Content about Drug Fix

May 10, 2013

The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board will begin certifying specialty pharmacists who pass a comprehensive exam in October. The exam is designed to cover the entire specialty pharmacy process, including intake, clinical management, fulfillment and outcomes.

The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy, which oversees the SPCB, is bringing to bear some real advocacy and structure to the highly fragmented specialty pharmacy marketplace. The DSN Group, including its specialty pharmacy publication of the same name Specialty Pharmacy, applauds these efforts.

The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board will begin certifying specialty pharmacists who pass a comprehensive exam in October. The exam is designed to cover the entire specialty pharmacy process, including intake, clinical management, fulfillment and outcomes. 

May 10, 2013

Rite Aid announced Wednesday that it has converted nearly all its stores in the Buffalo, N.Y., area to the Wellness store format, breaking the news with an event in the nearby village of Williamsville that included president, chairman and CEO John Standley, COO Ken Martindale and fitness expert Denise Austin.

Just as writers find their voices, Rite Aid has paved its road with wellness. Evidence of that was clear when it announced its latest last month, raking in a $123.1 million profit for the fourth quarter and a $118.1 million profit for the fiscal year, its first profitable year since 2007.

Rite Aid announced Wednesday that it has converted nearly all its stores in the Buffalo, N.Y., area to the Wellness store format, breaking the news with an event in the nearby village of Williamsville that included president, chairman and CEO John Standley, COO Ken Martindale and fitness expert Denise Austin.

May 3, 2013

CVS Caremark executives were upbeat during last week’s conference call with analysts as the company pulled in a “strong” first quarter and narrowed its 2013 guidance to reflect higher-than-expected performance.

The positive start to 2013 is important as it further demonstrates that CVS Caremark’s distinctive, integrated healthcare model is resonating and spelling success for this pharmacy innovation company.

CVS Caremark executives were upbeat during last week’s conference call with analysts, as the company pulled in a “strong” first quarter and narrowed its 2013 guidance to reflect higher-than-expected performance.

The positive start to 2013 is important as it further demonstrates that CVS Caremark’s distinctive, integrated healthcare model is resonating and spelling success for this pharmacy innovation company.

May 3, 2013

Kinney Drugs, with its almost-100 locations located primarily in upstate New York, is the latest pharmacy to capitalize on the robust offerings available through in-store health kiosks. Because it isn't only about taking that random blood pressure check anymore.

No, the in-store health kiosks going into stores today are designed to augment outcomes-based health care. For example, through the use of "smart cards," PharmaSmart helps track historical health metrics across its trademarked Blood Pressure Tracker web portal.

Kinney Drugs, with its almost-100 locations located primarily in upstate New York, is the latest pharmacy to capitalize on the robust offerings available through in-store health kiosks. Because it isn't only about taking that random blood pressure check anymore. 

May 3, 2013

Jobs data from the Department of Labor released Friday show that among the 165,000 jobs added overall were 29,000 in the retail sector, results that industry trade group the National Retail Federation heralded as possibly boding well for the economy in the future.

While the numbers themselves speak volumes, it's important to consider some of the factors behind them that explain why the sector has thrived.

Jobs data from the Department of Labor released Friday show that among the 165,000 jobs added overall were 29,000 in the retail sector, results that industry trade group the National Retail Federation heralded as possibly boding well for the economy in the future.

While the numbers themselves speak volumes, it's important to consider some of the factors behind them that explain why the sector has thrived.

April 26, 2013

Pharmacy's value as part of an outcomes-based healthcare alignment was the highlight of the closing business presentation at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores' 2013 Annual Conference. And now it's up to NACDS members to expose Congress leaders to that value quotient on a regular basis.

That was the message shared by incoming NACDS chairman Bob Narveson. It goes to show that even as the gavel passes from the head of one of the industry's largest pharmacy chains to one of the smaller chains, innovation in patient care is happening at all levels.

Pharmacy's value as part of an outcomes-based healthcare alignment was the highlight of the closing business presentation at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores' 2013 Annual Meeting. And now it's up to NACDS members to expose Congressional leaders to that value quotient on a regular basis. 

April 26, 2013

Cardinal Health announced the renewal of its pharmaceutical distribution agreement with CVS Caremark to supply pharmaceuticals to the company’s retail pharmacies and distribution centers, as McKesson, which generally serves the PBM side of the business, also announced the renewal of its current distribution agreement with the pharmacy retailer.

The renewal of the agreements was not only critical for both companies but, as Adam Fein, president of Pembroke Consulting and CEO of Drug Channels Institute, wrote in his blog “CVS Caremark Renews with Cardinal and McKesson,” it also “demonstrates wholesalers' value in the brand-name pharmacy supply chain.”

Cardinal Health announced the renewal of its pharmaceutical distribution agreement with CVS Caremark to supply pharmaceuticals to the company’s retail pharmacies and distribution centers, as McKesson, which generally serves the PBM side of the business, also announced the renewal of its current distribution agreement with the pharmacy retailer.

April 26, 2013

A House Subcommittee on Health hearing Thursday focused on efforts to strengthen the country's pharmaceutical supply chain, and particularly on draft legislation meant to accomplish that.

While often touted as the safest in the world, the U.S. drug supply chain remains vulnerable to counterfeit, adulterated and stolen medications. Given the potentially dangerous risks of using such medicines, it is imperative that they be kept out.

A House Subcommittee on Health hearing Thursday focused on efforts to strengthen the country's pharmaceutical supply chain, and particularly on draft legislation meant to accomplish that.

While often touted as the safest in the world, the U.S. drug supply chain remains vulnerable to counterfeit, adulterated and stolen medications. Given the potentially dangerous risks of using such medicines, it is imperative that they be kept out.

April 19, 2013

Amazon.com created a virtual health and wellness depot with the launch of its new 50+ Active and Healthy Living Store.

Amazon.com created a virtual health and wellness depot with the launch of its new 50+ Active and Healthy Living Store. With this online destination, Amazon will be targeting the caregiver sweet spot — that sandwich generation who are likely to simultaneously care for their baby boomer parents even as they raise their Gen Y children. 

But are consumers really shopping health online? Or, more important, are they buying health online?

April 19, 2013

One-third of supermarkets have a dietitian walking their aisles, according to a recent report published by Advertising Age. And almost 9-in-10 grocers have a dietitian housed in their corporate suites.

Is it any wonder? There's a natural synergy between pharmacy and food stores that grocers have been looking to tap in one form or another over the past decade. But now, especially as health systems and large employers become more savvy around the benefits a healthier workforce will have to their bottom lines, this is likely to transform from a supermarket patient's best-kept-secret into a must-have service.

One-third of supermarkets have a dietitian walking their aisles, according to a recent report published by Advertising Age. And almost 9-in-10 grocers have a dietitian housed in their corporate suites. 

April 19, 2013

President Barack Obama sent his $3.8 trillion budget proposal to Congress on April 10, and the plan includes a number of provisions designed to cut spending on health care and promote health and wellness.

Overall, the budget is something of a mixed bag for the healthcare industry. While it would provide incentives for expanding the use of generic drugs, for example, it would also cut spending on Medicaid that have drawn opposition from pharmacy retailers, and even generic drug makers disagree with some of its provisions for that industry.

President Barack Obama sent his $3.8 trillion budget proposal to Congress on April 10, and the plan includes a number of provisions designed to cut spending on health care and promote health and wellness.

Overall, the budget is something of a mixed bag for the healthcare industry. While it would provide incentives for expanding the use of generic drugs, for example, it would also cut spending on Medicaid that have drawn opposition from pharmacy retailers, and even generic drug makers disagree with some of its provisions for that industry.

April 12, 2013

Rite Aid reported a $123.1 million profit for fourth quarter 2013 and $118.1 million for the fiscal year - its first profitable year since 2007 - amid greater generic drug penetration and retention of at least three-quarters of the customers who switched over to the chain during the dispute between Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, among other factors.

In other words, the factors that helped fuel the nearly $62 million profit the company reported in third quarter 2013 have continued to hold, which means the 4,623-store chain has put itself on track for strong future growth, which will no doubt be helped along by the debt refinancing the company finished in February.

Rite Aid reported a $123.1 million profit for fourth quarter 2013 and $118.1 million for the fiscal year — its first profitable year since 2007 — amid greater generic drug penetration and retention of at least three-quarters of the customers who switched over to the chain during the dispute between Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, among other factors.

April 12, 2013

A new Kalorama Information report found that most patients — 91% — who had used a retail clinic were either satisfied or very satisfied with their visit.

The findings are in line with prior studies, which have long been reported by Drug Store News, and are yet further evidence that retail clinics are playing a vital role in the U.S. healthcare system.

A new Kalorama Information report found that most patients — 91% — who had used a retail clinic were either satisfied or very satisfied with their visit.

The findings are in line with prior studies, which have long been reported by Drug Store News, and are yet further evidence that retail clinics are playing a vital role in the U.S. healthcare system.

April 12, 2013

Walgreens released a research article on how health care focused on outcomes could really contribute to lowering healthcare costs. The idea is that by improving individual patient experience, improving the health of the overall patient population and reducing the per capita cost of health care, you can realize better patient outcomes out of invested health resources.

If you take a real close look at what core competencies are necessary to better realize success in that approach, it becomes evident that retail pharmacy is an ideal setting for the process.

Walgreens released a research article on how health care focused on outcomes could really contribute to lowering healthcare costs. The idea is that by improving individual patient experience, improving the health of the overall patient population and reducing the per capita cost of health care, you can realize better patient outcomes out of invested health resources.  

April 5, 2013

Retail clinic operator Take Care Clinics, which is owned by Walgreens, is expanding the scope of services within its 300-plus clinics to include management for chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma and others, as well as additional preventive health services.

Game on! With the increasing shift to chronic care services, expect retail clinics to ramp up even quicker, creating new, more profitable revenue streams and filling huge gaps in care that save payers some serious money. The writing isn't just on the wall. It's printed in big, bold colors like graffiti on a 1970s NYC subway car.

Retail clinic operator Take Care Clinics, which is owned by Walgreens, is expanding the scope of services within its 300-plus clinics to include management for such chronic conditions as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and asthma, as well as additional preventive health services.

April 5, 2013

Geoscape issued a report projecting the future buying power of both Asian and Hispanic households, respectively.

This report should serve as a wake up call that multi-cultural marketing efforts appealing to the diversity of a shopper base are not just innovative strategies — they're essential.

Geoscape issued a report projecting the future buying power of both Asian and Hispanic households, respectively. Both groups will spend far more in their remaining lifetimes than white non-Hispanic households. 

This report should serve as a wake up call that multicultural marketing efforts that appeal to the diversity of a shopper base are not just innovative strategies — they're also essential. 

April 5, 2013

Empty shelves at Walmart are getting a lot of attention these days, but the situation isn’t new and can’t be blamed entirely on store staffing levels.

Reports in Bloomberg and The New York Times have both detailed Walmart’s shortcoming when it comes to keeping products on shelves. And both reached the same conclusion that the issue is related to a reduction in staffing levels. It is a convenient and easily understood explanation because if there are fewer associates working there is less time available to perform the essential functions of running a retail business, namely keeping shelves stocked and accepting payment from customers.

Empty shelves at Walmart are getting a lot of attention these days, but the situation isn’t new and can’t be blamed entirely on store staffing levels.

March 29, 2013

Three bills that were introduced in California would recognize pharmacists as healthcare providers and would enable pharmacists, nurse practitioners and optometrists to practice to the full extent of their education and training.

The reality is that industry observers can expect to see more states considering similar measures as they all prepare a roadmap to lower costs by allowing pharmacists and NPs to practice at the top of their professions.

Three bills that were introduced in California would recognize pharmacists as healthcare providers and would enable pharmacists, nurse practitioners and optometrists to practice to the full extent of their education and training.

The reality is that industry observers can expect to see more states considering similar measures as they all prepare a roadmap to lower costs by allowing pharmacists and NPs to practice at the top of their professions.

March 29, 2013

A representative and a senator, both Republicans, recently introduced legislation that would repeal restrictions on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 that prohibit the use of HSA and FSA account dollars for the purchase of over-the-counter drugs without a prescription.

One of the sponsors of the Family Health Care Flexibility Act, Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, called the restrictions "government overreach and interference." But they're more than that: They're simply wasteful. The whole point of healthcare reform is to expand access to health care while reducing cost, and requiring an expensive and time-consuming doctor visit to get a prescription for an OTC drug fails at both goals.

A representative and a senator, both Republicans, recently introduced legislation that would repeal restrictions on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 that prohibit the use of HSA and FSA account dollars for the purchase of over-the-counter drugs without a prescription.

March 29, 2013

Google has officially unveiled its testing program for Google Shopping Express, its new online delivery service in the San Francisco Bay area, signing up with retailers like Target, Walgreens and Raley's to allow customers to receive items directly from store shelves at their homes within a day.

The program has been widely described as an effort by Google to compete with e-commerce giant Amazon, but what sets Google Shopping Express apart is its sourcing partnership with brick-and-mortar retailers, particularly Target, which itself has made significant investments in omnichannel retail, most recently with its purchases of two online cooking-equipment retailers. As a whole slew of developments over the past couple of weeks has shown, omnichannel is becoming a key component of many retailers' business.

Google has officially unveiled its testing program for Google Shopping Express, its new online delivery service in the San Francisco Bay area, signing up with retailers like Target, Walgreens and Raley's to allow customers to receive items directly from store shelves at their homes within a day.

March 22, 2013

Google is dogfooding a service called Google Shopping Express, which would offer same-day delivery from brick-and-mortar stores in the San Francisco Bay Area to the Internet giant's employees. Target and several other retailers have been named as possible partners.

With Google now looking to compete with Amazon — not to mention Target's growing attention to online and mobile commerce — a growing body of consumer studies and industry trends shows that the most important emerging consumer demographic isn't men, women, old people or young people — but multichannel consumers.

Google is offering a service called Google Shopping Express, which would offer same-day delivery from brick-and-mortar stores in the San Francisco Bay Area to the Internet giant's employees. Target and several other retailers have been named as possible partners.

March 22, 2013

TreatMyUTI.com is an online service founded by a group of physicians that offers online access to physician diagnosis and treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections with no office visit, exam or lab test required.

This is important because it speaks to a much larger trend within health care, and that’s the continued rise of telehealth-type services as patients and providers increasingly battle a crisis of access and affordability of health care.

TreatMyUTI.com is an online service founded by a group of physicians that offers online access to physician diagnosis and treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections with no office visit, exam or lab test required.
 

March 22, 2013

Walgreens and Alliance Boots entered into a 10-year contract with wholesaler AmerisourceBergen on sourcing pharmaceuticals last week. But that's not all. Besides the long-term contract, Walgreens and Alliance Boots will have the option on a potential 23% equity stake in ABC in three years.

The deal takes pharmaceutical buying leverage to the stratosphere and changes the face of more than one health service industry. As Adam Fein, president of Pembroke Consulting, noted in a live television interview on Fox Business' "Money With Melissa Francis": "Three of the largest companies in the pharmaceutical industry have come together and built the single largest buyer of prescription drugs in the world," he said.

Walgreens and Alliance Boots entered into a 10-year contract with wholesaler AmerisourceBergen on sourcing pharmaceuticals last week. But that's not all. Besides the long-term contract, Walgreens and Alliance Boots will have the option on a potential 23% equity stake in ABC in three years. 

March 15, 2013

Hundreds of community pharmacy executives, pharmacy students and other pharmacy advocates representing 41,000 chain pharmacies took to Capitol Hill last week for the 5th Annual NACDS RxImpact Day and conducted more than 400 meetings with U.S. senators and representatives.

With implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2014, Congress desperately needs to hear from a stakeholder that can actually save the system money. There is growing awareness on the Hill that for every $1 invested in MTM, you save $10 to $12 — the bill introduced this week by Sens. Pat Roberts and Kay Hagan to expand MTM is a strong demonstration of that.

Hundreds of community pharmacy executives, pharmacy students and other pharmacy advocates representing 41,000 chain pharmacies took to Capitol Hill last week for the 5th Annual NACDS RxImpact Day and conducted more than 400 meetings with U.S. senators and representatives.

March 15, 2013

The OTC industry is well-positioned to seize opportunities across the self-care space, executives at the recent Consumer Healthcare Products Association Annual Executive Conference shared with attendees. Those opportunities will be driven by greater consumer engagement and the growing realization around how much healthcare value can be drawn from expanding OTC access.

That sets the stage for some pretty favorable growth across a $38.3 billion industry. According to an Edelman in Health survey, use of over-the-counter medicines is already prevalent among Americans — almost 85% of Americans reported regular use of an OTC remedy. Convenience, efficacy and value were three of the key factors behind that prevalence, as noted in a special report compiled by DSN.

The OTC industry is well-positioned to seize opportunities across the self-care space, executives at the recent Consumer Healthcare Products Association Annual Executive Conference shared with attendees. Those opportunities will be driven by greater consumer engagement and the growing realization around how much healthcare value can be drawn from expanding OTC access.