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Pilgrim’s Pride raises bid for Hillshire

BY DSN STAFF

GREELEY, Colo. — Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. on Tuesday confirmed that it submitted a revised proposal to acquire Hillshire Brands for $55 per share in a transaction valued at $7.7 billion, representing a $1.3 billion increase from the initial offer.

Pilgrim’s said it is confident with the terms of the transaction, as it would create considerable value for shareholders of both companies. Hillshire’s portfolio of brands includes such names as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park and Sara Lee.

 

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Cardinal Health launches new MTM solution

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health on Wednesday launched a new solution to make it easier and more time-efficient for retail pharmacies to help patients better understand and adhere to their medications.

“No one is better positioned than a community pharmacist to help patients improve medication adherence, reduce medication errors and improve health outcomes related to medication use,” stated Brad Tice, product leader of Cardinal Health’s new Medication Therapy Management Solution. “Our goal is to make it as easy and time-efficient as possible for pharmacies to deliver the MTM services that address these important patient needs.”

Tice said that one issue that prevents pharmacists from delivering MTM services to patients is that there are currently few opportunities for them to be reimbursed for doing so. Medicare Part D currently reimburses pharmacists for delivering MTM services, but only a very small percentage of enrollees are eligible. 

“Right now, retail pharmacies are caught in a bit of a Catch 22. They can only be reimbursed for delivering MTM services to a very small percentage of the population, and it can be a challenge to find enough eligible patients to make it truly viable,” Tice said. “On the other hand, if they want to be included in payers’ quality performance networks, retail pharmacies need to demonstrate their ability to positively impact patient care and improve Star Ratings. One of the best ways to do that is to deliver MTM services to as many eligible patients as possible.”

The goal of the company’s new MTM program is to address these challenges by positioning Cardinal Health to work seamlessly with each participating pharmacy’s patients to help ensure they are on the right medications, using them the right way and achieving the desired results. Tice said that the company’s approach is working. The more than 180 retail pharmacies that have participated in the company’s pilot MTM program have delivered nearly four times as many comprehensive medication reviews as the industry average.

Through the company’s new Medication Therapy Management Solution:

  • Licensed pharmacists from Cardinal Health, who are certified in medication therapy management, will work directly with a retail pharmacy’s eligible patients to perform a Comprehensive Medication Review;
  • Acting as an extension of the retail pharmacy’s team, Cardinal Health licensed pharmacists then share the results of that medication review with the patient’s pharmacy in the form of a Medication Action Plan, which enables the pharmacy to work with the patient and the patient’s other health care providers to implement the recommended changes;
  • The patient and the retail pharmacy receive a patient-specific Medication Action Plan that can be implemented locally. It highlights recommended changes in therapy, adherence issues that need to be addressed through clinical intervention, suggestions for medications the patient should consider taking or stop taking, and opportunities for generic substitutions; and
  • The medication review also identifies additional opportunities for retail pharmacies to meet the individualized healthcare needs of each patient – like recommended immunizations, services to improve cardiovascular health, or to help patients better manage diabetes.

“This solution is a win for patients, for pharmacists, for payers and for the broader healthcare system. It helps improve patient outcomes and reduces unnecessary healthcare costs, saves retail pharmacists valuable time, and strengthens the very important relationship between retail pharmacies and their patients,” Tice said.

 

 

 

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Walgreens May sales up 6%

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday posted May sales of $6.6 billion, an increase of 6%.Total front-end sales increased 3% compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2.6%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 0.5% while basket size increased 3.1%.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 3.5% in May and increased 5.6% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. May 2014 had one additional Saturday and one fewer Wednesday compared with May 2013. These calendar shifts negatively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 210 basis points.

May pharmacy sales increased by 7.9%. Comparable store pharmacy sales increased 5.5% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 7.6%. Calendar day-shift adjusted comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 130 basis points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.2% of total sales for the month. Sales in comparable stores increased by 4.4% in May.

Total sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended May 31, were $19.5 billion, up 6.5%. Comparable store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 increased 5.1%, while front-end comparable store sales for the quarter increased 2.2%. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 4% in the third quarter and comparable pharmacy sales increased 6.8%.

Walgreens opened eight stores during May, including one relocation, acquired one and closed 23. Nearly all of the May store closings were part of the company’s previously announced efforts to optimize its asset base by closing a total of 76 drug stores during the second half of fiscal 2014.

On May 31, Walgreens operated 8,683 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. That includes 8,216 drug stores, 120 more than a year ago, including 70 net stores acquired over the last 12 months. The company also operates infusion and respiratory services facilities, specialty pharmacies and mail service facilities. Its Take Care Health Systems subsidiary manages more than 750 in-store convenient care clinics and worksite health and wellness centers.

 

 

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