PHARMACY

Walgreens Boots Alliance all-day analyst meeting delivers key insights

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. – At its 2015 Analyst Day in New York City today, the leadership team of Walgreens Boots Alliance outlined the key business drivers that will move the newly-created, international organization forward as it operates in diverse markets across the globe with a common aim and focus.
 
Executive Vice Chairman and Acting Chief Executive Officer Stefano Pessina said, “We are just over three months since the completion of our strategic combination and the launch of Walgreens Boots Alliance on Dec. 31, which itself happened months ahead of the original schedule thanks to the extraordinary work of our teams in the final weeks of 2014. We have achieved a lot in a short period of time, and everything we have seen convinces us that there is significant opportunity. It may take different forms in different markets, and there may be many components as it takes time to deliver. But the potential is there," he said. 
 
And while the newly branded Walgreens Boots Alliance is open to both joint venture and M&A opportunties in the marketplace, Pessina asked analysts to give the company time to digest and assess the U.S. retail marketplace. 
 
“Across our organization we have excellent people running solid businesses and running them well on a daily basis. This is an extraordinarily capable and dedicated group with an excellent track record of leading complex international businesses in truly tough conditions to deliver systematic and sustainable value for our investors," he said. “Beyond that, our size and scope means that if we are effective in our delivery, we will be one of the companies that helps shape the future of health care, pharmacy and retail on a global basis. As our businesses and the markets in which we operate evolve and change, we have many opportunities.”
 
Addressing the group of analysts today were leaders from the company’s three divisions (Retail Pharmacy USA, Retail Pharmacy International and Pharmaceutical Wholesale), its cross divisional functions (including Global Brands and its Global Pharmacy Market Access group), Walgreens Boots Alliance Development and the company’s finance team.
 
Pessina emphasized the strategic and tactical advantages derived from the company’s Pharmaceutical Wholesale division. “Our wholesale business is not only highly cash generative while providing a common platform and true international presence, but it is also an enabling business in a sector with scope for further consolidation,” he said.
 
“Wholesale lets us enter new markets at scale more rapidly than retail, while its cash flows help give us financial scale and efficiencies. And it brings the mindset of running a low margin operation – with all the rigor and discipline that demands – throughout the combined company’s culture. Finally, it is our wholesale relationships and experience that form the basis of the procurement work being done at WBAD. Without wholesale, we would not be able to achieve anything like what we are in terms of world class procurement in pharmaceuticals.”
 
Leaders from the Retail Pharmacy USA division highlighted the industry shifts impacting the division and, in response, where the division will operate and how it intends to win. Included in that plan is creating an integrated, back-to-basics approach in its pharmacy and front of store operations designed to deliver ultimate convenience, customer loyalty and extraordinary customer and patient care. That customer experience also will be supported by investments in key operational efficiencies such as IT systems, modernizing our pharmacies and investing in customer care.
 
From a retail pharmacy network access perspective, company leaders described how they’re working to create a global market access mindset through disciplined investment, a focus on patient pull-through and evolved stakeholder partnerships. In the specialty pharmacy market, the division is using a differentiated model to manage costs and improve outcomes by providing access to care in a cost effective, clinically appropriate setting and through partnerships involving Biopharma, payers, providers and patients.
 
With a retail footprint across Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Gulf, the Retail Pharmacy International division has seen increasing demand for its brands globally. As the division’s leaders work to grow the business organically in existing markets, they are also looking for opportunities in new markets. The division continues to benefit from the exchange of learnings across all of its markets; from the virtuous cycle between health care and wellbeing; from insights gained through loyalty programs to increase personalization; from deploying digital solutions; and from its relationship with manufacturers and suppliers.
 
More specifically in the U.K. market, Boots is quickly developing new pharmacy and omnichannel models while continuing to innovate in health and beauty in response to changing customer expectations and how they now live their lives. Boots is focused on more personalization and expert care; more confidence in the value it offers with inspiring rewards; and easy and seamless access for all of its customers’ health and beauty needs.
 
Leaders from the Global Brands cross divisional function are moving quickly to drive additional sourcing benefits across the company; help Walgreens and Boots improve pricing and promotions; re-launch the Soap & Glory brand in the USA; and continue driving the performance of powerful brands such as No7, Boots Pharmaceuticals and Well at Walgreens. Over the longer term, growth opportunities for Global Brands include transforming category management capabilities across the company; supporting Walgreens evolution in beauty and personal care offerings; increasing revenue potential through data and analytics capabilities; introducing its portfolio of brands to new markets including Mexico and Chile; and continuing to seek breakthrough innovation and high potential brands to complement the company’s portfolio.
 
Working within the health care industry places Walgreens Boots Alliance in a privileged position to help improve the health care available to communities around the globe and contribute to building strong foundations for a sustainable future. The company’s leadership described its Corporate Social Responsibility framework through four key areas: community, environment, marketplace and workplace. 
 
Concluding the day, company financial leaders reviewed the integration and restructuring progress made so far.
 
Pessina added, “This is a dynamic and exciting business to be in. I am honored to be part of it, to be leading it and to be a partner with our shareholders in it.”
 
The Walgreens Boots Alliance 2015 Analyst Day continues tomorrow, April 16, beginning at 8 a.m. Eastern time with a half-day session to review financial performance and provide management’s perspective regarding key financial variables.   
 
Live video of tomorrow’s session will be simulcast through the Walgreens Boots Alliance investor relations website at http://investor.walgreensbootsalliance.com. Presentation materials also will be available on the website. A replay of the full conference will be archived on the website for 12 months after the conference.
 
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Cardinal Health, APhA announce winners of annual GenerationRx Awards

BY Antoinette Alexander

DUBLIN, Ohio — The Cardinal Health Foundation and the American Pharmacists Association recently recognized pharmacists for their efforts in prescription medication misuse prevention.

During the APhA 2015 Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, the Cardinal Health Foundation and APhA awarded the fifth annual American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) GenerationRx Awards, which recognize use of the GenerationRx toolkit, a communications package including talking points, presentation materials and tips to enable users to raise awareness of prescription drug misuse in their communities.

The organizations also awarded the fourth annual APhA GenerationRx Award of Excellence, an award recognizing one pharmacist for his or her outstanding efforts in prescription medication misuse prevention.

The APhA-ASP GenerationRx award is part of a national competition among APhA-ASP chapters. This past year, student pharmacists from 82 chapters conducted more than 800 GenerationRx presentations and educated more than 134,000 children, teens, college students and adults. More than 12.7 million people were reached via public relations outreach.

The 2015 APhA-ASP GenerationRx national and regional awards were presented during the APhA-ASP Opening General Session. The chapters honored in this year's competition were:

  • National Award: East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy
  • 
National 1st Runner-Up Award: University of Florida College of Pharmacy

  • National 2nd Runner-Up Award: The University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy

  • Region 1 Award: MCPHS University – Boston
  • 
Region 2 Award: University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy

  • Region 3 Award: The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy
  • 
Region 4 Award: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy

  • Region 5 Award: Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

  • Region 6 Award: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy 

  • Region 7 Award: Idaho State University College of Pharmacy

  • Region 8 Award: University of California, San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

The 2015 recipient of the APhA GenerationRx Award of Excellence is Nathan Painter of La Jolla, California. Painter was selected in recognition of his commitment to community partnerships and interprofessional collaboration in providing substance misuse education. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, where he manages a pharmacist-run clinic for patients with chronic diseases. Painter serves as the faculty advisor for UCSD's APhA – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) GenerationRx activities and created a prescription drug misuse elective course. He is an active member of the San Diego County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force and has collaborated on an interprofessional team to evaluate the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

The awards mark a continuation of the APhA and Cardinal Health Foundation partnership to prevent the misuse of prescription medications. The organizations work together to provide a comprehensive education program to aid pharmacists and student pharmacists in educating their communities about the dangers of prescription drug misuse.

With more than 15 million people aged 12 or older using prescription drugs non-medically annually, prevention education is key to reversing the trend of misuse.
 

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Generics company based in a small Minnesota town drawing interest from Wall Street

BY Michael Johnsen

 BAUDETTE, Minn. – ANI Pharmaceuticals is carving out a name for itself as a niche generic player here, according to a report published Monday by the MinnPost

The report profiles ANI Pharmaceuticals, which is located in a small town 300 miles north of Minneapolis. 
 
According to the report, ANI grew its per share price from $20.08 at the end of 2013 to more than $67.12 in trading today. The company's revenue is on a similar upward trajectory, having tripled in the past two years to $56 million in 2014. 
 
And the company estimates sales of $80 million to $88 million for 2015, MinnPost reported.
 
In 2014, ANI spent $35.5 million in three separate deals to acquire products – Lithobid, which treats patients with bipolar disorder; Vancocin, an antibiotic used to treat infections; and EEMT, an estrogen drug used to treat symptoms of menopause. The two new drugs have been helping to drive ANI’s growth. But the company’s biggest seller is an estrogen drug known as EEMT, which is used to treat symptoms of menopause. In 2014, EEMT accounted for 42 percent of ANI’s total sales.
 
Growing niche generic products that were languishing in larger pharmaceutical houses is ANI's specialty, the report noted. And with $169 million cash on hand, ANI is looking to acquire more niche generics going forward. 
 

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