PHARMACY

Walgreens’ Riedl shifts to pharmacy

BY Jim Frederick

DEERFIELD, Ill. —In a major shift of responsibilities, Walgreens has named its top merchant, George Riedl, to the new post of SVP pharmacy innovation and purchasing in the pharmacy services department. The change was effective March 1.

Riedl has led the company’s purchasing and merchandising departments since 2003, and saw his role expanded to EVP marketing and merchandising in late 2008 as part of a sweeping management shakeup that may still be underway. His shift to overseer of Walgreens’ effort to overhaul its pharmacy operation makes it clear that shakeup may continue for some time; it also underscores the importance the big drug store chain attaches to both its pharmacy and front-end renewal projects.

Replacing Riedl in his old post is Bryan Pugh, a Walmart and Tesco USA veteran, who joined the company earlier this year as VP store format development. Pugh, 46, has been named VP merchandising and will retain his role as head of store development.

Pugh will take a lead role in the company’s remerchandising and SKU rationalization program, which aims to recharge excitement at the front of the store and boost per-customer transactions by at least one additional purchase per customer, per visit.

Riedl, 48, will oversee all pharmaceutical purchasing along with rollout of the POWER initiative, a project aimed at cutting pharmacy dispensing costs and enhancing patient-pharmacist interaction by offloading such dispensing duties as prescription and claims verification to centralized “hub” pharmacies. POWER is currently operational in more than 360 Florida stores, the company reported, and is on track for a statewide rollout in all 774 Florida stores by the end of August.

Riedl joined Walgreens in 1982 as a pharmacy intern and was a store pharmacist and district pharmacy supervisor until 1991, when he moved to company headquarters. There, he held various positions in Walgreens’ pharmacy services and e-commerce departments before being named a general merchandise manager in purchasing in 2000.

Pugh spent three years with Tesco, the fast-growing European supermarket chain that has made big inroads in U.S. retailing. He designed the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market store operations model and launched the retail grocery chain on the West Coast, where it grew to 90 locations in less than a year.

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CV Therapeutics’ board of directors rejects Astellas’ tender offer

BY Allison Cerra

PALO ALTO, Calif. The board of directors of CV Therapeutics announced Friday it has rejected Astellas’ tender offer of $16 per share.

CV Therapeutics’ determined that the offer “undervalues the company and is not in the best interests of its stockholders”, according to a release.

The announcement comes once day after Gilead Sciences announced it would acquire CV Therapeutics, making it a wholly owned subsidiary of Gilead. The transaction is valued at approximately $1.4 billion, with a tender offer of $20 per share.

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Take Care Health Systems opens new clinic in Phoenix

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has opened a new clinic in the Phoenix market, the clinic operator announced on Friday.

With the new opening, the company now has 18 clinics in that market.

Take Care Health Systems operates a total of 339 clinics in 35 markets throughout 19 states.

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