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Pharmacy News

Proveder Status Bill Focuses on Underserved, Earns NACDS' Backing

Arlington, Va. – Bipartisan legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today that would designate pharmacists as healthcare providers under the Medicare program.  The bill would amend The Social Security Act of 1935 to enable pharmacists to work to their full capability by providing underserved patients in the Medicare...

Express Scripts, Walgreens Team Up To Offer 90-Day Retail Solution

via http://aishealth.com/archive/ndbn081613-04 Reprinted from DRUG BENEFIT NEWS, biweekly news, proven cost management strategies and unique data for health plans, PBMs, pharma companies and employers. In an unexpected display of camaraderie, Express Scripts Holding Co. and Walgreen Co. have come up with a new offering presumably aimed at competing with...

Looking ahead to 2014: eHealth Program Milestones

2014 will be a big year for CMS eHealth programs— there are key deadlines for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs; an expansion of eReporting will be coming up; the implementation of quality reporting program alignment begins; and the ICD-10 transition takes place on October 1st. Read more at "Looking ahead...

PDX and Mirixa Establish Relationship to Improve Patient Outcomes

FORT WORTH, Texas, June 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- PDX, Inc. and Mirixa Corporation have entered into an agreement to integrate the MirixaPro℠platform with both the PDX Classic Pharmacy System and the PDX Enterprise Pharmacy System. MirixaPro provides pharmacies with industry leading tools to provide Medication Therapy Management (MTM) and other targeted, pharmacist-delivered services to improve patient outcomes, and evaluate safety and efficiency of medication treatment...

The Next "Killer App" To Cut Health Care Costs: Getting Patients To Take Their Meds

Billions of dollars in venture capital is being poured into new innovations to improve health care. Devices remotely monitor patient health; smart phone apps help patients manage their exercise and schedule appointments with their doctors; and ‘Big data’ applications identify patients with elevated risks of hospital re-admissions, or other potentially preventable outcomes. Read more at "

Retailers Often Underutilize Customer Data

There are many underutilized sources of customer data that retailers would benefit from, according to the results of a recent research study from A.T. Kearney that looks at how companies approach store operations. According to the 2013 Achieving Excellence in Retail Operations (AERO) Study, while leading retailers were gaining from the use of customer data sources, less than half of those retailers collected social network data from third...

Report Forecasts Rapid Rise in Specialty Drug Spending Through 2015

ST. LOUIS — Spending on specialty drugs is likely to increase by 67% over the next couple of years, according to a new study by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts. read more at "Report forecasts rapid rise in specialty drug spending."

Patient Outcomes in Focus as Thrifty White’s Narveson Assumes NACDS Chairmanship

In his first remarks as chairman of the Board of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), Robert J. Narveson emphasized the importance of shaping public policy to improve patient outcomes, and urged NACDS members to participate actively in realizing community pharmacy’s potential.Read the entire press release

Smartphone medication adherence apps: Potential benefits to patients and providers

Synopsis: Medication adherence applications (apps) available on three main smartphone operating systems (OSs; Apple, Android, and Blackberry) were evaluated, and the authors gave MyMedSchedule, MyMeds, and RxmindMe the highest ratings based on their wide range of features and enhanced levels of functionality. Although they have not been tested in trial settings, adherence apps could be considered a possible strategy for pharmacists to recommend to nonadherent patients....

Pharmacists can help with meaningful use

What can pharmacists do to make the most of electronic health records? The potential for pharmacists to contribute to the federally defined “meaningful use” of the electronic health record (EHR) continues to grow, but the money is another story: pharmacy groups do not know of any pharmacist arranging to share in the related incentive payments for which physicians and hospitals are eligible. Read the entire story

Improving Patient Care through Better Medication Reconciliation

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) recently released Improving Care Transitions: Optimizing Medication Reconciliation. The white paper provides a better understanding of the medication reconciliation process during transitions in care, its effect on patient care and outcomes and how pharmacists can contribute to the improvement of this process through medication therapy management (MTM). View the entire white...

The impact of electronic health records on pharmacy practice

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 set ambitious goals for the nation to integrate information technology into healthcare delivery. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act segment of the bill provides incentives for Medicare and Medicaid providers to use certified electronic health records (EHRs) to achieve specified improvements in healthcare and implement a nationwide EHR system by 2014. Meaningful use criteria are being promulgated in...

New York Times Cites Pharmacists in "Sensible Solution" for Patient Care

Alexandria, Va. – A New York Times editorial provides further support that pharmacists – along with other healthcare professionals – serve as healthcare partners in improving patient health and the affordability of healthcare delivery. The December 15 editorial explores the roles of various healthcare professionals and the...

Emdeon and PDX Embark on Patient Medication History Initiative

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Emdeon Inc., a leading provider of healthcare revenue and payment cycle management and clinical information exchange solutions, and PDX – NHIN (www.pdxinc.com), a leader in pharmacy management solutions and services for retail pharmacy for almost thirty years, today jointly announced plans for an initiative designed to improve...

NCPA survey: Most independents provide compounding services

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — As many as 85.5% of independent community pharmacies offer patients traditional compounding services, and while it accounts for a small portion of their business, the health-enhancing effect for patients can be dramatic, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the National Community Pharmacists Association. "To read more on Independents...

Interwining MTM and Work Flow

Medication therapy management (MTM) has become an essential service in the community pharmacy. In order to remain competitive in today’s market, pharmacists must be able to offer this opportunity to patients. MTM not only allows pharmacists to optimize individualized drug therapies but its overall purpose helps a health care team ensure effective health care across the board.

ValueCentric and PDX-Rx.com Expand Alliance

ORCHARD PARK, NY--(Marketwire -04/23/12)- ValueCentric LLC, the leader in connected healthcare intelligence and PDX-Rx.com, the leading pharmacy technology provider to the retail pharmacy segment, today announced that the companies have expanded their existing relationship to include data sharing and reporting that will link ValueCentric's healthcare intelligence platform and comprehensive industry channel data with significantly expanded store level prescription data offered through...

New Study Demonstrates Value of Retail Pharmacies

A new Walgreens study analyzing relative medication adherence of patients filling 90-day supplies of maintenance medications using retail and mail order channels over a 1-year period concluded that patients who fill prescriptions via retail have as high or slightly higher adherence levels than those utilizing mail (77% vs. 76%). The

mscripts Introduces New Mobile App Platform Features

SAN FRANCISCO — Users of Mscripts' mobile pharmacy application platform will have a host of new features to make managing prescriptions and shopping easier, according to a presentation the company gave Friday at the Health Innovation Summit. Read more at "mscripts intorducing new mobile app platform features."

Pharmacy Students Promote Community Health

Wayne State University's Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Services started a student-run diabetes clinic focused on promoting health and wellness for patients with the disease. The clinic operates on the first and third Mondays of every month at the Super All Year Detroit Building in Highland Park, MI. The South End Meanwhile, students at the Feik School of Pharmacy at the...

Pharmacists Can Improve Heart Care

Pharmacist involvement in heart failure treatment increased the number of patients given recommended heart failure drugs, but did not improve clinical outcomes, according to the Heart Failure and Optimal Outcomes from Pharmacy Study presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) meeting. In the study, researchers found that a third of patients in the pharmacist group who were not receiving highly recommended heart failure drugs or who were receiving less than the recommended...

Surgeon General Highlights Importance of Medication Adherence

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, speaking at the Baltimore launch of the "Script Your Future" campaign, urged patients with chronic conditions to speak to their healthcare professionals about the importance of taking their medications as directed. "Our national challenge is to prevent poor health outcomes and to become a healthy and fit nation. One way is for the healthcare community to come together to address medication nonadherence, which is a major public health problem," Dr. Benjamin...

10% of U.S. Hospitals Can Meet All Fourteen EHR Meaningful Use Requirements

About 10% of U.S. hospitals are ready to meet all 14 core measures for Stage 1 of the electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use program, according to a survey by HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Another 31% can meet most requirements, the survey found. Read more at "Survey: Many Hospitals...

NCPA Touts Importance of Independent Pharmacy

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday touted the benefits community pharmacies can provide for health insurance exchanges once those exchange open in 2014 in a letter addressed to the Department of Health and Human Services. Read more at "NCPA: Independent pharmacy can benefit health insurance exchanges"

NACDS Claims California Medicaid Cuts Will Reduce Patient Access to Pharmacy

On Oct. 28 National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE and National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued a statement in response to the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) approval of California's state Medicaid cuts to pharmacists and other healthcare providers serving the low-income recipients of the program, also known as Medi-Cal: "We are extremely disappointed with the...

NACDS Advises Congress on Patient Safety

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) urged the U.S. Senate to consider the patient safety consequences of allowing "personal importation" of prescription drugs, and to refrain from moving to such a system through an amendment to the legislation that allocates funds to FDA. NACDS wrote to U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), expressing concerns with his amendment to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations...

NACDS Advises Congressional Super Committee on Long-Term Healthcare

In a letter to the bipartisan co-chairmen of the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or Super Committee, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) provided recommendations related to diabetes testing supplies for Medicare patients. NACDS stated that its recommendations would prevent the unintended consequences of hasty policy mistakes, and foster better...

Pharmacies Oppose Mandating Mail-Order Prescriptions

Pharmacies of all sizes are lobbying Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that would prohibit health insurers, including the state Medicaid system, from forcing consumers to buy drugs by mail order. "There needs to be a level playing field. And the patients should not be influenced or financially coerced to select any one provider over another," stated NACDS in the article.

Community Pharmacy Important in Administering Flu Shots

Community pharmacies provided nearly one of five flu shots administered to Americans in 2010, second only to physicians' offices, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nationwide, the number of pharmacists trained to deliver vaccines has nearly quadrupled since 2007, from 40,000 to 150,000. "Vaccine campaigns are part of a broad effort to expand the role of pharmacists in healthcare delivery" stated Edith Rosato, NACDS SVP of pharmacy affairs. "The H1N1...

Supermarket Pharmacies Could See Higher Profits as Brand Drug Patents Expire

Supermarket pharmacies could see a slight rise in gross profits next year as branded drugs lose patent protection and go generic, according to a new report by Moody's Investors Service. Read more at "Study: Supermarket pharmacies could benefit from drug patent expiries"

Pharmacy Customers Want Faster Service

Pharmacy customers have increasingly higher expectations of shorter wait times and better service from pharmacists and pharmacy staffs, according to a J.D. Power and Associates survey. The survey, now in its fifth year, measures customers' satisfaction with pharmacies in two segments: brick and mortar, including chain drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchandisers, and mail-order. "Brick and mortar pharmacies are better able to differentiate themselves by offering...

NACDS Highlights Community Pharmacy

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) issued a letter calling on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction ("Super Committee") to urge collaboration with community pharmacy in developing effective solutions to reduce healthcare costs while at the same time maintaining patient access to prescription drugs and pharmacy services. Highlighting the accessibility of...

New Hampshire Pharmacists Allowed to Give More Vaccinations

A new state law in New Hampshire authorizes pharmacists to give vaccinations for a bacterial form of pneumonia and for shingles as well as for flu shots. The NH law does not require a doctor's prescription but pharmacists would be required to report the shot to the patient's doctor. Read more at "NH allows pharmacists to give more vaccinations."

NACDS Highlights Pharmacy's Ability to Lower Costs

National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson emphasized the value of pharmacy for payers and patients, and hailed the industry as one whose “future vision is nothing short of transformative,” during his remarks at Monday morning's business session at the NACDS Pharmacy and Technology Conference.

NACDS Conference Starts

This weekend, the NACDS Pharmacy & Technology Conference kicked off in Boston, Massachusetts with a successful set of business programs, sessions and meetings, including the Rx Meet the Market and Meet the Retailer programs, as well as the opening of the exhibit hall. Pharmacy & Technology Conference Chairman Debbie B. Garza, RPh officially opened the conference on Sunday to a packed room of business program attendees. H-E-B Chief Administrative Officer and NACDS...

Pharmacists Support New York Mail-Order Bill

Pharmacists are urging New York governor Andrew Cuomo to give the green light to legislation that would prevent health insurers from requiring patients to receive their drugs via mail order, according to published reports

University of North Texas to Found Pharmacy School in Fort Worth, Texas

The University of North Texas (UNT) Board of Regents approved the launch of a new pharmacy college at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, with the first class expected to enter in 2013. Read more at "Health Science Center to house pharmacy college."

NACDS and NCPA Urges Patient Pharmacy Choice

NACDS and the National Community Pharmacists Association issued a statement on Aug. 18 regarding two recent studies appearing in the Journal of Medical Economics (JME) and the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) regarding medication "adherence," or the proper use of...

Medicaid Prescriptions Cost Less Than Medicare, According to Report

Medicaid pays lower prices than Medicare for many prescription drugs, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (OIG). The OIG found that while both programs received discounts in the form of rebates from drugmakers, the Medicaid rebate was at least twice as large for 68% of the drugs studied. Read more at "Medicaid Pays...

NACDS Notes Errors in Medication Adherence Report

In a Drug Topics article, NACDS noted substantial flaws in a new study of adherence to oral antidiabetic medications when patients use mail-order pharmacies. The study, conducted by pharmacy benefits manager Prescription Solutions by OptumRx and published online in the Journal of Medical Economics, examined 22,546 Medicare Part D patients with diabetes. NACDS countered the study's claims, stating, "It does not measure actual adherence to oral antidiabetic...

New York Mail-Order Bill Will Raise Costs and Reduce Access, According to FTC

A bill awaiting a signature or veto from New York governor Andrew Cuomo that would restrict home delivery of chronic medications has attracted criticism from the Federal Trade Commission and the pharmacy benefit manager lobby.

NACDS Praises Medical Product Protection Legislation

A bipartisan bill that aims to provide law enforcement with tools to crack crime rings that harm consumers by attempting to resell stolen medical products on the black market has received the praise of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Read more at "NACDS praises introduction of legislation to curb...

Report Highlights Pharmacists' Role in Administering Flu Vaccines

In line with National Immunization Awareness Month, a new report has highlighted the role pharmacists play in administering flu vaccinations. Read more at "Pharmacists' integral role in administering flu vaccines asserted in report"

Healthcare to Account for 20% of GDP by 2020

Healthcare spending will account for 20% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, according to a report by the Centers For Medicaid and Medicare Services' Office of the Actuary. The report forecasts a 5.8% annual increase in dollars spent on healthcare through the end of the decade, 1.1 percentage points higher than anticipated overall U.S. growth. Higher spending on health insurance, prescription drugs and physician services will also outstrip rising hospital...

NACDS Urges Oregon to Reject Pharmacy Reimbursement Reduction Plans

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Friday announced “grave concerns” regarding a purported Oregon Medicaid plan amendment that would, according to the association, renege on a pact the state previously reached with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and cut Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement for the second time this year.

Navarro Opens First Store in Five Years

Navarro Discount Pharmacy, the largest Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain in the United States and an MBF Healthcare portfolio company, has announced the opening of its 29th store in North Miami in the Arch Creek Shopping Center. Read more at "Navarro marks first store opening in five years"

Duane Reade Opens New Flagship Store

Duane Reade unveiled on Tuesday its new flagship store at the iconic 40 Wall St. — an impressive co-branded location that undoubtedly represents a milestone as it brings together under one roof the best ideas of Duane Reade and Walgreens and leverages innovative technology throughout to enhance the shopping experience. Read more at "Duane Reade's new...

NACDS Focuses on Community Pharmacy

Amid ongoing economic challenges and a continued debate about the best uses of healthcare dollars in private and public healthcare plans, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores on June 29 called for a renewed focus on the value of community pharmacy. "The nation and the states need policymakers, and the healthcare community needs decision makers, who recognize the power of community pharmacy services to lower overall healthcare costs and improve patient health, and who...

Meijer Fills One Millionth Prescription for Pre-Natal Vitamins

Meijer's free pre-natal vitamins prescription program filled its 1,000,000th prescription, at a cost savings of nearly $14 million to Midwest families. Read more at "Meijer Delivers One Million Free Pre-Natal Vitamin Prescriptions to Women Throughout the Midwest"

Consumers Look to Local Pharmacies for Freshness

More and more success at retail is contingent upon delivering what the consumer wants, when she wants it, where she wants it and at the price she wants it. Read more at "Consumers look for fresh at the local pharmacy"

Kerr Drug Host Medication Adherence Campaign

Kerr Drug is hosting the June 7 North Carolina launch of the National Consumer League's (NCL) "Script Your Future" medication adherence campaign. The campaign includes a coalition of healthcare professionals, hospitals, nonprofit groups, government agencies and the NCL, which are collaborating to launch the campaign in Raleigh, NC, and throughout the state.

Louisiana Pharmacists Able to Immunize Patients

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) applauded the Louisiana State Senate for passage of legislation that would expand the authority given to pharmacists to administer immunizations. NACDS stated the bill would help prevent 14 million cases of disease and 33,000 deaths annually. State Senator Fred H. Mills, Jr. (R-22), who serves on the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, is the author of SB 60, which would expand pharmacists' authority to provide...

Seniors Can Talk to Pharmacists to Learn More About Wellness

The American Pharmacists Association is marking Older Americans Month by urging seniors to increase their knowledge about medications and wellness by talking to their pharmacists, the group said Monday. Read more at "APhA encourages seniors to talk to pharmacists"

NACDS Addresses Congress on Importance of Pharmacy

Pharmacies play a critical role in emergency preparedness. That was the key message in a statement issued this week by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores to the House of Representatives' Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications. Read more at "Pharmacy's role in...

Mississippi Board of Pharmacy Now Oversees Pharmacy Benefit Managers in Mississippi

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour recently signed into law the Mississippi Pharmacy Practice Act, which establishes oversight of pharmacy benefit managers (defined as nonresident pharmacies) by the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy. Read more at "Mississippi Pharmacy Practice Act signed into law"

Pharmacists Counsel Patients on OTC Drugs

The American Pharmacists Association on Monday released its 2010 Pharmacy Today over-the-counter product survey and found that 92% of pharmacists walk a patient to the OTC section to assist with a product selection, noting that the average patient consult takes only three minutes of the patient's time.

Mail Order Pharmacies Increase Use of Generic Drugs

An organization representing the nation's pharmacy benefit managers said that mail-service pharmacies are increasing the use of generic medications. Read more at "PCMA: Mail-service pharmacies drive generic utilization"

Pharmacies Offer More Than Prescriptions

Local retail pharmacies are not just a place to get a prescription filled; they also offer several perks that can help consumers save time and money and live healthier lives. That was a key message in a recent "CBS News" segment. Read More at "News segment highlights perks of shopping at drug stores"

NACDS Holds Annual Meeting This Weekend

In less than a week, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) will hold its 2011 NACDS Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, AZ. The NACDS Annual Meeting – recognized as retail pharmacy's most prestigious gathering – will begin Apr. 30 and conclude on May 3. "The NACDS Annual Meeting is one of the most important meetings of the year for retailer and supplier executives," stated NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. "This business...

Protect Your Pharmacy Week Begins

The National Community Pharmacists Association and Purdue Pharma announced the start of “Protect Your Pharmacy Week” — a reflection of the Protect Your Pharmacy Now! initiative that began in 2008 to encourage pharmacists to protect their stores, staff and patients against pharmacy crimes, including prescription drug robbery and thefts. Read more at "NCPA,...

Patients Greatly Satisfied with Independent Pharmacies

An overwhelming majority of Consumer Reports readers are highly satisfied with their independent pharmacy experiences, as compared with experiences at some of the national chains, a report to be published in the May issue found. Read more at "Independent pharmacies earn top scores from Consumer Reports readers"

Community Pharmacists Can Lower Medicaid Costs

Texas policymakers seeking to contain Medicaid costs should utilize community pharmacists to achieve both savings and optimal health outcomes, the National Community Pharmacists Association suggested on Thursday. Read more at "NCPA to Texas government: Contain Medicaid costs by utilizing community pharmacists"

Use of Generic Drugs Could Save Millions of Dollars

The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research on Monday published a working paper that identified $329 million in overspending as a result of underutilization of generics.

Pharmacists at Front of Healthcare

The American Pharmacists Association wants to ensure that pharmacists continue to play a significant role in health care, and made the pharmacist's ever-expanding role the main focus of its annual meeting in Seattle. Read more at "APhA emphasizes pharmacists' role at front of healthcare line"

Dispense-as-written Prescriptions Increase Healthcare Costs

"Dispense-as-written" prescriptions are exacerbating medication nonadherence and costing the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard University Brigham and Women's Hospital and CVS Caremark. Read more at "DAW Rxs drive up healthcare costs, study finds"

CHF and APA Partner to Prevent Misuse of Prescription Medication

  The Cardinal Health Foundation and the American Pharmacists Association on Monday announced a partnership to encourage pharmacists and student pharmacists to take an active role in preventing the abuse and misuse of prescription medications.

Pharmacists Greatly Qualified to Help Patients with Drug Adherence

"Pharmacists are perfectly positioned to help address the drug 'adherence' problem which costs $290 billion in medical costs annually," is how an article Mar. 15 in Kaiser Health News characterizes pharmacy. The article discusses the increasing role of pharmacy in helping patients improve their health, while also reducing healthcare costs. The piece also highlights that pharmacists are highly-trusted professionals, with pharmacists ranking third among professions for...

Medication Misuse Due to Low Health Literacy

Pharmacists should consider health literacy when counseling patients on complex medication regimens. Read more on "Low Health Literacy to Blame for Medication Misuse"

Tennessee Universities Start Pharmacy Management Program

The University of Memphis, in partnership with the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, will offer a new degree program, the Executive MBA in Health-System Pharmacy. The 17-month program includes 41 semester hours to train pharmacists for executive-level positions in hospitals, managed care organizations and other institutions.

Pharmacy a Bipartisan Remedy to Budget Woes

National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, issued the following statement, upon the unveiling of President Obama's budget proposal: "The unveiling of the Administration's budget proposal is a time-honored tradition in Washington, DC. NACDS views this as another opportunity to emphasize again the important role of pharmacy services as a bipartisan solution to an ongoing challenge: reducing healthcare costs while improving...

Supplylogix's Inventory Management System Comes to PDX Pharmacy System

Supplylogix, Inc. entered into a strategic relationship with PDX, Inc. to provide the 10,000 pharmacies using a PDX pharmacy management system with access to Supplylogix's inventory management and demand forecasting solutions. Supplylogix's Pinpoint Transfer and Pinpoint Order applications are offered through a cloud-based software as a service model that will fully integrate with PDX pharmacy systems.

Kerr Drug Supports Federal MTM Legislation

Two pharmacy trade groups already have given their blessings to legislation that would support medication therapy management, and a retail pharmacy chain that has made MTM part of its mission is following suit. Read more on "Kerr Drug supports Sen....

NACDS Patient Care Database Doubled in Size

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation is pleased to announce that the NACDS Foundation's Patient Care Database – launched in February 2010 – has more than doubled in size. The Patient Care Database is a free, publicly-accessible and searchable healthcare resource dedicated to providing a convenient portal to information on pharmacist-provided patient care services beyond dispensing prescription medications. "The Patient Care Database is truly a...

Record Number of Pharmacy Technicians Certified in 2010

More than 55,000 candidates sat for the Pharmacy Technician Certification exam in 2010, a record number, according to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Since 1995, over 400,000 pharmacy technicians have been certified. "America's evolving healthcare system calls for qualified support personnel that will enable pharmacists to provide patient-centered care with authority and autonomy," stated Thomas E. Menighan, Chair of PTCB's Board of...

NACDS Launches Mobile Website

NACDS launched NACDS Mobile on Jan. 26, its brand new mobile website that serves as a "guide on the go" to NACDS meetings, advocacy and public relations. The new mobile website is specifically designed for ease of use on any smartphone with a web browser. Features of NACDS Mobile include a designated section for each of the Association's conferences and meetings, and the most recent news on NACDS' public policy advocacy and advancement of...

Pharmacists Great Information Resource During Cough-Cold-Flu Season According to APhA

Addressing the need for patients to follow good health practices during cough-cold-flu season, the American Pharmacists Association is encouraging consumers to consult with their local pharmacist on ways to maintain their well-being.

NACDS President Addresses the HITECH Act for Pharmacies

A group representing the drug retailing industry submitted a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., regarding "issues [that] are of the utmost importance" to its members.

University to Develop Sustainability Programs for Pharmacists

The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and Practice Greenhealth, an organization supporting eco-friendly practices, will partner to develop sustainability training for pharmacists and pharmacy students and related professionals. "With pharmacists already trusted members of the healthcare community, their involvement is key to providing environmental safeguards and safe medication handling," stated Dr. Lisa Lawson, dean of the University of the Sciences' Philadelphia...

Lower Drug Co-Pays Can Reduce Healthcare Costs

Employers should reduce the co-pays employees are charged for drugs to reduce healthcare costs, particularly for chronic diseases such as diabetes, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs. A team of researchers found that when an Orlando, FL-based employer cut the co-payments for diabetes medications, the program paid for itself in three years through fewer hospitalizations and lower disability payments.

Medication Adherence Saves Thousands of Dollars for Chronic Disease Patients

Patients with one or more of four chronic diseases who take their medications as prescribed may save the healthcare system as much as $7,800 per patient annually, according to findings of a new CVS Caremark study analyzing annual pharmacy and medical costs over a three-year period.

Face-to-Face Contact Improves Medication Adherence

Pharmacists at a retail pharmacy are the most influential healthcare "voice" in getting patients to take their medications as prescribed, followed by nurses talking with patients as they are discharged from a hospital, according to research sponsored by CVS Caremark.

GAO States Health Reform Strengthened Pharmacies

A study by the Government Accountability Office confirmed that the health-reform law enacted earlier this year established a more reasonable reimbursement level for pharmacies dispensing generic drugs to patients covered by Medicaid. But pharmacy retailers still face the continued threat of further Medicaid cuts at the state level, the independent pharmacy lobby warned Friday.

CMS Dismisses AMP Rules

In a clear victory for retail pharmacy, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have agreed with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on a motion to dismiss the Medicaid average manufacturer price lawsuit. The landmark agreement came after CMS withdrew the last remaining provisions of the AMP rule that had been blocked by a preliminary injunction following litigation by NACDS and NCPA.

Kerr Drug Release Emergency Response Device

Kerr Drug has begun offering a new emergency response and health service system to seniors via a one-touch cell phone link.

Pharmacy Groups Push for Inclusion in Health Reform

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Independent and chain pharmacy groups are making a new push to stake a firm claim to the new healthcare system emerging with the health-reform law enacted earlier this year.

PDX and Health Market Science to Provide Real-Time Prescriber Validation Solution to Mitigate Risk

FORT WORTH, Texas — Integrated pharmacy systems provider PDX and Health Market Science, a leading source for health provider data and solutions, have teamed up to improve the accuracy and safety of the prescription verification process.

Pharmacists Among Most Trusted Professionals According to Survey

As highlighted by NACDS on its Twitter account @NACDS this morning, pharmacists have placed in the top three in Gallup's Honesty and Ethics survey for the eighth consecutive year. The survey measures the public's trust of professionals across diverse disciplines, including but not limited to healthcare. The latest results of the annual survey were released by Gallup today. "Druggists or...

Pharmacy First Launches Program to Allow Pharmacists and Patients Better Communication

Pharmacy First has launched a new patient communication program that will allow a pharmacy patient to receive, and their network pharmacies to send out, communications specific to a patient's treatment regime... Read more on "Pharmacy First Launches its First Reminder Module" (PDF)

Lower Copays Increase Medication Adherence

Patient adherence to cholesterol-lowering statins and the anticoagulant Plavix increased after Pitney Bowes eliminated co-payments for the drugs for all employees and beneficiaries with cardiovascular disease or diabetes, according to a study published in Health Affairs. Read more on "Eliminating or Reducing Cost-Sharing for High-Value Prescription Drugs Improves Medication Use Among Patients...

PDX and Healthcare Data Solutions Provide Pharmacies With Real-time Prescriber Verification Process

FORT WORTH, Texas — Retail pharmacy technology provider PDX has partnered with Healthcare Data Solutions to provide users of the PDX Pharmacy System with access to a real-time prescriber verification process.

NACDS Urges FDA to Focus on Pharmacy

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) submitted key pharmacy priorities to FDA for consideration over the next five years. In a letter, NACDS discussed its "support for FDA's Strategic Priorities...especially FDA's objectives to enhance the safety and integrity of the foreign supply chain and to improve patient-targeted written medication information. However, we urge FDA to raise the priority of issues related to generic drugs and biogenerics." NACDS noted the...

Many Patients Don't Understand the Benefits of MTM

“I'll take drug advice from my MD, thanks,” was the title of a letter to the editor published in a recent issue of the Des Moines Register. The letter was a wake-up call for the Iowa Pharmacy Association (IPA), which urged its pharmacists to educate their patients about the benefits of...

Retail Pharmacies Increasingly Important for Vaccinations

Retail pharmacies are increasingly taking a larger role in vaccinations since Maine became the 50th state to allow pharmacists to deliver immunizations. "You can get a flu shot almost anywhere," stated Lisa Dettling, director of health enhancement with the Nevada-based Saint Mary's health organization, adding that "I've never seen anything like this." While the regional medical center's team expects to immunize at least 15,000 people against the seasonal influenza this year,...

Increased Medication Prescription Due to Poor Medication Adherence

BOSTON — When a patient isn’t showing a response to a medication, a common tactic the doctor might use is to increase the dosage. According to a new study, however, the ineffectiveness might be happening because the patient isn’t properly taking the medication.

Medical Journal Recognizes Importance of Pharmacists in Healthcare

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The drumbeat in support of an expanded, universally recognized role for pharmacists in helping patients successfully manage their drug therapy is getting steadily louder.

Report Claims Pharmacists Require Fair Payment to Improve Patient Care

NEW YORK — The nation’s community pharmacists are highly trained but underutilized healthcare resources, and their full potential as contributing members of a new, more effective health-and-wellness network won’t be realized until they’re properly paid for their services, given full access to patient medical records and inducted fully into the healthcare team.

Engaged Patients Necessary for Medication Adherence

Medication adherence, compliance and persistence depend on the involvement of an active patient to be successful, according to David Nau, senior director of research and performance measurement at the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) and Rick Mohall, director of clinical services at Rite Aid Corp. Dr. Nau and Mr. Mohall outlined approaches that pharmacies and healthcare groups are taking to improve medication adherence and patient health outcomes in a session at the National...

Pharmacy Groups Create E-Health Collaborative Organization

Nine national pharmacy organizations have launched the Pharmacy e-Health Information Technology Collaborative.The collaborative will work to develop a comprehensive and unified approach for integrating pharmaceutical information into electronic health records, according to a news release from the Alexandria, Va.-based National Community Pharmacists Association. "For patients to receive optimal care, pharmacists need to have the ability to access and contribute to...

Kerr Drug Offers Free Delivery In North Carolina Stores

Kerr Drug introduced free delivery service at its 22 Triangle-area stores, and will offer same-day delivery for anything but alcohol, tobacco products and lottery tickets. Read more on "Feeling awful? Kerr delivers"

NCPA Tells HHS Pharmacists are Uniquely Qualified for Preventive Care

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The reformed U.S. healthcare system could unleash a surge in patient demand for preventive care services, and community pharmacists should be part of any plan to meet that demand, the independent pharmacy lobby told Obama administration health officials. 

Pharmacy Customers Still Value Customer Service the Most

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. - J.D. Power and Associates' release of its annual national pharmacy study on Wednesday underscored customers' sensitivity to cost issues, despite out-of-pocket pharmacy costs virtually remaining unchanged from last year, the global marketing information services company said.

Senator Kay Hagan Visits Kerr Drug Pharmacy and Praises MTM

RALEIGH, N.C. — Extending pharmacy’s grassroots outreach to powerful federal lawmakers, Kerr Drug hosted Sen. Kay Hagan for a pharmacy and health center tour that drew praise from the North Carolina democrat.

Study Shows Pharmacists on Medical Teams Improve Healthcare

Using pharmacists as members of patient treatment teams is an important solution for improving healthcare in this country, according to a study which examined some 300 published studies to determine the effect of pharmacist-provided direct care on patient safety and outcomes. Read more on "Pharmacists on Health Care Teams Significantly Improve Patient Care"

White House Says Health Reform Is Improving Patient Care and Reducing Medical Errors

Recovery Act investments in health information technology are making headway in improving patient care and reducing medical errors, according to a new White House report. The report, unveiled by Vice President Joe Biden in Washington Tuesday, details the effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which funneled more than $100 billion to various programs, including $20 billion in healthcare information technology. “Approximately $2 billion is being...

Auto-refill Improves Patient Medication Adherence

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Preliminary findings from ongoing research on how consumers make healthcare choices indicated that if a patient is proactively presented with an option to select automatic versus manual refills before they fill a prescription, they are twice as likely to choose the automatic option than those who are asked after receiving the prescription, CVS Caremark revealed during a presentation at a communications symposium sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and...

NACDS To Focus on Benefits of Health Reform

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With the start of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ 2010 Pharmacy and Technology Conference a little more than a week away, "retail attendance is running 10% higher than 2009 and still climbing," according to the chain pharmacy group.

PDX and Acclaim Telecom Services Release Mobile Messaging Service

FORT WORTH, Texas — Pharmacy technology company PDX and mobile application maker Acclaim Telecom Services will integrate Acclaim’s Smart Mobile RX application with PDX pharmacy systems.

New York Times Highlights Pharmacists' Role in Healthcare

NEW YORK -- Adding plenty of fire power to the rapidly improving image of community pharmacists as essential and effective members of an integrated, team approach to health care, The New York Times ran a high-profile feature Aug. 13 on the patient-care efforts of independent and chain pharmacists, including one independent pharmacy owner in Augusta, Ga.

Bar Codes Can Improve Patient Safety and Time Spent With Patients

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, JD explains the benefits of bar code use in pharmacy applications in a Drug Topics article, endorsing bar code systems for medication administration as a method to improve overall safety. Mr. Milenkovich states that use of bar-code technology frees the pharmacist from product-verification functions and allows for increased patient engagement in higher-level clinical services, and can enable mail-order pharmacies to process high volumes of...

NCPA Urges Federal Agencies to Preserve Patient Access and Choice

Federal agencies enforcing new health-reform mandates must act to preserve patients’ access to the pharmacy of their choice and lower-cost generic medicines, the independent pharmacy lobby urged the government Tuesday...

Medication Adherence Improved by Texting

Sending personalized text messages to teenage diabetes patients about their condition improved adherence to their medication regimens, according to a small pilot study at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH. Researchers reported that teens who received text reminders were three times less likely to skip a dose. Read more on "Study: Texting improves...

Stroke Medications Often Not Taken

One fourth of patients who have had a stroke stopped using at least one of their stroke-prevention medications within three months after hospitalization, according to a study published in Archives of Neurology. Researchers found that in most cases physicians discontinued medications including warfarin and diuretics to control high blood pressure for unknown reasons.

Navarro Discount Pharmacies' Jose Alvarez Recognized by Florida Newspaper

MIAMI — The VP merchandising at the largest Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain has been selected as one of South Florida Business Journal's "40 under 40" up-and -coming professionals.

Pharmacists Improve Patient Health and Lower Healthcare Costs

RALEIGH, N.C. (Jul. 22) A healthy relationship with a community pharmacist can improve health outcomes for patients and save money, a new collaborative study from North Carolina-based Kerr Drug and the University of North Carolina revealed. Those benefits stem from direct interventions in patient therapy by pharmacists, coupled with a coordinated approach to the patient’s treatment regimen by his or her pharmacist and doctor, according to...

Pharmacists' Role in Healthcare Lauded by WSJ Editorial

A column in the July 19 Wall Street Journal authored by R. Pete Vanderveen, dean of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California, promotes the value of pharmacy and reflects pharmacy's increasingly proactive approach to telling its story as the face of neighborhood healthcare. Read more on "How to Care for 30 Million More Patients"...

Debate Over Mail-Order Prescription Drugs Heats Up

A proposal by the US Postal Service to cut Saturday mail delivery has sharpened the divide between community pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers.  

An EHR Designed for the Elderly

University of Missouri researchers are developing an electronic health record system that aims to increase efficiency and accuracy, improve patient outcomes and reduce costs of long-term care for a population of older adults expected to almost double by 2030. Read more on "EHR developd for long-term care holds promise"  

E-Prescribing Becomes Easier

The ban on electronic prescribing of controlled substances has made many clinicians reluctant to adopt e-prescribing at all. Controlled substances constitute about 10% of all prescriptions written in this country, and incorporating separate paper and e-prescribing systems and separate methods of record-keeping can be very inefficient. Read more on "New rules should ease...

Pharmacists Uniquely Qualified to Help Diabetes Patients

Alexandria, Va. –The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) submitted comments on pharmacy's role in counseling diabetes patients about their medications and helping to preserve access to diabetes equipment and supplies for Medicaid beneficiaries.  The hearing, titled, “The Battle Against Diabetes: Progress Made; Challenges Unmet” was held today by the U.S. House of...

CMS Approves New Medicare Part D Electronic Prescribing Standard

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) approved the use of an updated standard for electronic prescribing under Medicare Part D. The new National Council for Prescription Drug Programs SCRIPT standard, version 10.6, is designed to help identify and eliminate duplicate records. Read more on "CMS Recognizes Updated E-Prescribing Standard for Medicare Part D"...

New Senate Bill Expands Pharmacist MTM Role

Medicare and Medicaid patients with chronic conditions would be able to review their medications with a pharmacist under a bill sponsored by Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Al Franken (D-MN). The Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Expanded Benefits Act would also reimburse pharmacists to follow up and educate their patients about their medical regimens. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the National Community Pharmacists Association issued a response...

Electronic Pill Bottles Helps Increase Medication Adherence

BOSTON – The Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners Healthcare, announced Wednesday encouraging initial findings from a medication adherence study, using a wireless electronic pill bottle to remind patients with high blood pressure to take their medication. The ongoing study measured a 27 percent higher rate of medication adherence in patients using Internet connected medication packaging and feedback services compared to controls. The randomized controlled...

MTM Programs a Top Priority for NACDS

A Drug Topics editorial by Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE and CEO of NACDS covers the new healthcare reform law and medication adherence, and states that "There is substantial evidence that we are reversing public ignorance of pharmacy's role in healthcare". NACDS also emphasized the findings of the New England Healthcare Institute that poor medication adherence imposes $290 billion in annual costs, or approximately 13% of healthcare expenditures, Mr. Anderson...

Pennsylvania Secures Role of Pharmacist in Healthcare

WASHINGTON - In a gesture hailed by retail pharmacy advocates, the Keystone State is moving to expand the role its pharmacists play in improving patient health and outcomes. The move comes with enactment of a Pennsylvania law, H.B. 1041, which will open new opportunities for collaborative medication therapy management between physicians and pharmacists on behalf of patients in a community pharmacy setting. Previously, such team approaches were permitted only in...

South Carolina Law Preserve's Patients' Access to Pharmacy Care

A provision in the South Carolina Budget law will hold pharmacies harmless from the recent average wholesale price (AWP) First DataBank/Medi-Span settlements, and pending approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), sets pharmacy reimbursement at wholesale acquisition cost plus (+)12.5 percent. The law also calls for an adjustment to the Medicaid dispensing fee should the federal average manufacturer's price (AMP) provision become problematic for...

National Pharmacy Board Praises Microsoft's Requirement for Online Pharmacies

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NAPB) applauded Microsoft's policy requiring that online pharmacies advertising on the company's Bing.com search engine meet the consumer protection standards set by the organization. Microsoft stated that its Bing.com website will no longer accept ads from online pharmacies that do not carry NABP'S VIPPS accreditation seal.

Pennsylvania Expands Role of Pharmacist in Healthcare

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) praised a new law in Pennsylvania that will allow more patients to benefit from the vast medication knowledge and training of pharmacists. NACDS, which advocated for the now-enacted legislation, praised the efforts of the Pennsylvania Association of Chain Drug Stores and the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association which led to this important victory. The law will create opportunities for collaborative drug therapy management –...

Government to Help Low-Income Beneficiaries Get the Medicine They Need

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced an "Extra Help" program to help low-income beneficiaries with their prescription drug costs. Those eligible would pay no more than $2.50 for generic drugs and $6.30 for brands. Read more on "Medicare Provides Assistance to Help Low Income Beneficiaries Get Big Savings on Prescription Drug Costs"...

Study: Retail clinics save nonemergency patients money

A study conducted by HealthCore, WellPoint’s outcomes research subsidiary, found that patients can save anywhere from $50 to $400 in out-of-pocket costs per visit by skipping the ER and heading to a retail health- or urgent-care clinic when they are unable to see their primary care physician. Read more on "Study: Retail clinics save nonemergency patients money"

Pricing transparency gaining renewed interest

Led by a physician lawmaker, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have shown renewed interest in mandating a boost in healthcare pricing transparency, including charges for physician services. Read more on "Pricing transparency gaining renewed interest"

Op-ed: Retail clinics are the answer to ER overcrowding, costs

Meeting patients' needs and providing access to care may be as simple as expanding retail clinics' presence, an op-ed published in The Washington Post suggested. Read more on "Keeping routine medical care out of hospital emergency rooms" 

When Patients Don’t Fill Their Prescriptions

Many drug prescriptions never get filled, sometimes with deadly consequences. A New York Times on the Web article written by Pauline W. Chen, M.D. explores the varied reasons that medication nonadherence, or noncompliance, remains a significant healthcare problem. Referencing studies that found as many as half of all patients did not follow their doctors' medication advice, Dr. Chen states the advent of better tracking systems and the more...

Why Don't Patients Fill Prescriptions? A Study Examining Primary Non-adherence

The authors from Boston's Brigham and Women's and Massachusetts General Hospitals assessed primary nonadherence, or failure to fill new prescriptions, to identify factors that predict nonadherence.  Read more on "Why Don't Patients Fill Prescriptions? A Study Examining Primary Non-adherence" (Medscape Today registration required.)

HIT Preview offered at April ASAP Conference

During ASAP's annual Industry and Technology Conference, speakers highlighted growing opportunities for pharmacists to provide patient care and MTM services through support of health information technology (HIT). Read more on "ASAP conference offers HIT preview"

Giant Eagle Expands Pharmacy Services with MTM

Giant Eagle now has 46 MTM counseling rooms located in or near its pharmacies. Read more on "If you build it, patients will come", via Pharmacy Today's Imirus Online Digital Reader.

FAMU Expands Program to Include School of Pharmacy

The Florida Legislature has approved $8.5 million for a Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University, or FAMU, pharmacy school in downtown Crestview.The school plans to offer a PharmD degree that leads to licensure as a pharmacist in all 50 states. The PharmD degree differs from a Ph.D., which is a research-focused degree that permits graduates to conduct research in academic, industrial and governmental laboratories, according to the FAMU Web site.

NACDS' Anderson: Reform creates wellness ‘renaissance’

PALM BEACH, Fla. (Apr. 25) The collective efforts by the industry to create value have given way to a “health-and-wellness renaissance.” That was a key message that Steve Anderson, president and CEO of NACDS, had for attendees of Sunday’s business program. “It is creating a rebirth. Let’s call it a health-and-wellness renaissance with innovations focused on patients and consumers,” said Anderson during his state of the association...

Pharmacy Students Practice Diagnostic Skills On Robotic Patient

A robot that can be programmed to have a range of medical conditions, from heart disease to constipation, is being used by Pharmacy students at the University of Bath to help practise diagnostic skills and treating patients.The SimMan 3G, dubbed "Simon" by the students, is a life-sized model that talks, breathes and reacts to medicines in the same way as a real human. He can be examined for blood pressure, heart and lung function, and can even be changed into a female!

New report predicts growth in pharmacy technician employment

A new report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated employment for pharmacy technicians will grow much faster than for the average occupation -- up to a 32% increase by 2016. Read more on "New report predicts growth in pharmacy technician employment"

Number of unfilled scrips approaches 15%

Congratulations! Your quality products, savvy advertising and canny sales reps have put new prescriptions in patients' hands. But what if those scrips never make it out of a pharmacy? That's exactly what's happening--more often than ever. According to a new report, the number of prescriptions never picked up from the pharmacy grew by 24 percent in 2009--and it's up a full 68 percent since 2006. A full 8.6 percent of new prescriptions for branded meds are abandoned at the drugstore,...

Health bill OK'd by House has key Rx provisions

In a late night vote, the House of Representatives gave final approval to a sweeping health care reform package in a landmark victory for President Barack Obama — and a win for drug store retailers. Read more on "Health bill OK'd by House has key Rx provisions"

Health-reform bill passes in the House, pharmacy groups express support for pharmacy provisions

The advancement of a healthcare-reform bill on Sunday by the U.S. House of Representatives contains several pro-pharmacy provisions, two pharmacy groups said Monday. Read more on "Health-reform bill passes in the House, pharmacy groups exprress support for pharmacy provisions"

Pharmacy Issues Included in Health Reform Bill Advanced by House

  Three pharmacy provisions advocated by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) are included in the healthcare reform bill advanced today by the U.S. House of Representatives.  The bill includes provisions that were part of the healthcare reform measure passed by the Senate in December 2009, including those related to: a series of grant and pilot programs that include medication therapy management (MTM); improvements to...

The pros and cons of mail-order pharmacy

"People tend to have very strong views about mail-order pharmacy," said Julie Schmittdiel, PhD, a research scientist with Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) in Oakland, Calif. "Much of it is based on economics, not research.

E-prescriptions more reliable than handwritten ones

New research at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York finds that medical professionals writing prescriptions by hand are seven times more likely to make errors than those using electronic systems. Read more on "E-prescriptions more reliable than handwritten ones"

A quarter of new prescriptions go unfilled, study finds

More than a quarter of new prescriptions are unfilled, especially when the drugs are for symptomless conditions, researchers from Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital have found. Read more on "A quarter of new prescriptions go unfilled, study finds"

U.S. Pharmacy Chains to Play Bigger Role in Delivering Medical Services

With new incentives and business strategies coming into play to repair and improve the health-care system, local pharmacies are positioned to help meet the top two goals of reform: providing convenient, expanded access to medical care and controlling costs, an article in the company’s business + strategy contends.

The pharmacist is in

True to form, Rosato was providing patient counseling -- on a mass scale. Her live, on-air help in answering patients’ questions about how to manage chronic disease and drug therapy may have done more to highlight the valuable role pharmacists play in accessible patient care and disease management and prevention than a dozen appearances by pharmacy leaders on Capitol Hill -- or a dozen letters to congressional leaders.

Investors should remember the patent cliff

For pharmacy retailers, the loss of patent protection for a slew of blockbuster drugs over the next decade is a double-edged sword. Read more in "Investors should remember the patent cliff"

Vital “Medication Adherence” Message Publicized in Journal of the American Medical Association

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ (NACDS) campaign to raise awareness of pharmacy’s role in boosting medication adherence, reducing healthcare costs and improving lives received a strategic boost in an article in the March 3, 2010 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The article describes policy recommendations unveiled by NACDS and other entities in the fall of 2009, following the release of new research...

Good Guidance Impacts Effectiveness Of Treatment Of Patients With Chronic Diseases

Many patients with chronic conditions do not take as much of their medication as they should. As a result, the effectiveness of the treatment is often suboptimal, and it also becomes more expensive. Until now, the extent to which the guidance of patients could be improved to promote the correct use of medication had been unclear. Researchers at Maastricht University, collaborating with researchers from Wageningen University and the University of Sussex (UK), have now come to the striking...

NACDS' Rosato gives Capitol area viewers tips for keeping compliant with their meds during blizzard

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores' SVP pharmacy affairs, Edith Rosato, was featured Tuesday on the Washington, D.C., CBS affiliate, WUSA-Channel 9, as part of the station's winter storm coverage.Rosato was tapped for the segment for her ability to answer frequently asked questions related to patients managing their prescription drug therapies amid hazardous conditions.

Drug Prices Versus Drug Costs: Getting It Right To Show Value

Setting drug prices by the manufacturer and estimating the true drug costs by the purchaser are important issues for decision-makers, manufacturers, and patients when assessing the value of a drug therapy.In January, the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) published 6 good research practice guidelines that examine how drug prices are set in the US and internationally, and how drug costs should be measured. Joel W. Hay, PhD,...

Understaffed and overwhelmed

Don't forget to keep saying those magic words, "Did you need me to go over your medicine with you?" Read more on "Understaffed and overwhelmed"

Report: Drug stores may benefit from patent expiries

Patent expiries on blockbuster branded drugs could mean huge profits for some retail pharmacy chains, according to published reports. Read more on "Report: Drug stores may benefit from patient expiries"

NACDS conference addresses advancing the value of pharmacy

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores' (NACDS) Regional Chain Conference, held for its 29th year, is specifically geared for retailers that operate up to 250 chain drug stores. Various business and education sessions were provided throughout the conference, which focused on pharmacy and front-end issues and trends, including healthcare reform, operational issues, social media and economic forecasts.

New Research Gives Insight To Frequency Of "Doctor Shopping" Within Prescription Monitoring Programs

Research presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine's 26th Annual Meeting provides early published data analyzing information gathered from California's prescription monitoring program, known as the Controlled Substances Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). The analysis found a two-fold increase in the likelihood of individuals receiving opioids from multiple providers or "doctor shopping" when they were also being simultaneously prescribed a single additional class...

NACDS Foundation launches patient care database

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation (NACDS) has developed a fully searchable resource dedicated to raising the public's awareness of such topics as medication adherence and other patient services provided by community pharmacy. Read more on "NACDS Foundation launches patient care database"

Some States Mull Requiring Prescription For Meth Ingredients

"State and local efforts to thwart methamphetamine production by further limiting consumer access to a popular decongestant are pitting law enforcement against pharmacists and patients," USA Today reports. "New ordinances in some Missouri communities and legislation pending in several states would require consumers to get a prescription to buy cold and allergy pills containing pseudoephedrine, such as Sudafed and Claritin-D. The medicines still are being purchased at pharmacies to make...

Pharmacists expand focus on women's health

As their ever-growing role in healthcare causes pharmacists to concentrate more on medication management and patient consulting, some are specializing in healthcare issues and needs specific to women. Read more on...

People with Medicare Should Act Now to Ensure Uninterrupted Drug Cov. in Feb., Consumer Grp. Advises

Every winter, millions of people with Medicare discover that their Medicare private drug plan will no longer cover a medicine they need. Consumers affected include: members of drug plans that dropped certain drugs from their list of covered drugs in 2010 or imposed new restrictions on a covered drug in the new year; consumers who switched plans but failed to check that all their medicines are covered under their new plan; and many of the one million low-income people with Medicare who...

Quality Of Compounded Medicines Supported By New Standards

To further protect the safety of patients taking individually prepared medications, the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has developed new and revised quality guidelines for pharmacists who compound - or individually prepare - these life-saving drugs. As the use of compounded medicines has grown in recent years, the need for clear and rigorous standards to help ensure these preparations are of high quality and purity has become increasingly important. USP has long had such standards,...

Consumers won't trust government, vendors with health data

Finally, someone is talking about a different kind of healthcare reform than the debate that's raged for the better part of a year over expanding insurance coverage. And this part promises to be even more difficult than addressing the problem of the uninsured. We're talking about privacy of electronic health records. Just 27 percent of 868 respondents to a new Ponemon Institute survey said they would trust the federal government to store or access their electronic health...

Team care: Pharmacists can improve patient outcomes

Drug Topics article discussing two studies where pharmacists helped improve patient outcomes. Read more on "Team care: Pharmacists can improve patient outcomes"

Is patient compliance a medication error?

Article on quality control for medication errors. Read more on "Is patient compliance a medication error?

Three elements of a successful pharmacy

Drug Topics article on the three elements of a successful pharmacy: customer service, patient care, and career satisfaction. Read more on "Three elements of a successful pharmacy"

Put pharmacists on primary care team, says Perdue CMO

Article on the value of having pharmacists on patient's primary healthcare teams. Read more on "Put pharmacists on primary care team, says Perdue CMO"

Is the pharmacist shortage over?

Article that discusses whether the national pharmacist shortage is over. Read more on "Is the pharmacist shortage over?

Patients' needs and interests in a self-pay medication therapy management service

Conclusion: Patients were interested in MTM services and recognize pharmacists as potential providers. Prices patients were willing to pay are similar to many prescription copay amounts. Read more on "Patients' needs and interests in a self-pay medication therapy management service"

Pharmacists dispense pills, counsel patients, screen for illness, give vaccines

When Charley John tells people he's a pharmacist, he knows what many of them think:.... Read more on "Pharmacists dispense pills, counsel patients, screen for illness, give vaccines"

Researchers Simplify Dangerously Confusing Warnings On Prescription Bottles

Replacing confusing language and icons on standard warnings labels for prescription medicine and listing only the most important warnings could make a big difference in how well patients understand the instructions that are critical to their health, according to a new study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Simple, concise language on warning labels of prescription medicine bottles is easier for patients to understand than the standard wording commonly...

Profession is in "revolutionary" times, says NACDS’ top pharmacy official

Continuing debate on the changes in retail pharmacy. Read more on "Profession is in 'revolutionary' times, says NACDS' top pharmacy official"Read...

Your Health: Pharmacists adjust to changing roles

Article about the role of the pharmacist and the personal care vs mail-order fulfillment debate. Read more on "Your Health: Pharmacists adjust to changing roles"

PA, congressmen discuss Medicaid drug reimbursement cuts

The National Community Pharmacy Association on Wednesday held a conference call in an attempt to raise awareness around the threat Medicaid generic prescription drug reimbursement cuts, which are based on an average manufacturer price formula, pose to pharmacies and patients. Read more on "NCPA, congressmen discuss Medicaid drug reimbursement...

Pharmacist as "physician extender:" Mainstream media finally catching on?

It’s finally beginning to dawn on the nation’s mainstream media outlets that pharmacy is about a lot more than counting pills into bottles. Read more on "Pharmacist as 'physician extender': Mainstream media finally catching on?"

Drug Topics' 2010 business outlook survey

Mostly sunny, with a few clouds. Outlook for community pharmacy for 2010. Read more on "Drug Topics' 2010 business outlook survey"

ASAP Tweaks PMP Standard

Following a four-month review of the 2007 version 4.0 standard, the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy has announced the release of version 4.1 of its prescription-monitoring standard. Stakeholders taking part in the updating process included a number of states with operational prescription-monitoring programs, national drug chains and independents, and pharmacy system vendors. The goal was to improve the quality of information reported to the states, while at the...

Retail pharmacists, store managers can learn from each other

One of the biggest sources of conflict between pharmacists and store managers is a misunderstanding about their respective roles and goals. Read more on "HITECH Act calls for new HIPAA notice requirements"

HITECH Act calls for new HIPAA notice requirements

Article outlining new HIPAA notice requirements based on the HITECH Act (2009). Read more on "HITECH Act calls for new HIPAA notice requirements"

Pharmacy HIT may get help from Congress

The Small Business Health Information Technology Financing Act could provide up to $10 million in loans for implementation of healthcare information technology. Read more on "Pharmacy HIT may get help from Congress"

New report predicts growth in pharmacy technician employment

A new report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated employment for pharmacy technicians will grow much faster than for the average occupation -- up to a 32% increase by 2016. Read more on "New report predicts growth in pharmacy technician employment"

Study finds risk of medication discontinuation is greatest for new patients at the start of therapy

Article discusses high discontinuation rate of patients with new drug regimens for chronic medical conditions. Read more on "Study finds risk of medication discontinuation is greatest for new patients at the start of therapy"

NCPA Commentary - Mandatory mail-order jeopardizes pharmacy patients

Like other forms of medicine, pharmacy has the privilege of being among the most ancient professions. It’s been a regulated health service since at least 1235 in Europe. Almost everything in medicine has changed since scribes in the Middle Ages recorded the work of those first pharmacists. Most changes have been good. We are grateful that the practice of using leeches has ended. Yet, there are also practices many of us miss, like physician house calls.

Study Shows Elderly Blacks Are More Likely To Skip Their Med Than Whites May Be At Greater Risk...

Older adults experience a number of medication-related problems, including under treatment, suboptimal drugs, suboptimal dosing, and non-adherence, which can have negative effects on their quality of life. Now new research1, from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that blacks have more medication-related problems than whites, and non-adherence to medical regimens is a particular issue for this group. Dr. Mary Roth and colleagues'...

Columnist highlights small victories in year of grand visions

Here at FierceHealthIT, we're getting ready for our year-end issue next week. As we prepare our review, we're seeing some interesting perspectives on the news in health IT in 2009. Clearly, there was nothing bigger this year than the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the $787 billion stimulus bill that allocates a net $19.2 billion for health IT--really, a gross outlay of closer to $35 billion--over the next eight years. But the stimulus, which passed in February,...

Dennis Quaid Lends Support To ASHP Patient Safety Initiatives

Actor Dennis Quaid, whose infant twins suffered a life-threatening medication error in 2007, announced his support for ASHP's new National Alert Network for Serious Medication Errors and the Pharmacy Technician Initiative in his remarks this week at the Society's Midyear Clinical Meeting in Las Vegas. "The reason I am here is to fully support your programs such as the ASHP Pharmacy Technician Initiative and continuing education programs for pharmacists and technicians that can...

National Alert System Launches To Prevent Deadly Medication Errors

Two leading health care organizations announce a new national alert system that helps prevent dangerous and repeated medication errors. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) are partnering to develop the National Alert Network for Serious Medication Errors (NAN). NAN will be triggered when a seriously harmful or potentially seriously harmful error has occurred. The alert will include a...

Pharmacists Could Play Important Role In Reform

Pharmacists may play an important role in the health care system by filling in health care gaps and advising patients, according to a series of articles in The Los Angeles Times, which reports on one clinical pharmacist Steven Chen and the "Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative, a national project under the Health Resources and Services Administration that is working to integrate clinical pharmacy services into the care of patients with chronic diseases. ... Evidence...

Researchers call for database to track drug safety

A diverse team of physicians and public-health researchers is urging the creation of a national database of widely prescribed drugs to help monitor the risks and benefits of medications. The hope is to prevent a redux of the 2004 Vioxx episode, which saw the hugely popular arthritis medication taken off the market after a study questioned whether the Cox-2 inhibitor didn't raise the risk of heart disease. Writing in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers led by...

Pharmacists underutilized in health system

When pharmacists get involved closely with patients' care, it can improve outcomes, especially if they work with the patient to manage chronic diseases. Not only that, pharmacists may help squeeze costs out of the system, as they're able to help physicians identify available drugs that can do the most cost-effective job of managing a patient's condition.Lately, the benefits of pharmacist involvement have started to develop a higher profile. In fact, a recent series of articles...

Doctor-Pharmacist Teams Boost Blood Pressure Control

High blood pressure is better controlled by doctor-pharmacist teams working hand-in-hand than by doctors and pharmacists working alone, a new study shows. "When physicians work with pharmacists, medications are intensified, dosages increased, medications used more effectively," said Barry L. Carter, a professor in the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy and lead author of a report in the Nov. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. "Medication...

Dispensing Prescription Drugs in 3-Month Supplies Reduces Drug Costs By A Third

Purchasing prescription drugs in a three-month supply rather than a one-month supply has long been regarded as a way to reduce the cost of drugs for patients and third-party payers. New research from the University of Chicago quantifies the savings for the first time. An analysis of 26,852 prescriptions filled for 395 different drugs from 2000-2005 showed that patients who purchased their drugs in three-month supplies rather than with one-month supplies saved on average 29% in...

APhA Applauds Senate For Inclusion Of Expanded Patient Access To MTM Svc.

The American Pharmacist Association (APhA) applauds the United States Senate for including several provisions that provide patients better access to pharmacist clinical services in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590). These services will improve the quality of our nation's health care system and reduce the toll of non-adherence and chronic illness. The U.S. healthcare system currently incurs more than $177 billion annually in mostly avoidable...

Medication Compliance Is A Key Concern For Employers, According To New Survey

More employers are taking steps to improve their employees' health by making sure they take their medicines as prescribed, a move that could stave off more serious and costly health consequences, according to a new report sponsored by the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC).Medication compliance, sometimes referred to as medication adherence, is simply following a medicine treatment plan developed by an individual's health care provider, filling prescriptions, and taking...

Experts Offer Policy Recommendations For Improving Medication Adherence For Better Health Outcomes

With an Estimated $300 Billion in Healthcare Costs Associated with Poor Adherence, Recommendations Aim to Improve Quality, Value, and Overall Health WASHINGTON, D.C. – A diverse group of healthcare and consumer organizations and companies released five policy recommendations this week, designed to promote better medication adherence and improved health outcomes for patients. The group,...

Coalition of pharmacy, health groups urges Congress to address compliance

Pointing out that “one-third to one-half of patients in the United States do not take their medications as prescribed,” a broad coalition of 27 healthcare organizations is appealing to lawmakers to tackle the stubborn problem of patient noncompliance in health-reform proposals now advancing in Congress. Read more on "Coalition of pharmacy, health...

FDA Unveils Safe Use Initiative that Targets Preventable Harm from Medication Use

Agency also releases drug dosage guidance for measuring devices included with OTC medications The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the Safe Use Initiative, a program aimed at reducing the likelihood of preventable harm from medication use. “Too many people suffer unnecessary injuries from avoidable medication misuse, errors and other problems. The FDA is launching the Safe Use Initiative to develop targeted solutions for reducing these injuries,”...

NACDS - H1N1 Preparedness: An Overview of Vaccine Production and Distribution

Statement of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores For the Joint Hearing on “H1N1 Preparedness: An Overview Of Vaccine Production And Distribution" House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairmen Pallone and Stupak, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores appreciatesthe opportunity to...

NACDS Unveils 2009-2010 Chain Pharmacy Industry Profile

Alexandria, Va. – August 17, 2009 – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) unveiled its 2009-2010 Chain Pharmacy Industry Profile.  The 12th pharmacy industry annual economic report contains state-by-state and regional information about pharmacy stores, sales, tax and other data demonstrating pharmacy’s expansive connection with patients in communities across the country. ”As former Speaker of the U.S. House...

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Electronic Health Records 2.0: What Does the Future Hold?

This Expert voices panel focuses on Electronic Health Records 2.0, which aired on Federal News Radio (WFED) on February 28, 2012. Panelists include: Peter Basch, MD, FACP, Medical Director, Ambulatory EHR...

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