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Two wholesalers named to this year’s InformationWeek Elite 100

BY Michael Johnsen
SAN FRANCISCO – Two wholesalers – H.D. Smith and McKesson – were named this week to this year’s InformationWeek Elite 100 – a list of the top business technology innovators in the U.S.
 
“As business success becomes even more dependent on the ability to innovate in information technology, being represented on the InformationWeek Elite 100 list is one of the biggest honors a company can achieve,” said Susan Nunziata, editorial director of InformationWeek. “It’s a validation of efforts by the business to make IT a game changer.”
 
InformationWeek recognized McKesson for its “Business Warehouse and SAP Modernization Project,” which updated McKesson’s technology platform, addressed current demands and positioned the business for growth, specifically so that McKesson’s Pharmaceutical business unit could further scale its operations to support its growth.
 
“McKesson’s strong enterprise technology team continues to raise the bar, and the Business Warehouse and SAP Modernization Project is just one example of the team developing new and more effective methods of data collection and analysis that were not previously possible,” stated Kathy McElligott, EVP, chief information officer and chief technology officer, McKesson. 
 
H. D. Smith recently created an in-house mobile application for its sales representatives to use to help manage accounts out in the field. One of the features of the app includes notifications that alerts a rep when a pharmacy is nearing a purchasing opportunity. By encouraging the pharmacy to take advantage of the purchasing opportunity, H. D. Smith and the pharmacy mutually benefit.
 
“As a management team, we decided to focus energy on how to serve the customer, how to bring solutions to market faster and how to leverage this challenging market,” stated David Guzman, chief information officer at H. D. Smith. “Our intent throughout the last year has been to improve profitability of our partner pharmacies, while creating value for them.”
 
“We work in a very competitive environment, and our sales team is always looking for ways to become a more trusted advisor to our customers,” said Rob Meriweather, corporate VP sales, H.D. Smith. “Through the app, we can share real-time data, trends and purchasing opportunities, all while building stronger relationships.”
 
This is InformationWeek’s 28th year identifying and honoring the nation's most innovative users of information technology. The InformationWeek Elite 100 research tracks the technology-based investments, strategies, and results of some of the best-known organizations in the country. 
 
 
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Walgreens adds New Jersey to list of states where naloxone is available without Rx

BY Michael Johnsen
DEERFIELD, Ill. – New Jersey is the latest state where Walgreens is making naloxone, an opioid antidote, available without a prescription in accordance with state pharmacy regulations.
 
Naloxone is now more accessible and easier to obtain in more than 190 Walgreens pharmacies throughout New Jersey.
 
“By making naloxone available without a prescription, we are making it easier for New Jersey families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it’s needed,” said Domenic DiPrimo, Walgreens regional healthcare director in New Jersey. “As a pharmacy we are here to help people, and we are committed to making naloxone more accessible in the communities we serve.”
 
In February, Walgreens announced plans to make naloxone available without a prescription in 35 states and Washington D.C. in accordance with each state’s pharmacy regulations. Since its announcement, naloxone has been made available without a prescription in more than 1,500 Walgreens pharmacies throughout the states of Alabama, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
 
When implementation of the program is complete, naloxone will be available without a prescription in more than 5,800 of Walgreens nearly 8,200 stores.
 
“We’re encouraged to learn that naloxone will now be more readily available to consumers through this program,” said acting Attorney General Robert Lougy. “In the past two years State Police, local law enforcement and EMS personnel have administered naloxone to more than 11,000 overdose victims, and saved countless lives. However, despite our best efforts, police and EMS personnel cannot be everywhere that narcotics are being procured and abused all the time. This will help save additional lives.”
 
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Same-stores Q1 sales up 6.3% across Shoppers Drug Mart

BY Michael Johnsen
BRAMPTON, Ontario – Loblaw Companies on Wednesday posted $8.1 billion, an increase of 3.3%, for its first quarter ended March 26, 2016. Retail segment sales were $7.9 billion. 
 
Drug retail (Shoppers Drug Mart) same-store sales growth was 6.3%, with same-store pharmacy sales increasing by 4.2% and same-store front store sales increasing by 8.2%. The timing of Easter had a positive impact on front store same-store sales of approximately 1.9%.
 
"We continued to execute against our financial plan in the first quarter of 2016, achieving positive same-stores sales, stable gross margins and higher operating earnings," said Galen Weston, executive chairman and president, Loblaw Companies. "Positive same-store sales reflected very strong performance in Drug Retail and slightly disappointing results in Food Retail. Looking ahead, we are confident that our continued focus on earnings growth along with the strength of our company's balance sheet, will enable us to fund growth initiatives and return capital to shareholders, amidst a highly competitive retail environment and the continued pressure of healthcare reform."
 
Net earnings available to common shareholders of the company were $150.3 million, an increase of 32.2% as compared to the first quarter of 2015. 
 
 
 
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