McKesson promotes specialty head to lead U.S. pharmaceutical division
SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson on Monday named Mark Walchirk president of its U.S. pharmaceutical division, effective immediately. Walchirk, who most recently was chief operating officer of McKesson Specialty Health, has held numerous leadership roles at McKesson over the past 11 years, including COO of McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical.
Walchirk succeeds Brian Tyler — who recently was appointed to serve as McKesson EVP corporate strategy and business development — and will report to Paul Julian, EVP and group president at McKesson. Walchirk will oversee McKesson’s largest business, which supplies branded, generic and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and value-added business, clinical and connectivity solutions to more than 40,000 customers, including retail chains, independent retail pharmacies, hospitals, health systems, integrated delivery networks and long-term care providers.
“With past roles as chief operating officer of McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical and McKesson Specialty Health, Mark Walchirk has deep leadership experience in our pharmaceutical distribution business and a proven track record of delivering results for our customers,” Julian said.
Walchirk joined McKesson in 2001 and spent more than eight years in progressive leadership roles within McKesson’s U.S. Pharmaceutical business before being appointed president of McKesson Specialty Care Solutions in 2009. He led McKesson’s integration of US Oncology and assumed the role of COO for the newly combined organization, McKesson Specialty Health. In this role, he helped lead the business to record growth and introduce new solutions that empower the community patient care delivery system.
As SVP and COO of McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical, Walchirk led the integration of regional distributors D&K Healthcare and McQueary Bros., contributed to the growth of McKesson’s Health Mart franchise, led the expansion of McKesson’s pharmaceutical distribution business in the institutional market, and guided McKesson to industry-leading levels of accuracy and efficiency across the company’s nationwide distribution network.
Before joining McKesson, Walchirk spent 13 years in medical-surgical distribution and manufacturing with Baxter Healthcare, Allegiance Healthcare and Encompass Group, holding various leadership positions in sales, marketing, operations and business development.
Walchirk earned his B.S. in business administration from the University of Illinois in 1988 and currently serves on the board of the Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research and GS1 Healthcare US.
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CVS Caremark helps launch The Partnership at Drugfree.org’s campaign to curb teen Rx abuse
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As part of CVS Caremark’s sponsorship of The Partnership at Drugfree.org’s The Medicine Abuse Project, which aims to prevent a half-million teens from abusing medicine over the next five years, the company now is asking its customers to take the project’s pledge to learn about teen medicine abuse, to safeguard medicines in the home and to talk to teens about this issue, the company announced on Monday.
CVS Caremark will use many of its communications channels to share with customers some key facts central to the awareness campaign, such as:
Every day, more than 2,000 kids abuse prescription drugs for the first time;
1-in-6 teens has used a prescription drug to get high or change their mood and most got them from a family or a friend;
More kids abuse prescription drugs than Ecstasy, crack/cocaine, heroin or meth;
Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drugs among kids ages 12 to 13 years; amd
Kids who learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50% less likely to use them.
"Our company’s pharmacists are experts at advising people on the proper way to take their medications in order to get healthy and stay that way," stated Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark. "But our decision to get involved with The Medicine Abuse Project underscores an equally compelling need: to make sure children and teens don’t have access to prescription drugs prescribed for others and are made aware of the risks associated with medicine abuse."
"The majority of teens who abuse medicines get them from family and friends," added Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Partnership for Drugfree.org. "We need to change that. With the support of partners like CVS Caremark, physicians, parents and teens themselves will be more aware of the dangers of medicine abuse."
The Partnership at Drugfree.org is encouraging people to take the pledge on its website. CVS Caremark also is encouraging customers to take the pledge through its Facebook and Twitter channels, its websites CVS.com and CVSCaremark.com, in direct communications to millions of CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare cardholders, and in radio ads playing in all CVS/pharmacy locations chain wide.
In addition to the pledge, the campaign is encouraging parents to: safeguard their medicine by keeping pill bottles in a secure, locked place and to count and monitor the number of pills they have at all times; educate themselves about the information resources available on the subject; share information and awareness with family, friends and neighbors; talk to their children about the risks of abusing prescription drugs and over-the-counter cough medicine; get help if they think their child has a problem with prescription drugs by either visiting Timetogethelp.drugfree.org or by calling Drugfree.org’s Toll-Free Helpline: 1-855-DRUGFREE; and properly dispose of unused medicines.
In addition to supporting the Medicine Abuse Campaign, all CVS/pharmacy locations offer the Sharps Compliance’s TakeAway Environmental Return program, which provides customers with the ability to safely dispose of their unused, expired or unwanted drugs using medication disposal envelopes. The postage-paid envelopes allow customers to mail their unwanted prescription and OTC medications through the U.S. Postal Service to a licensed, secure facility for safe destruction.
I was very pleased to see CVS/Caremark taking a leadership position in helping secure Rx medicines with the goal of keeping them out of teens hands. We have a product called SafeToteRx that helps patients conveniently keep medicines safe in the home or during travel to help prevent medicine abuse. I would be happy to talk to anyone from CVS/Caremark and the many partners involved in this project about a special opportunity with SafeToteRx to help the cause. I can be reached at 352.406.7234 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers, Scot
FDA approves Regeneron drug for macular edema
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for treating a complication of a disease that results from vein blockages in the eye.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced the approval of Eylea (aflibercept) for treating macular edema following central retinal vein occlusion, or CRVO. Eylea already was approved for treating neovascular age-related macular degeneration, another eye disease.
"This second U.S. approval for Eylea provides physicians and patients with a new treatment option for the treatment of macular edema following CRVO," Regeneron chief scientific officer and Regeneron Labs president George Yancopoulos said.
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