Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Loblaw plans drugstore expansion

From the Toronto Star:
Canada’s largest supermarket said it plans to expand more aggressively into the drug store business in the wake of dramatic proposed changes in Ontario’s regulatory environment.

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. said it plans to open more pharmacies in its grocery stores and also have them stay open longer hours.

The grocer’s announcement Tuesday comes in stark contrast to those of the country’s largest specialty drug store chains and small independent pharmacies, which have said they’ll have to cut store hours and service in response to the government’s plans.

The province wants to cut the cost of generic drugs in half and eliminate $750 million in professional allowances drug makers pay to pharmacists.

“We see it as a big opportunity for us to drive our drug store business. There’s a huge amount of consumers out there who are going to be looking for an improving service,” Loblaw president and deputy chairman Allan Leighton told analysts on a conference call. ...more

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