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Walgreens.com ranked No. 1

BY DSN STAFF

YONKERS, N.Y. HealthRatings.org, a joint project of Consumer Reports and the Health Improvement institute, ranked Walgreens.com as the leading online pharmacy retailer earlier this month, citing quality of health information and ease of use that garnered a “very good” rating.—Experts at

Walgreens.com, RiteAid.com and CVS.com were rated “excellent” on their privacy policies, but raters gave all three sites a score of “poor” on disclosure of advertising and sponsorship policies, and on policies for correcting wrong, misleading or outdated information.

“Consumers should think of online drug stores the same way they think of drug stores you walk into,” stated Beau Brendler, director of Consumer Reports WebWatch. “You shouldn’t be getting all your health information in the store, where product placement, advertising and other persuasions are at work. You might talk to the pharmacist, you’ve probably done some research and you’ve probably had a conversation with your doctor.”

“Because of their market presence, drug stores serve an important community role, not only in filling prescriptions and selling health-related products, but also in serving as a distribution channel for health information,” stated Peter Goldschmidt, president of the Health Improvement Institute.

Using a tool based on WebWatch’s guidelines for Web site credibility and HII criteria for health information, a panel of health and medical experts examined the three sites in-depth over a period of more than one month, then rated each using established Consumer Reports-style methods and the familiar trademarked symbols. The list was determined using Nielsen//NetRatings and WebWatch data.

This is the first time HealthRatings.org has looked at online pharmacies. Overall ratings scores were determined from 10 attributes, including identity, advertising and sponsorship disclosure, ease of use, privacy, contents, authorship, references, editorial policies and health information.

The raters did not shop at the online drug stores or perform comparison-pricing tests. The ratings do not measure the scientific accuracy and validity of the health information found on the sites.

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Kroger appoints Going as Michigan division president

BY Adam Kraemer

CINCINNATI The Kroger Co. announced Wednesday that it has named Rick Going president of the company’s new Michigan division.

Kroger currently operates 138 stores in the state; Going will oversee operations in them, effective immediately.

During his 26-year tenure with Kroger, Going has held a number of district- and division-level leadership positions at the store and has served as vice president of Retail Operations and vice president of Merchandising for Kroger’s Cincinnati/Dayton division.

“Rick brings extensive experience in operations and merchandising to this new role,” said Don McGeorge, Kroger’s president and chief operating officer. “We look forward to his leadership as he works with our associates to build on Kroger’s growth in Michigan by focusing on our customers to create even better shopping experiences for them.”

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NACDS responds to “misleading” New York Times article

BY DSN STAFF

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has fired back at The New York Times after the publication ran an article in its Sept. 18 issue titled, “The ‘Poisonous Cocktail’ of Multiple Drugs.”

The NACDS said the article misrepresented the role of chain pharmacies in the prevention of harmful drug interactions. The article blamed, “places where chain stores have replaced independent pharmacies or when the patient’s drug plan requires that medications be ordered by mail.” The NACDS retaliated by stating that all pharmacists, no matter whether they work in a chain or at an independent pharmacy, counsel patients for drug interactions and rely on medication information for this purpose.

The NACDS said the article misrepresented the role of chain pharmacies in the prevention of harmful drug interactions. The article blamed, “places where chain stores have replaced independent pharmacies or when the patient’s drug plan requires that medications be ordered by mail.” The NACDS retaliated by stating that all pharmacists, no matter whether they work in a chain or at an independent pharmacy, counsel patients for drug interactions and rely on medication information for this purpose.

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