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Walgreens draws another line in sand, opting out of Delaware Medicaid fills

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK For pharmacy operators like Walgreens, the battle to tamp down state Medicaid budget cuts around the United States must seem like an increasingly urgent, high-stakes game of “Whack-a-Mole.” Delaware is just the latest state to rear its head.

 

Staggered by a severe financial shortfall in the midst of the worst recession in decades, Delaware has joined a growing list of states frantically scrambling to cut spending and stay solvent as tax revenues evaporate. In this grim climate, it’s become an all-too-familiar refrain that one of the favorite targets for state budgeters is Medicaid prescription reimbursement.

 

 

Walgreens has fought this battle before, in such states as Massachusetts, California, and most recently in Washington. The company’s threat to pull 44 of its stores out of that state’s Medicaid program strongly bolstered industry opposition to proposed deep cuts in prescription reimbursements when it was announced in late March.

 

 

Washington has since withdrawn its plan to cut Medicaid pharmacy payments. Let’s hope Delaware’s number crunchers follow the same route — and take a fresh, unbiased look at the far more effective cost-saving proposals that Walgreens, NACDS and other groups have so earnestly put forward.

 

 

If states like Delaware are really serious about saving health care dollars generated by their Medicaid enrollees, they need look no further than those ideas. Increasing generic substitutions, boosting patient-compliance programs and promoting integrated patient-care initiatives among pharmacists, physicians and nurse practitioners are great places to start.

 

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Rite Aid Foundation donates $10,000 to help flood victims

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Wednesday announced that the Rite Aid Foundation is making a $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross to help the victims, families and communities affected by the floods in Mingo and surrounding counties in the western section of West Virginia.

“Our hearts go out to the victims, families and communities affected by these devastating floods,” stated Gayle Rife, manger of the Rite Aid Foundation. “We are hoping that our donation can help make it just a little easier for those who have been impacted the most.”

“The West Virginia spirit truly comes alive when the worst things happen to our fellow citizens,” commented W.V. Gov. Joe Manchin. “We all pitch in when disaster strikes and help our neighbors to recover. I commend Rite Aid for being a good corporate citizen and helping the American Red Cross with its efforts to get the flood victims of southern West Virginia back on their feet. I challenge other corporations that are financially able, to donate and help those who need it the most.”

Rite Aid currently operates 21 stores and a distribution center in Mingo, Putnam and Kanawha Counties.

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BJ’s reports growth in merchandise sales

BY Anna Mcgrath

NATICK, Mass. BJ’s Wholesale Club reported that annual comparable-club sales, excluding gasoline sales, for May have increased by 4% since this time last year.

Increased sales reflect consumer transition to wholesale clubs as a means of obtaining food and other necessities at a lower cost. 

“Our merchandise comparable club sales increase of 4% was a good result in this economy, although it was slightly below our guidance,” said president and CEO Laura Sen. “Traffic continued strong, increasing by 5% over last year. Overall, May sales results reflected continued strength in food and consumables, televisions and computer equipment, partly offset by ongoing softness in discretionary departments such as apparel, jewelry and sporting goods, and a slightly increased impact from price deflation in certain areas of perishable foods.”

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