PHARMACY

Walgreens generates October sales of $6.4 billion with a 5.8% same-store sales lift

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday posted October sales of $6.4 billion, an increase of 6.1%. Sales in comparable stores increased by 5.8% in October. 

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 5.7% in October and increased 6.2% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. This year’s October had one additional Thursday and one fewer Monday compared with October 2012. These calendar shifts negatively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 50 basis points.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores also were positively impacted by 110 basis points due to more flu shots versus last year and were negatively impacted by 20 basis points due to lower incidence of flu in this year’s October.

October pharmacy sales increased by 7.8%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 7.9% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 8.4%. Calendar day-shift adjusted comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 100 basis points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, and were positively impacted by 70 basis points due to more flu shots versus last year. Pharmacy sales accounted for 65.5% of total sales for the month.

Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season to date were more than 4.9 million versus nearly 3.6 million last year.

Total front-end sales increased 3.5% compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2.3%. Customer traffic in comparable stores increased 0.6% while basket size increased 1.7%.

Calendar 2013 sales to date were $60.5 billion, an increase of 4.3%.

Fiscal 2014 year-to-date sales for the first two months were $12.3 billion, up 7%.

Walgreens opened 14 stores during October, including four relocations, and closed two.

 

 

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Walgreens’ corporate operations VP tapped to lead health care for Boots in U.K. and Ireland

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens and Alliance Boots on Tuesday announced that Richard Ashworth, Walgreens corporate operations VP for the Western United States, has been appointed as director of health care, health and beauty U.K. and Republic of Ireland at Alliance Boots. He will report to Simon Roberts, managing director, health and beauty U.K. and ROI.

In this new role, Ashworth will lead the development and delivery of the health care strategy for Boots in the U.K. and Ireleand.

“Richard’s two decades of health care experience, leadership and service to Walgreens in a variety of roles has been invaluable to our company as we continued to develop our strategy to transform community pharmacy," stated Greg Wasson, Walgreens president and CEO. "His move to Alliance Boots represents yet another step forward and is further testament to the strong and steady progress we are making in advancing our strategic partnership.” 

“We are very pleased to welcome Richard to our group," agreed Stefano Pessina, executive chairman Alliance Boots. "His appointment further illustrates the progress we continue to make towards achieving our vision for the creation of the first global health and wellbeing enterprise. As he familiarizes himself with the U.K. and Irish markets, Richard’s experience at Walgreens will bring positive benefits to Boots and the delivery of its health care plans, as well as help further combine best practices of our two companies.”

As corporate operations VP for Walgreens since 2011, Ashworth, a pharmacist, led more than 2,000 locations in the Western division, where he was primarily responsible for the overall development and growth of all drug stores and health care points of care. Joining the company in 1992 as a service clerk, he has held various store operations leadership positions from pharmacy supervisor to market VP. He was promoted in 2007 to EVP of pharmacy benefit management services for Walgreens Health Initiatives, a subsidiary of Walgreens. In that role, he led sales and client services, clinical services and health outcomes, provider relations and the operating teams. In 2010, Ashworth was promoted to VP pharmacy operations, overseeing the clinical, operational and overall development of Walgreens pharmacies nationwide and implementation of pharmacy technology and services.

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Texas State Board of Pharmacy proposal to eliminate pharmacist-technician ratios draws opposition, support

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A proposal by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to eliminate the required ratio of pharmacy technicians to pharmacists in retail pharmacies in the state has drawn mixed responses from professional and industry trade groups.

Currently, the required ratio is three technicians to one pharmacist, which the board’s proposal would remove for retail pharmacies, known under Texas law as "Class A" pharmacies. In response, the Texas Pharmacy Association has proposed an interim ratio requirement of four technicians to one pharmacist.

The proposal has drawn opposition from the National Community Pharmacists Association.

"We contend that elimination of ratios is not in the best interest of pharmacists or the patients they serve," a letter from NCPA VP policy and regulatory affairs Ronna Hauser to TSPB director of professional services Allison Benz read. "As the mission of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy is to promote, preserve and protect the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens, NCPA does not agree that state boards of pharmacy should allow individual pharmacies to set their own ratios."

Meanwhile, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ RxIMPACT project urged members to express support for the proposal.

"NACDS RxIMPACT is calling on the pharmacy community to tell the Texas State Board of Pharmacy that allowing on-duty pharmacists to help determine adequate staffing will enhance patient care and public safety because pharmacists will have more time to focus on what they have been trained to do: interact with and counsel patients!" an action alert on RxIMPACT’s website read.

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