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Texas continues to hold top spot for flu activity

BY Gisselle Gaitan

The latest has been reported upon in Walgreens Flu Index. The weekly report which was developed to provide state and market-specific information regarding flu activity has all signs pointing to Texas once again.

For the second week in a row, The Flu Index is reporting that the Lone Star state is holding the top spot for flu activity for the week ending Dec. 16.

The Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide, including Walgreens locations in Puerto Rico. The data is analyzed at a state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.

For the week ending Dec.16, the top 10 designated market areas with flu activity were:

  1. Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas
  2. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas
  3. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
  4. Houston, Texas
  5. Corpus Christi, Texas
  6. Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.
  7. Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas
  8. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
  9. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.)
  10. Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.

For the same time period, the top 10 DMAs with the greatest gains in flu activity were:

  1. Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas
  2. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas
  3. Houston, Texas
  4. Corpus Christi, Texas
  5. Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas
  6. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
  7. Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.
  8. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
  9. San Antonio, Texas
  10. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.)

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HRG starts GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for Puerto Rico relief

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Hamacher Resource Group has announced the launch of their GoFundMe campaign, HRG Aid to Guayanilla, Puerto Rico. The Waukesha, Wis.-based company is looking to raise funds for their trip to Guayanilla, Puerto Rico to work alongside mayor Nelson Torres Yordán in rebuilding efforts.

“While there has been a lot of aid sent to Puerto Rico, the most densely populated areas are addressed first, leaving some of the outlying areas, such as Guayanilla, waiting longer to receive assistance,” Dawn Vogelsang, president and majority owner at HRG, said. “Our associates’ enthusiastic interest in going beyond Nelson’s internal fundraising prompted us to think about making a difference more personally and directly. The money raised through the GoFundMe campaign will enable HRG to help many in a variety of ways.”

The current situation in Puerto Rico touches the HRG family, due to their valued client, Drougeria Betances being headquartered in the island and a direct employee connection, the company said. The connection comes from merchandising analyst, Nelson Rodriguez who was born in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico and spent 19 years of his life there. Rodriguez organized a fundraiser at HRG in October and both he alongside other associates want to contribute more, the company said.

The trip is scheduled to take place from Jan. 3-10, with the company looking to raise a minimum of $10,000 to make the trip a success.

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McKesson’s Dimos takes the reigns of Health Mart

BY Michael Johnsen

McKesson mainstay Chris Dimos has been promoted to president retail solutions for McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical and Specialty Health, where he will assume responsibility for Health Mart, following the departure of former Health Mart president Steve Courtman. Courtman is now senior vice president of Cigna Pharmacy for Cigna.

Dimos has long been a champion of independent pharmacy, noting in an interview earlier this year that the independent pharmacy business model is still strong.

“Independent pharmacies play a very integral role in patient care and provide a great network of care in their communities," he said. "Independent pharmacists are willing to work with their patients as they go through, either, a journey to stay well, or through any sort of sickness. They are able to help them manage their complex medication regimens and to become more compliant toward better outcomes.”

And while reimbursement pressures challenge all pharmacy models, Dimos continues to be bullish on an independent's ability to compete. "There are opportunities now to maximize reimbursement based on your performance and the independent will have the opportunity to exploit those opportunities."

Dimos has helped drive the continued development of McKesson's U.S. retail efforts, which in addition to Health Mart includes Access Health and the CPG team. Dimos joined McKesson in 2013 as part of the corporate strategy and business development team. In 2016, he assumed responsibilities for marketing for the McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical division.

Dimos came up through the retail pharmacy ranks as a staff pharmacist and held several leadership positions prior to becoming president Supervalu pharmacies and non-food merchandising. He graduated from the Purdue University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He also earned an MBA from Indiana University School of Business and completed the Kellogg Business School Management Executive Program and Cornell University Management Program.

With a passion for representing pharmacy and making a difference in the industry, Dimos has served on the boards of the  National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Mirixa and the NACDS Foundation. He is currently a member of the NACDS Policy Council, the Purdue University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Dean's Advisory Council and the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy National Board of Advisors.

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