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NEW YORK The news that Supervalu’s Jewel-Osco pharmacies have signed a contract with Passages Hospice to expedite medications and streamline care is important because it is yet another clear indicator that retail pharmacy is expanding its role in today’s U.S. healthcare system.
This contract allows nursing staff to pick up medications and/ or supplies at the Jewel-Osco pharmacy close to the Passages Hospice office in Elgin, Ill., or other locations, and then dispense to Passages’ patients statewide. Also, family members can go to any Jewel-Osco, identify themselves as a Passages Hospice client, select the medical supplies they need and Passages covers the cost.
Previously, the ordering of medications, processing payments, along with pick-up and delivery were inefficient and time-consuming, and often required multiple phone calls and repetitive paperwork.
There’s no doubt that the landscape of retail pharmacy is changing in light of the nation’s overburdened healthcare system and its battle with rising costs and patients’ lack of access to care.
For example, CVS Caremark now defines itself as a pharmacy healthcare service company and is leveraging its immense prescription database and its robust network of retail-based clinics to help keep Americans healthy and drive down costs for patients, employers and payers.
Meanwhile, Walgreens is expanding its presence in hospital pharmacy and its number of locations now stand at nearly 100, and, like CVS, is also leveraging its network of retail-based clinics and worksite pharmacies to enhance access to care, as well as its growing presence in specialty pharmacy, mail order and home infusion.