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Walgreens reaches $80M settlement with DEA

BY Staff Writer

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens will pay $80 million as part of a settlement with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) over a failure to report unusually large shipments of prescription painkillers from a distribution center in Jupiter, Fla. Six Walgreens pharmacies in Florida received tens of thousands of orders for regulated painkillers that were up three times the normal size, but the distribution center did not report them to the DEA as they were required to by law.

In a press release, Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness for Walgreens, said his company has resolved all administrative and civil matters relating to this investigation with the settlement.

“As part of the agreement with DEA and our continuing desire to work with DEA to combat prescription drug abuse, we have identified specific compliance measures – many of which Walgreens has already taken – to enhance our ordering processes and inventory systems, to provide our team members with the tools, training and support they need to ensure the appropriate dispensing of controlled substances and to improve collaboration across the industry,” said Crawford.

The distribution center that sparked the DEA probe is banned from distributing and dispensing controlled substances until 2014 and the settlement also resolves investigations into the distribution of painkillers from Walgreens distribution centers in Colorado, New York and Michigan. Walgreens expects the settlement will cause a negative impact on its third quarter stock price of four to six-cents per share.

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New CIO for health supplement e-retailer

BY CSA STAFF

MIAMI — PureFormulas, a growing e-retailer that offers natural health supplements, has appointed William Perez as its CIO. Perez is a 17-year veteran in the technology world with 13 years of experience in the Internet operation space.

“We’re excited to welcome Willy to the team,” said CEO José Prendes. “He will be instrumental in our continued growth strategy and will help take our entire interactive operation and customer experience to the next level.”

Prior to joining PureFormulas, Perez served as VP of technology at HolaDoctor, where he led the development and hosting of the largest Hispanic Health website in the United States. Previous to HolaDoctor, William was the VP of technology/CTO at Goal.com, the largest dedicated soccer portal in the world. There he oversaw all aspects of technology as the company grew from 80 million to more than 270 million page views monthly, reached 10 million monthly unique visitors, and launched websites in 17 languages using open source technology. Perez also worked at Univision Interactive Media for eight years, where he ran their CMS and other systems that powered Univision.com, the largest Hispanic web portal in the United States. Perez has a BA in business administration from Florida International University.

PureFormulas was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Miami, Fla.

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Meijer expands footprint in Northern Indiana

BY CSA STAFF

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer is opening two 190,000-sq.-ft. supercenters in Portage and Warsaw, in northern Indiana, creating more than 500 new jobs.

The family-owned retailer, which already has 32 stores throughout Indiana, built the new locations to LEED standards. The two supercenters are the latest in a $200 million investment this year that includes the construction of six new Meijer supercenters, extensive remodel projects for five additional stores in Michigan and Illinois and major upgrades to two distribution complexes.

"Our team has worked very hard to get these supercenters ready and we’re excited to bring the Meijer experience to our new neighbors in Portage and Warsaw and the surrounding communities," said co-chairman Hank Meijer. "We feel at home here, and we believe it’s important to continue to focus on the communities where we’re located. Whether it’s through donations to local organizations or in supporting farmers across the Midwest, we’re focused on growing together with our customers."

In addition to the retailer’s traditional grocery and merchandise offerings, garden center and 24-hour gas station, the new Portage and Warsaw Meijer pharmacies will offer the company’s free prescription program as well as clinical services and immunizations designed to promote family health. The prescription program includes leading oral generic antibiotics with a special focus on prescriptions most often filled for children, prenatal vitamins and medications for those with diabetes and high cholesterol. Since its inception in 2006, the Meijer free prescription program has filled more than 14 million free prescriptions, saving Meijer customers nearly $200 million.

Meijer says the new supercenters will also offer more than 600 high quality varieties of fresh produce, a meat department that offers neighborhood butcher shop service with custom cuts of high quality meats and a bakery that carries fresh bread baked four times a day.

"As a pioneer of one-stop shopping, we’ve always strived to offer easy, affordable solutions to our neighbors and look forward to bringing value to all of Northern Indiana," Meijer added. "Whether it’s a quick meal for the family, getting your yard ready for summer or seeking answers about a nagging health concern, these supercenters represent our ongoing commitment to help provide a healthier balanced lifestyle for anyone who steps through our door."

Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates more than 200 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

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