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Rx moves front and center at revamped Brookshire store

BY Mike Troy

LAFAYETTE, La. —The Brookshire Grocery Co. this month unveiled a newly remodeled 62,000-sq.-ft. Super 1 Foods store in which it relocated an expanded pharmacy to the front of the store. New exterior signage calls attention to the presence of a pharmacy that is now prominently positioned.

Jim Cousineau, VP pharmacy operations with the 150-unit Brookshire Grocery chain, said the changes will allow the store to stock a wider selection of health and beauty products, and devote sections to diabetes, sleep and therapeutic aids and supplies. New drop-off and checkout areas were added, as well as additional office space for a fully equipped health services and consultation center. Another new offering will be durable medical equipment, which Cousineau noted can be costly for customers and oftentimes is a merchandise category not carried in supermarket pharmacies.

“This will be the first store in our company with a ‘drug-store-within-a-store’ concept,” Cousineau said earlier this month. “We have relocated the pharmacy near the front entrance and doubled the size of the department.”

In addition to the increased visibility, the retailer is expanding its service offering and will offer Medicare and Medicaid billing on durable medical equipment and Medicare billing on the diabetic supplies. “We want to help people obtain the equipment they need through these billing options,” Cousineau said.

Brookshire Grocery operates stores in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.

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Kroger declares quarterly dividend

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI The Kroger Co. announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 9 cents per share to be paid on Sept. 1 to shareholders of record at of the close of business on Aug. 14.

Kroger, one of the nation’s largest retail grocery chains, employs more than 326,000 associates, who serve customers in 2,475 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states.

On Thursday, the company announced that its president and COO Don McGeorge was retiring. McGeorge has been replaced by W. Rodney McMullen.

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Walgreens to test diabetes care model

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Walgreens continues to flesh out its revamped strategy to be the nation’s most convenient and accessible provider of pharmacy and health-and-wellness services.

 

The latest plank in that platform is its plan to test a pharmacy-driven outreach and support program for patients with diabetes.

 

Diabetic-care services and product presentations are nothing new in the nation’s chain and independent drug stores; every pharmacy leader knows that diabetes is a major, (often undiagnosed) health challenge and a “gateway” disease that usually subjects its sufferers to a slew of other related conditions involving the circulatory system, the skin and other organs. It’s also no secret that diabetics generate far more in annual drug store sales to treat these related conditions.

 

What makes Walgreens’ pilot program worthy of notice are two things.

 

 

First, with some 6,800 retail pharmacies, 350 in-store and worksite clinics and a network of specialty pharmacies across the United States, the company wields enormous potential power in the healthcare marketplace. If it expands its fledgling diabetes pilot beyond the test stage, it has thousands of “points of care” through which it could offer diabetes support programs and other disease management offerings. It’s a huge potential resource to offer diabetic patients and their employer-based or government-sponsored health plans, not to mention those patients’ overburdened, time-constrained primary care doctors.

 

 

Second, Walgreens is very deliberately positioning its diabetes care offering as a part of a much broader, integrated healthcare platform that links patients in the program to all the company’s health-and-wellness capabilities, said Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson. And it dovetails neatly with the Obama administration’s call for “more preventive care and better access,” in the words of Walgreens’ top manager.

 

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