PHARMACY

Drugstore.com extends partnership with Medco Health Solutions

BY Michael Johnsen

BELLEVUE, Wash. Drugstore.com on Tuesday announced the extension through 2018 of its strategic alliance with Medco Health Solutions.

In 2008, Medco launched its Medco Health Store — an online retail destination offering a wide range of non-prescription consumer health products, including over-the-counter medicines. Drugstore.com supplied technical and operational support for this launch, including fulfillment, distribution and customer care for the Medco-branded online store. Today, the Medco Health Store has grown to include more than 1.4 million registered members.

“Our partnership strategy is a key driver of Drugstore.com’s growth and leverages our leadership in online merchandising and fulfillment in the health and beauty category,” stated Dawn Lepore, CEO and chairman of Drugstore.com. “Medco is a leader in the healthcare and pharmacy industries and we are excited to be extending this relationship.”

“Medco’s partnership with Drugstore.com has enhanced the comprehensive healthcare and pharmacy services we deliver to our clients and their members,” added Tom Moriarty, general counsel, secretary, and SVP, pharmaceutical strategies and solutions, Medco Health Solutions.

In addition to extending the term of the relationship, the economic arrangement between Drugstore.com and Medco has changed, giving Medco more flexibility in pricing and promotions.

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Retail leaders gearing up for NACDS’ annual pharmacy pow-wow in San Diego

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Representatives of more than 130 retail pharmacy chains are gearing up for the 53rd annual pharmacy event hosted by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores late this month.

The NACDS 2010 Pharmacy and Technology Conference, set for Aug. 28 to 31 at the San Diego Convention Center, will draw pharmacy executives representing most of the nation’s chain drug store, supermarket and mass merchant pharmacies. Together, those operators will comprise more than 80,000 retail outlets and more than $200 billion in annual sales for prescription drugs, over-the-counter products, and home healthcare services, according to NACDS.

The four-day gathering will be packed with how-to business content, idea brainstorming and talks from highly placed political and policymaking leaders. Among those who will address the event’s three business programs: CVS Caremark president and COO Larry Merlo, who also is NACDS chairman; NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson; Hy-Vee VP pharmacy Bob Egeland; and Doug Long, VP industry relations for IMS Health. The conference will also play host to keynote speakers Dana Perino, political commentator and former White House press secretary in President George W. Bush’s administration; and David Cutler, Harvard University professor of applied economics and an advisor to President Obama’s presidential campaign.

Cutler, noted NACDS, “will offer poignant perspectives on healthcare and the economy.”

Also on tap: the “Meet the Retailer” program giving suppliers a perspective from their retailer counterparts on the most effective ways for them to market their product or service; and the annual “Meet the Rx Market” event, a rapid-fire series of 10-minute, timed meetings designed to bring together retailers and suppliers to focus on new products and services. The conference will also offer attendees 17 education sessions covering “the latest on state-of-the-art pharmacy operations, practice and clinical issues, distribution and marketing,” according to the organization.

“The opportunities for attendees are unique, from top-notch programming to strategic meetings with key decision-makers,” Anderson asserted. “This is a power-packed three-day agenda that is a must-attend for industry leaders.”

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Drugstore.com, BioScrip complete pharmacy agreement

BY Michael Johnsen

BELLEVUE, Wash. Drugstore.com on Monday announced the completion of the assets sale of its DS Pharmacy subsidiary to BioScrip Pharmacy Services for approximately $10.5 million. The deal closed July 30.

Through a strategic partnership, BioScrip has started providing pharmacy services to Drugstore.com customers. Customers will be able to continue to order and refill their prescriptions through the Drugstore.com website and will benefit from an expanded specialty pharmacy product offering, clinical resources and greater access to third-party-insurance reimbursement, including Medicare.

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