be built and opened in the next five years.

Sammons also recognized Jim Mastrian, who is stepping aside as chief operating officer of Rite Aid as part of a succession plan to make room for H.E.B. veteran Robert Easley, Sammons said. Easley joins the company as chief operating officer today. Mastrian will assume a new full-time role, special adviser on corporate strategy, Sammons said, helping to continue to evolve Rite Aid’s long-term strategy and specifically focusing on integrating the Brooks and Eckerd stores into the Rite Aid fold.

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National Sales Solutions appoints Robinson exec VP

BY Adam Kraemer

ST. LOUIS National Sales Solutions, a sales and marketing management company, announced that Chuck Robinson has been appointed executive vice president of sales for the Eastern Region.

Robinson spent over 20 years as a buyer and director of health and beauty care at Super Valu and Giant Eagle. In 1984, Robinson became president of Master Merchandisers and grew their business from $300,000 to over $6 million. Most recently he was vice president of sales at Rainbow Light Nutritional where he was responsible for sales development in all Food, Drug, and Mass in the United States.

National Sales Solutions specializes in helping consumer packaged goods manufacturers become established and grow their business in the Food, Drug, and Mass chains in the U.S.

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