PHARMACY

Rite Aid appoints Yong Choe as VP government affairs and public policy

BY Alaric DeArment

Rite Aid on Thursday announced the appointment of Yong Choe as VP federal affairs and public policy. Choe previously served as director of business outreach and member services for the Republican Study Committee, chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, and worked in various roles in the government affairs division of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores between 2003 and 2010. In his new position, he will report to EVP pharmacy Robert Thompson.

"Yong’s experience in public policy, coupled with his knowledge of the retail pharmacy industry, makes him a true asset to Rite Aid’s government affairs team," Thompson said. "We are excited to have him on board, especially given the ever-changing healthcare landscape and the many new healthcare laws set to take place this year. We look forward to his many contributions as we continue in our mission to deliver a superior experience to our pharmacy customers."

 

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MTM improves outcomes in diabetes patients, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. — Face-to-face medication therapy management services can improve health outcomes for patients with diabetes, according to a new study.

The 224-patient study, conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota and healthcare institutions in the area and published in the journal Population Health Management, found that diabetes patients experienced better outcomes when pharmacist-provided MTM was part of their overall disease therapy. While patients receiving MTM services showed improvement, those who discontinued soon returned to measurement levels similar to the ones they had before they started.

"This study really showcases the positive impact of pharmacist-provided MTM services for patients suffering from chronic diseases," National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steven Anderson said. "The face-to-face medical intervention by a pharmacist is irreplaceable and — as evidenced in this study — an important component of chronic disease patient management."


 

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Magnacca promoted to Walgreens EVP post

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Friday promoted Joseph Magnacca to EVP from SVP, effective immediately. Magnacca also retains his title as president of daily living products and solutions.

“Joe plays a critical role in our strategy to step out of the traditional drug store channel and deliver the ‘Well Experience’ to our customers,” stated Greg Wasson, Walgreens president and CEO. “We want that customer experience to be unmatched in the industry, and Joe is helping to bring it to life through leading-edge store design, enhanced products and services and increased customer delight. His exceptional strategic market focus means we are now better positioned than ever to meet the daily living needs of our customers.”

Magnacca has been credited by many for helping to transform what the drug store as a shopping channel meant to New Yorkers with Duane Reade and later, Walgreens. “Drug, particularly in the United States, was an area that had seen very little advancement over the last several decades, both in the format and the content,” Magnacca told DSN in a candid and wide-ranging discussion on retailing and his vision for store and content development. “Even though at Walgreens, there had been some pretty major advancements, those had been primarily pharmacy-based," he said. “What I saw when I was in Canada was an opportunity … to move away from being primarily a very specific, needs-driven reason to shop and become a place where people want to shop,” Magnacca continued. “Here in the United States, and in Canada, we had become focused mainly on size and replicating the existing model — and doing a great job of it, getting the best corners in America. But even more importantly, it was basically a pharmacy-led model.” 


Magnacca’s influence on shaping the experience of today’s retail pharmacy shopper is perhaps most evident across Walgreens flagship locations, the most recent of which was opened in Los Angeles. There is a big-picture thought process behind each of these new flagship iterations. No two are the same. And the only other brightly colored common thread linking each of the locations — beyond the recurring theme of "local" — is that big-picture thought behind each new store — to be customers’ first choice for health and daily living. "It’s about being different from everything else out there in the market; it’s about giving customers every imaginable option for how they could shop your brand, and then imagining a few more; it’s about making customers rethink how they shop the drug store and what they shop it for," wrote editor-in-chief Rob Eder, following DSN‘s exclusive interview with Walgreens’ flagship director Joe Magnacca.

Walgreens operates flagship stores in New York, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Chicago and now Los Angeles. One in Boston is scheduled to open in the spring. 

To hear firsthand Magnacca’s transformational vision, click here

Magnacca oversees Walgreens merchandising and inventory strategy, private brands, insights and analytics, and the New York-based Duane Reade drug store chain, which Walgreens acquired in 2010. A retail industry veteran of more than 20 years, Magnacca joined Duane Reade in 2008 as SVP and chief merchandising officer. He was later promoted to EVP at Duane Reade and then to president of the drug store chain following its acquisition by Walgreens. He was named Walgreens president of daily living products and solutions in 2011.

Earlier in his career, Magnacca served as VP marketing and merchandising for Loblaw, a leading food distributer and provider of general merchandise products and services in Canada, and as EVP merchandising and category management for Shoppers Drug Mart, the largest drug chain in Canada.


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