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CVS, Walgreen drama heating up

BY CSA STAFF

CVS Caremark Corp. said Wednesday it will end rival Walgreen Co.’s participation in its retail pharmacy network starting in a month, the Associated Press reported.

The move would mean that people whose prescription drug benefits are handled by Caremark would not be able to be reimbursed for prescriptions filled at Walgreen pharmacies. Walgreen said it expects most of its 7,500 stores to be out of Caremark’s commercial network in 30 days. Some Walgreen stores won’t be cut off as quickly because of state laws or client contracts.

Caremark also said it will end Walgreen’s participation in its Medicare Part D retail pharmacy network on Jan. 1. Caremark is one of the largest pharmacy benefits management networks. It negotiates contracts with employers and handles the drug benefit part of their health plans, paying pharmacies to fill prescriptions. It saves money by negotiating volume discounts.

Walgreen wants to be paid more for filling prescriptions, while Caremark makes money by reducing costs for plan members and sponsors. The companies had been in negotiations for months, although CVS now says Walgreen refused to negotiate in good faith.

Walgreen CEO Greg Wasson said in an interview that the company decided it did not make sense to continue doing business with Caremark. Walgreen said Monday that was because Walgreen wants better prices and objects to policies that drive customers to CVS stores. Walgreen said it would honor any current contracts, however, so customers would have felt few effects until 2012.

CVS Caremark said that move was a transparent attempt to raise reimbursement rates. It said consumer access to pharmacies won’t be much changed even without Walgreen.

Walgreen said the move confirms its view that doing business with Caremark was not in its best interest. It said it is confident its business will continue to grow as it participates in PBM networks and provides other services directly to employers.

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Jan-31-2013 02:36 pm

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rj0178501 says:
Jan-31-2013 02:36 pm

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OfficeMax to help Lady Antebellum raise money for flood relief

BY CSA STAFF

NASHVILLE, Tenn. OfficeMax has announced that the company is committing $50,000 to a fund-raising challenge as part of Lady Antebellum’s sold-out Fan Club Event benefiting Nashville flood relief on June 10.

OfficeMax said it will match every dollar donated for Nashville schools up to a total of $50,000, will bring much needed support to replenishing essential supplies for Nashville-area schools destroyed in the recent floods.

“Our Nashville-based associates have participated in relief efforts since the flood occurred, and we are very excited to join Lady Antebellum in doing even more for this community,” says Paul Hertz, OfficeMax, EVP retail operations. “As a company, we are acutely aware of challenges schools face in the best of times and we wanted to bring additional support to Nashville schools at this time of dire need.” 

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Walmart’s Gearhart to take on role of corporate secretary

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores announced that EVP and general counsel Jeff Gearhart is being promoted to assume the additional role of corporate secretary. Gearhart will report to Walmart president and CEO Mike Duke. The company also announced that EVP and corporate secretary Tom Hyde, whose responsibilities include the legal, ethics and global security organizations, will retire from the company after nine years of service. These changes are effective Aug. 1.

Gearhart will continue as general counsel overseeing the legal department, which is responsible for handling all legal matters affecting the company in its domestic and international markets.  He will also continue to lead the company’s ethical sourcing program. 

 

“Since joining the company, Jeff has built great credibility as a leader across the organization,” said Duke.  “He gives excellent advice and is also known for his collaboration and people management skills.  Jeff gets involved in the details of our business and that enables him to make a strong ongoing contribution to our success.”

 

Gearhart joined Walmart in 2003 and has served as EVP and general counsel since February 2009.  Prior to that, he served as SVP and deputy general counsel since December 2007.  Before joining Walmart Gearhart spent 14 years in private practice.

Hyde joined Walmart in July 2001 after serving as SVP and general counsel of Raytheon.  His responsibilities for the ethics and global security organizations will be assumed by other leaders in the company.

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