PHARMACY

Vasos departs Longs; is named division president, CMO at Dollar General

BY Antoinette Alexander

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. In the wake of CVS Caremark’s acquisition of Longs Drug Stores, top Longs executives are starting to resurface at other companies with the most recent being Todd Vasos, who has reunited with another former Longs executive at discount retailer Dollar General.

Vasos, former executive vice president and chief operating officer at Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Longs, will join Dollar General as division president and chief merchandising officer, effective Dec. 1.

Vasos will oversee merchandising, marketing and global sourcing for the company?s 8,300-store network. He will report to chief executive officer Rick Dreiling, who served as an executive at Longs from 2003 to 2005.

“Todd Vasos has a record of leading successful teams and implementing innovative merchandising solutions,” Dreiling said. “He comes on board at an exciting time at Dollar General, and he joins a dynamic team. I look forward to working with Todd to reinforce Dollar General’s leadership and its mission of serving others.”

In his role as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Longs, Vasos was responsible for all pharmacy and front-end marketing, merchandising, procurement, supply chain, advertising, store development, store layout, store operations, loss prevention, store construction and the operation of three distribution centers. Before being named chief operating officer in March 2008, Vasos served for seven years as Longs’ senior vice president and chief merchandising officer.

Vasos has also served in leadership positions at Eckerd Drug Corp. and Phar-Mor Food and Drug.

Dreiling, whose retail career dates back to 1969 when he was hired as a part-time clerk with Safeway in Kansas, joined Longs in July 2003 as executive vice president and chief operations officer, overseeing store operations, construction, asset protection and labor management. In March 2005, he was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer, adding to his responsibilities marketing, merchandising and distribution.

In November 2005, Dreiling took the helm at Manhattan-based retailer Duane Reade. In January 2008, Dreiling left Duane Reade to serve as the chief executive officer at Dollar General.

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PHARMACY

FDA raises questions about efficacy of pain medication tamper-proofing

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Questions have arisen as to whether a pill by Pain Therapeutics and King Pharmaceuticals is resistant to tampering.

A memo by the Food and Drug Administration Monday concerns the drug Remoxy, a formulation of oxycodone that uses liquid capsule drug-delivery technology designed to prevent misuse of the drug. Some people have abused oxycodone tablets by crushing them, dissolving it in water and then injecting it for its opiate-like effects.

The FDA’s memo said that Pain Therapeutics did not sufficiently conduct long-term tests of Remoxy to determine whether the oxycodone could be extracted and diverted, though Pain Therapeutics disputes that claim.

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Titan releases earnings report for Q3 2008

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Titan Pharmaceuticals has released financial results for third quarter 2008.

Total operating costs for the quarter, which ended Sept. 30, were $6 million, compared with $4.6 million for third quarter 2007, the company said. Net loss for the quarter was $5.9 million, compared to $4.3 million last year; losses in both cases totaled 10 cents a share. The increase in operating costs resulted mostly from an increase in research and development funding related to development of the opiate addiction treatment Probuphine (buprenorphine) and a slight increase in general and administrative costs.

“We have continued to streamline our expenses and focus our resources on the phase 3 clinical development of Probuphine,” Titan president and chief executive Marc Rubin said. “During the third quarter, we have engaged in discussions with several potential partners both in the U.S. and Europe, and we are continuing these efforts as we evaluate strategic alternatives for the company.”

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