Walgreens gathers its top suppliers to boost minority-, women-owned firms
DEERFIELD, Ill. In a bid to build business opportunities for companies owned by women and minorities, Walgreens and some of its largest pharmaceutical suppliers are hosting a business development event Tuesday designed to leverage each company’s relationships with minority- and women-owned businesses.
Walgreens has dubbed the gathering the “Power of Alignment” Expo. The trade show, being held Tuesday at Chicago’s Navy Pier, was organized by Walgreens and some of its top vendors, including AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Watson Pharmaceuticals.
Also in attendance at the daylong event: 118 minority- and women-owned companies that do business with those suppliers. Those businesses represent a broad cross-section of professional and business services, including trucking and transportation, distribution and warehousing, construction, and printing or advertising industries.
“Each business has delivered high quality services to a sponsoring company, earning a recommendation that could now open exciting new doors,” Walgreens noted in a statement. “This unprecedented collaboration is an effort to connect each company with potential vendors recommended by their peers.”
The expo includes a presentation from Walgreens SVP pharmacy Kermit Crawford and a panel discussion with the purchasing leadership from four sponsoring companies. Participating businesses will have the opportunity to network and share best practices. Division leaders from each sponsoring company will spend the majority of the day meeting with dozens of potential vendors. A total of more than 270 20-minute appointments have been booked.
“Every sponsor for this event shares a commitment to supporting the economic development of the diverse communities in which we live, work and serve customers,” said Walgreens director of supplier diversity Gleatha Glispie. “I congratulate our partners for taking this inspiring step forward.”
Glispie described the Navy Pier gathering as a new model for developing business opportunities for women and minorities, based on “the incredible power of cross networking.” A key measure of its success, she said, will be “to have each sponsor award new contracts to a participating business this year.”
New details emerge on NACDS realignment
ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Monday revealed further details of a sweeping management realignment and staff reduction. The announcement followed the organization’s first revelation on Thursday, April 30, that it was undertaking a streamlining and consolidation to shed operating costs in a difficult economy, and to respond more effectively to member needs in a shifting political and healthcare environment.
The overhaul includes the consolidation of some departments and a reduction of 15 filled full-time positions, from 92 to 77, or 16%.
Among the NACDS staff members leaving under the reorganization are Fitz Elder, VP of member relations and chief member relations officer; Phil Schneider, VP external relations and president of the NACDS Foundation; and membership coordinator Conchi Vallecillo. All three are taking voluntary retirement, NACDS revealed, and their positions “will not be refilled.”
A dozen other staff members are also headed for the exits, and their positions are being eliminated, according to the organization. They include Kate Crummett, manager of meetings and special events; senior graphic designer Kerrin Cuison; director of technology standards Michele Davidson; IT support specialist David Dorsey and Dan Faoro, VP communications production and strategic marketing.
Also leaving are Resource Center coordinator Marcy Gascoine; Ashley Matthews, coordinator of conference services and exhibits; membership coordinator Teresa Muldrow; Steve Poston, director of IT and facility services; web/database applications specialist Bikrum Saluja, director of policy and programs Christina Thompson; and Lisa White, manager of meetings and international affairs.
On Thursday, NACDS termed the staff cutbacks “very difficult” but necessary in the current economic downturn. The changes, noted the group, are “part of a comprehensive, multi-year plan to refocus and realign…activities and programs” to make NACDS more responsive to its members’ goals and current market realities.
In line with the streamlining effort, NACDS has grouped its 77-member team and its activities under six senior executives, all of who report to president and CEO Steven Anderson. They include:
- Finance and Accounting, human resources and administration and information services, headed by EVP and CFO Jim Huber;
- Membership, meetings and exhibits and international affairs, under the direction of Jim Whitman, SVP meetings and exhibits;
- Federal and state policy and programs, headed by Carol Kelly, SVP government affairs and public policy;
- Legal affairs, under SVP legal affairs and general counsel Don Bell;
- Pharmacy affairs, pharmacy education and the NACDS Foundation, headed by Edith Rosato, SVP pharmacy affairs;
- Media relations, member communications and Internet activities, under Chris Krese, SVP marketing, communications and media relations.
Antibiotic voluntarily recalled by Ranbaxy
PRINCETON, N.J. All supplies of an antibiotic will be recalled amid concerns that it could cause nausea and vomiting.
Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals announced last week that it would voluntarily recall all lots of the drug Nitrofurantoin (monohydrate and macrocrystals) capsules in the 100-mg strength.
The company said some lots were defective, but decided to recall all lots as a precaution. The company, based in Gurgaon, India, said it is conducting the recall in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration at the retail level. Recalled lots of the drug are unlikely to produce serious adverse effects, Ranbaxy said, but a remote possibility exists of nausea and vomiting. The company said patients using the drug should consult their physicians about alternative medication options.