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Walgreens settles dispute over reimbursements

BY DSN STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens said it has resolved federal and state investigations related to disputes over Medicaid reimbursements for three drugs the company dispensed at its pharmacies. The company denied any wrongdoing in connection with the settlement.

Many generic drugs, including those at issue in the settlement agreement, are made as both tablets and capsules. Between 2001 and 2004, Walgreens dispensed one form of each of the generic drugs at issue instead of another form of the same drug. Federal and state regulators investigated to determine whether this practice resulted in higher Medicaid reimbursement to the company. Walgreens believes the reimbursements it received from Medicaid were consistent with applicable regulations. .

The company has agreed to pay the federal government, 42 states and Puerto Rico a total of $35 million, plus investigative costs of approximately $280,000. Walgreens has reserved for the settlement, which will have no impact on financial results.

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Walgreens, Nielsen renew agreement through 2013

BY Alaric DeArment

PHOENIX Under a contract renewed Wednesday, Walgreens and Nielsen will continue their collaboration through 2013 in category management, business planning and merchandising services.

Nielsen will also share consumer data and insights with the drug store chain. The data will help Walgreens develop new strategies for attracting customers. Nielsen will also provide Walgreens with Nielsen Answers Retail Edition, a custom analytics platform for retailers.

Based in Haarlem, the Netherlands and New York, Nielsen is a global information and media company that gathers and distributes information on media, marketing and the Internet, as well as sponsoring trade shows and publishing trade titles such as Billboard, Adweek and The Hollywood Reporter.

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Drugstorenews.com ranks among top BtoB media sites

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Drugstorenews.com, the online news home for The Drug Store News Group, was ranked among the top five fastest-growing Web sites in terms of new, unique visitors, according to a recent report in Mins b2b, a weekly industry newsletter for publishing and media executives. Between the months of February and March, drugstorenews.com received the fifth highest percentage gain in the number of unique visitors that visited the Web site during that time, up almost 27 percent month over month, Mins b2b reported in its May 26 edition.

In March, drugstorenews.com received 33,827 unique visitors to the site, a sharp increase over the 26,649 unique visitors the site received in February, as tracked by WebTrends. The news is an important win for The Drug Store News Group, which has devoted more and more resources in recent years to growing its online platform and empowering buyers and sellers in the retail pharmacy industry to communicate more directly and with greater immediacy than ever before.

“The Center for Media Research reported recently that 38 percent of corporate-level executives are using their favorite publication’s Web site on a daily basis. They do it because the websites offer more useful information on the topics they’re interested in; it’s easy and fast,” noted Drug Store News Group publisher John Kenlon. “Drugstorenews.com is growing—versus some pretty big sites—because it helps retail executives keep up with their competitors.”

According to webopedia.com, the term unique visitor refers to “a person who visits a Web site more than once within a specified period of time. Software that tracks and counts Web site traffic can distinguish between visitors who only visit the site once and ‘unique visitors’ who return to the site. Different from a site’s hits or page views—which are measured by the number of files that are requested from a site—unique visitors are measured according to their unique IP addresses, which are like online fingerprints, and unique visitors are counted only once no matter how many times they visit the site.”

Other top finishers, according to the Mins b2b report, included che.com and chemweek.com, which both cover the chemical industry, as well as jlc.com, a web-based resource for professionals in the construction industry, and macforge.net, an online guide for computer programmers looking for open source projects that work on the Mac platform.

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