PHARMACY

Rite Aid approves stock split

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid stockholders approved a reverse split of the company’s common stock at a special stockholders meeting held Tuesday, the company announced Wednesday morning.

Stockholders also voted to reduce the number of authorized common shares.

According to the vote, Rite Aid’s board will be able to designate the split at a ratio of 1-for-10, 1-for-15 or 1-for-20, depending upon what would be most advantageous to the company, just before executing the split.

With almost 825 million of eligible votes cast, more than 92 percent of stockholders voted in favor of both proposals.

The objective of the reverse stock split is to ensure that Rite Aid regains compliance with the New York Stock Exchange share price listing rule and maintains its listing on the NYSE. Subject to NYSE rules, Rite Aid has until April 16 to regain compliance organically, in other words without executing a reverse stock split.

Rite Aid’s board currently expects to select the split ratio and effect the reverse stock split by the end of the company’s fiscal year, which is Feb. 28.

However, the exact timing for selection of the split ratio and the effective date of the split will be determined by Rite Aid’s board based upon “its evaluation as to when such action will be most advantageous to the company and its stockholders.”

A reverse stock split would reduce the total number of Rite Aid’s issued and outstanding common shares, resulting in an increase in price per share. Rite Aid believes that in addition to allowing Rite Aid to regain NYSE compliance, a reverse stock split would also benefit stockholders because a higher share price will make the stock more attractive to a broader range of investors, including institutional investors that shy away from investing in companies with stock prices hovering at or below $1 per share as a matter of common practice.

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Walgreens completes purchase of McKesson Specialty Pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens on Monday announced the completion of its acquisition of McKesson Corporation’s specialty pharmacy, which includes the McKesson Specialty Pharmacy in Pittsburgh and IVPCARE, a specialty pharmacy focused on reproductive health based in Frisco, Texas, with operations in Torrance, Calif., Wilmington, Mass. and St. Louis.

“This acquisition further expands our national capabilities and access to managed care payors,” stated Michael Nameth, executive vice president of Walgreens Health Services.

Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreen Co. operated by its managed care division, Walgreens Health Services, is a national provider of injectable and biopharmaceutical medications dedicated to serving the needs of patients living with complex, chronic health and medical conditions. Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy provides personalized care and services through dedicated fulfillment centers across the country and through more than 6,500 electronically linked Walgreens pharmacies, including locations in academic medical centers, community hospitals and physician office buildings.

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Matrixx launches cold and flu mobile application

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx Initiatives on Tuesday launched the Zicam Cold & Flu Companion mobile application for the T-Mobile G1. The application enables on-the-go consumers to take charge of their health by checking cold and flu activity by zip code, among other features, the company stated.

“The Cold & Flu Companion offers an innovative and customizable resource for consumers to prepare for the cold and flu season,” stated Tim Connors, vice president of marketing at Matrixx Initiatives. “Knowing the latest cold and flu news and understanding the cold, flu and cough activity in a localized area can aid consumers in being aware of the risks around them.”

The service shows users the percentage of sick people in any given zip code, what types of symptoms are most prevalent and which ones to look out for in a specific area. The application also keeps users updated on the latest cold and flu news.

The application also provides a tool to receive coupons for Zicam products and location-based directions identify nearby retailers where products can be purchased and coupons redeemed.

The same mobile application will be released for the iPhone in mid-December.

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