PHARMACY

Walgreens announces retirement of Jeffrey Rein as chairman and CEO, board names Alan McNally chairman and acting CEO

BY DSN STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. FROM WALGREENS PRESS RELEASE: “Walgreens today announced that Jeffrey Rein, 56, is retiring as chairman, chief executive officer and a director. Alan McNally, 62, lead director of the Walgreens Board, has been named chairman and acting chief executive officer. McNally previously served as chairman and chief executive officer of Harris Bankcorp and has been a member of the Walgreens Board since 1999.

‘We would like to thank Jeff Rein for his many outstanding contributions to Walgreens over the past 26 years and respect his decision to retire,’ said McNally. ‘Walgreens is a strong company with market-leading businesses and exceptional growth prospects. We recently completed our 34th consecutive year of record sales and earnings while maintaining a strong balance sheet and financial flexibility. We are confident that our core retail and pharmacy business and growing health and wellness initiatives will drive continued growth and value creation for shareholders.’ 

The Board has formed a special committee, comprised of William Foote, chair of the governance committee, James A. Skinner, chair of the compensation committee, and McNally, to lead a nationwide search for a permanent chief executive officer. The special committee will be considering both internal and external candidates. 

‘It has been a tremendous honor to serve Walgreens,’ Rein said. ‘Walgreens is one of America’s finest corporations, and I am proud of our accomplishments over the years in building America’s largest drugstore chain offering consumer goods and services and serving the health and wellness needs of millions of Americans. I have great confidence in the company’s future, and I thank our 226,000 employees for their exceptional dedication and commitment to Walgreens.’ 

Rein’s retirement will be effective immediately. 

Walgreens is the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2008 sales of $59 billion. The company operates 6,479 drugstores in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Walgreens provides the most convenient access to consumer goods and cost-effective health care services in America through its retail drugstores, Walgreens Health Services division and Walgreens Health and Wellness division. Walgreens Health Services assists pharmacy patients and prescription drug and medical plans through Walgreens Health Initiatives Inc. (a pharmacy benefit manager), Walgreens Mail Service Inc., Walgreens Home Care Inc., Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy LLC and SeniorMed LLC (a pharmacy provider to long-term care facilities). Walgreens Health and Wellness division includes Take Care Health Systems, which is comprised of: Take Care Consumer Solutions, managers of 247 convenient care clinics at Walgreens drugstores, and Take Care Employer Solutions, managers of worksite-based health and wellness services at 364 employer campuses. 

This news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The following factors could cause results to differ materially from management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements: seasonal variations, competition, risks of new business areas, the availability and cost of real estate and construction, and changes in federal or state legislation or regulations. Investors are referred to the ‘Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements’ in the Company’s most recent Form 10-K, which Note is incorporated into this news release by reference. In addition, there are certain risks and uncertainties relating to the proposed transaction that may impact forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, consummation of the proposed transaction, satisfaction of the conditions to closing the proposed transaction, the ability to realize the anticipated benefits and cost synergies and the performance of Walgreens following consummation of the proposed transaction.”

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Zebra to provide industry printer services to Managed Healthcare Associates

BY Alaric DeArment

VERNON HILLS, Pa. A company that provides printing services for the healthcare industry and the country’s largest alternate-site GPO have signed a three-year agreement to provide barcode and card printers.

Zebra Technologies will provide Managed Healthcare Associates with its printers, as well as supplies and service agreements, at almost 500 of MHA’s member facilities for identification, tracking and access-control applications.

“Increasing patient safety is among the highest priorities in healthcare today,” MHA contract coordinator Kelly Decker said. “Having effective information technology in place is a key step in building a culture of safety that enables providers to improve outcomes and quality of care throughout their organizations.”

According to the Institute of Medicine, at least 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events happen every year in the United States, thought bar coding has been shown to reduce dangerous and expensive medical errors.

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Drug adherence study shows that patients suffering despression often go off medication

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A company that provides patient adherence and education programs released a study recently that examined adherence rates among patients on SSRI/SNRI antidepressant therapy.

The study, by Burlington, Mass.-based Adheris, found that patients new to antidepressant treatment and those who had restarted therapy after a lapse of six months or more were twice as likely to discontinue therapy in the first 30 days of treatment versus patients previously dispensed an antidepressant.

It also found that the greatest differences in the duration of antidepressant use were not among patients using different drugs, but among patients taking the same drug with different levels of prior experience with antidepressants.

The study appears in the September issue of the journal Clinical Therapeutics. It included more than 211,000 patients taking SSRI/SNRIs from 1,157 retail pharmacies across the country.

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