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NCPA to host 2016 Congressional Pharmacy Summit May 24-25

BY Michael Johnsen
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday announced it will hold its 2016 Congressional Pharmacy Summit May 24-25, when hundreds of community pharmacists will visit the nation's capital to advocate for community pharmacy and their patients.
 
"From crippling [direct and indirect remuneration, or DIR] fees to low or slow reimbursement rates from pharmacy benefit manager corporations that leave pharmacy owners struggling to provide patients the access to medication and care they need and want, the time is now to take a stand and protect patient access to community pharmacies — often the sole health provider in many communities," stated Bradley Arthur, NCPA president and co-owner of Black Rock Pharmacy and Brighton-Eggert Pharmacy in Buffalo, N.Y. "Making progress on Capitol Hill is not like 'House of Cards' or the 'West Wing' — what it really takes is a strong message from concerned citizens to affect change. I strongly urge community pharmacists from across the country to join me at the Congressional Pharmacy Summit as we advocate for bipartisan measures to support small business pharmacies and patient access to their pharmacy of choice."
 
Patient advocate and community pharmacy champion Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., will serve as the featured speaker at this year's opening lunch on May 24 at the Doubletree by Hilton, Crystal City in Arlington, Va. The Summit will conclude on May 25 with pharmacist visits on Capitol Hill.
 
NCPA members' top legislative priorities are enacting federal and state MAC reform legislation to alleviate the delays in generic drug reimbursement updates; allowing any willing pharmacy to participate in Medicare Part D preferred networks; and passing pharmacist provider status legislation.
 
Pharmacist attendees can obtain more than four hours of continuing education credits at the Summit (formerly known as the NCPA Legislative Conference), which will include a legislative briefing on issues affecting community pharmacy, a workshop on how to communicate with elected officials led by congressional specialist Judy Schneider of the Congressional Research Service and updates on DIR fees and how they are currently being used in today's Medicare Part D and commercial marketplaces.
 
Stephen Hayes, senior writer at The Weekly Standard and a FOX News contributor, will keynote the NCPA Sal D'Angelo PAC Breakfast on May 25.
 
 
 
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Q1 comp sales up 3.3% across Publix

BY Michael Johnsen
LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix’s sales for the first quarter of 2016 totaled $8.7 billion, the grocer reported Monday, a 4.5% increase from the same period last year. Comparable-store sales for the first quarter of 2016 increased 3.3%. The company estimates sales increased 1.2% due to the effect of the Easter holiday being in the first quarter of 2016. 
 
“I’m pleased that our Publix associates delivered strong results,” said Publix CEO and president Todd Jones. “Unfortunately, these results were not enough to offset the challenges in the stock market.”
 
Effective May 1, 2016, Publix’s stock price decreased from $45.20 per share to $43.95 per share. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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CVS Health reaches Q1 net revenue of $43.2 billion on 18.9% growth

BY Michael Johnsen
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – On Tuesday, CVS Health reported a first quarter net revenue increase of 18.9% to $43.2 billion for the three months ended March 31. Revenues in the Pharmacy Services Segment increased 20.5% to $28.8 billion, primarily driven by increase in prescription volume and growth in specialty pharmacy. 
 
"We posted solid results this quarter and are off to a strong start in 2016," stated Larry Merlo, president and CEO. "Operating profit in the retail business was in line with our expectations while operating profit in the PBM exceeded our expectations, driven by strong prescription volumes," he said. "Our distinctive, channel-agnostic solutions are resonating strongly in the market as they continue to control patient and client costs while improving health outcomes. We continue to believe we have the right strategy for success in the evolving health care marketplace." 
 
Revenues in the Retail/LTC Segment increased 18.6% to $20.1 billion thanks to the addition of the long-term care operations acquired as part of the acquisition of Omnicare in August 2015, the addition of the pharmacies and clinics of Target acquired in December 2015 and pharmacy same store sales growth. 
 
Same store sales increased 4.2% versus the first quarter of last year. Same store sales were positively affected by approximately 125 basis points due to an additional day in 2016 related to leap year. Pharmacy same store sales rose 5.5% and pharmacy same store prescription volumes rose 5.9% on a 30-day equivalent basis. Pharmacy same store sales were negatively affected by approximately 360 basis points from recent generic drug introductions, and positively affected by approximately 130 basis points from the additional day in 2016 related to leap year. 
 
Front store same store sales increased 0.7%. Front store same store sales were negatively affected by softer customer traffic, partially offset by an increase in basket size and the shift of Easter from April in 2015 to March in 2016, which positively affected front store same store sales by approximately 80 basis points. Front store same store sales were also positively affected by approximately 105 basis points from the additional day in 2016 related to leap year.
 
For the three months ended March 31, 2016, the generic dispensing rate increased approximately 170 basis points to 85.2% in the Pharmacy Services Segment and increased approximately 125 basis points to 85.7% in the Retail/LTC Segment.
 
Net income for quarter was down 6.1%, primarily driven by an increase in interest expense of $149 million and $61 million of acquisition-related integration costs, partially offset by an increase in operating profit. The increase in interest expense is primarily due to the issuance of $15 billion of long-term debt in July 2015 that was used to acquire Omnicare and the pharmacies and clinics of Target, as well as the debt assumed through the acquisition of Omnicare in August 2015.
 
Adjusted earnings per share for the three months ended March 31, 2016 $1.18, up from $1.14 for the three months ended March 31, 2015. GAAP earnings per diluted share for the three months ended March 31, 2016 was $1.04, compared to $1.07 in the prior year.
 
 
 
 
 
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