Kirby Lester appoints Doug Wertz to regional sales account manager post
LAKE FOREST, Ill. A company that develops pharmacy automation equipment has minted a new executive position.
Kirby Lester announced Thursday the appointment of Doug Wertz to the position of regional sales account manager. In the position, Wertz will manage accounts in the Northeast, working with the company’s sales team and VP business development Christopher Thomsen to look for sales opportunities in retail and supermarket pharmacies.
“Chain and grocery stores represent a vital market segment for Kirby Lester,” Thomsen said in a statement. “Our new products are ideally suited for the chain environment.”
Wertz has worked in the pharmacy automation industry for close to 10 years, previously working as a regional sales director and director of chain sales for Parata Systems and as an account executive and product team leader with NDC Health, now part of McKesson Pharmacy Systems.
Merck, Schering-Plough settle Vytorin, Zetia suits
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp. announced Wednesday that they had resolved class-action lawsuits over the purchase and use of two cholesterol drugs.
The companies announced they would pay $41.5 million in suits over the drugs Vytorin (ezetimibe and simvastatin) and Zetia (ezetimibe) to plaintiffs representing consumers, insurers and other groups.
“These agreements will allow the companies to avoid continuing defense costs and remain focused on discovering, developing and delivering novel medicines and vaccines,” Merck general counsel and EVP Bruce Kuhlik said in a statement.
The companies said the settlement resolves all the 140 suits that seek economic damages related to the purchase of Vytorin — which Merck and Schering-Plough market under a joint venture — and Zetia pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
The lawsuits also made allegations about the safety and efficacy of the drugs based on a clinical trial, though the companies said the settlement is not an admission of liability on that matter or an admission of misconduct or liability in connection with the marketing or sale of the drugs.
“We continue to believe that Vytorin and Zetia, in addition to a healthy diet, can provide important benefits for physicians in helping their patients with high cholesterol reach their cholesterol goals,” Schering-Plough EVP and general counsel Thomas Sabatino said.
CVS Caremark mum about possible Aetna PBM purchase
CHICAGO CVS Caremark’s CFO Dave Rickard is keeping quiet on whether the corporation is interested in buying Aetna’s pharmacy benefit management business.
Acquiring Aetna’s PBM business would give CVS Caremark further expansion in the pharmacy benefits business, though the company is busy integrating retailer Longs Drug Stores, which it bought last October.
Despite being rumored as one of the potential buyers along with Medco Health Solutions, CVS Caremark has not disclosed whether the company will take advantage of the offer.
“We are in a position that if something that was very important strategically came along we could act on it. If that were available and the terms were right and the price was right then I think we’d have to look at it,” said Rickard.