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Walgreens adds senior Rx services to its growing specialty operations

BY Jim Frederick

DEERFIELD, Ill. Extending its aggressive reach into the specialty pharmacy arena, Walgreen Co. has acquired two pharmacies that serve assisted-living senior centers from TabSafe Prescription Services, LLC, the pharmacy services division of TabSafe Medical Services, Inc.

The senior-living pharmacies are located in Largo, Fla. and Roswell, Ga. Both pharmacies will operate as part of Walgreens’ SeniorMed division. SeniorMed is a medication management company founded in 1996 that exclusively serves senior-living communities and was fully acquired by Walgreens in June 2007.

The acquisition expands Walgreens’ existing service capacity to senior-living communities in the Tampa, Fla., market, while opening the Atlanta senior-living market to the company for the first time, according to a Walgreens statement. “By operating the TabSafe pharmacies under SeniorMed, Walgreens can offer a number of additional benefits to those patients through Walgreens Home Care and Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy,” the company noted. Among those benefits: home infusion and respiratory services, durable medical equipment, access to self-injectable medications, and comprehensive patient education and support. 

TabSafe Medical Services will retain its ownership and rights to manufacture and market the TabSafe medication management system for seniors.

“TabSafe’s devotion to helping those faced with the complexities of taking multiple medications is right in line with Walgreens’ commitment to healthy aging,” said John Heid, vice president of long-term care pharmacy for Walgreens Health Services, the managed care division of Walgreen Co. “This acquisition allows us to care for a larger segment of that population and offer them additional services.”

Jim Chiavetta, chief executive officer of TabSafe Medical, said, “Walgreens will partner with us to continue offering our TabSafe medication management device in the Atlanta and Tampa areas. In addition, we hope to work with Walgreens on offering the TabSafe device in all cities where it serves senior-living communities.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Rite Aid to sponsor dirt racing events

BY Michael Johnsen

CONCORD, N.C. The World Racing Group on Monday announced that Rite Aid would sponsor in 2008 of the Rite Aid Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track being held at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, as well as the Rite Aid 200 at Super DIRT Week in Syracuse, N.Y.

The partnership brings a new name for the popular World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series race in Charlotte and is a renewal of Rite Aid’s participation in the premier 200-lap Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series event in Syracuse.

“We are proud to become the official sponsor of two major race events: the Rite Aid Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Rite Aid 200 at Super DIRT Week,” stated Jay Ross, Rite Aid vice president of marketing. “These are great, long-standing events with dedicated fans and Rite Aid is thrilled to support these exciting races in 2008.”

“This is a great partnership for our organization and our fans,” stated World Racing Group president Tom Deery. “Rite Aid’s promotional support for the World of Outlaws event in Charlotte as well as the Rite Aid 200 at Super DIRT Week is appreciated and reciprocated by fans across the entire northeast.”

Rite Aid’s promotional programs for each event will include driver appearances, show car displays and ticket giveaways at Rite Aid Pharmacies in the Carolinas and the Northeast in conjunction with each event.

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A&P to sell remaining shares of Metro to finance acquisition of Pathmark

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. A&P has announced that it expects to close on the Pathmark acquisition in December. It also announced that it plans to sell its remaining Metro shares to finance the deal.

A&P revealed in March plans to acquire grocer Pathmark for $1.3 billion in cash, stock and debt. The move—which hardly took the industry by surprise—will create a 550-store, $11 billion supermarket chain that will likely have a greater presence in pharmacy going forward.

Assuming that the 11.7 million shares of Metro are sold prior to Nov. 30, A&P expects to use the proceeds, together with borrowings under a reduced Bridge Facility and a portion of its increased $675 million ABL Facility to finance the deal. Based on the closing price of the shares on Nov. 2, the value totals about $435 million.

“We regard the Metro divestiture as a clear near-term positive for A&P. Since the company had exited the Canadian market, the stake has little real strategic value,” stated Goldman Sachs analyst John Heinbockel in a research note. “So it is essentially being traded for the much more strategically valuable Pathmark asset.”

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