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Medco report: Specialty pharmacy spending driven by cancer drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. Cancer drugs will become the biggest driver of specialty pharmacy spending, with global sales of the drugs expected to reach $80 billion by 2012, according to a new report by pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions.

Spending on cancer drugs increase by 15.1% last year – behind autoimmune disorder and multiple sclerosis drugs – with an overall contribution to drug spending of 5% during the first half of this year.

“Targeted cancer therapies have dramatically reshaped oncology and greatly benefited cancer patients,” Medco chief medical officer Robert Epstein said in a statement. “The newer cancer drugs improve survival rates since they target what fuels the cancer’s growth.”

Cancer drugs also represent a robust pipeline, with more than 800 under investigation. Many of the drugs that the Food and Drug Administration has approved in the last four years – often biotech drugs – have cost $20,000 for 12-week courses of therapy, while some have cost $10,000 a month, though the report said a regulatory approval pathway for biosimilars could help reduce the costs of biotech drug treatments.

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Weis Markets adds two directors to pharmacy operations, food services

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis Markets on Monday named Dennis Yoney to director of pharmacy operations and Geoffrey Wexler as director of food service and deli.

As director of pharmacy operations, Yoney will oversee day-to-day pharmacy operations and the execution of the company’s strategic initiatives across its 119 pharmacies. He reports to Jeff Maltese, Weis Markets VP pharmacy. Yoney has worked in pharmacy field operations at the regional level for Rite Aid, government affairs for Brooks/Eckerd and as a district manager for Eckerd.

Yoney is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy.

Wexler will assume oversight of the pricing, procurement and promotion for the company’s deli and food service programs and will report to Harry Giglio, Weis Markets VP perishables.

Prior to joining Weis Markets, Wexler was with Publix Supermarkets where he helped oversee all aspects of the company’s prepared food program. During his career, Wexler also worked for Sodexho Corporate Services, NexStore Marketplace and eatZi’s Market and Bakery.

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Stater Bros. announces completion of distribution center

BY Allison Cerra

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. Stater Bros. planned an enthusiastic welcome for the final group of Stater Bros. employees to move into its state-of-the-art corporate offices and Norton Distribution Center in San Bernardino, Calif.

On Oct. 5, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to commemorate the opening of the new 155,000-sq.-ft. Stater Bros. support services building. Over 500 Stater Bros. employees from throughout the company were present to celebrate this long-awaited event.

The new support services building houses the company’s bakery division as well as the advertising, construction, maintenance, purchasing, store systems and real estate departments. The relocation to the new Stater Bros. corporate offices and Norton Distribution Center has spanned over a two-year period, and these employees are the last to make the move to their new home.

The Stater Bros. Norton Distribution Center is the largest under-one-roof distribution center in America’s supermarket industry, the company said.

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