08/19/2013 - 12:15pm

After failing to gain enough support in a California Assembly, a revised bill that allows nurse practitioners to operate independently only in a hospital, clinic or other group setting regained some of its momentum and advanced in the Assembly.

With the introduction of Senate Bill 941, as well as proposed legislation that is currently pending in several other states, it is clear that lawmakers are increasingly recognizing the vital role that nurse practitioners play. They are also realizing that expanding nurse practitioners’ scope of practice will only become increasingly important as millions of uninsured Americans come into the insurance fold come 2014 due to health reform amid a growing shortage of primary care physicians.

08/05/2013 - 12:44pm

Express Scripts and Walgreens last week announced the launch of Smart90 Walgreens, a new option for Express Scripts clients interested in 90-day prescription drug programs and to help drive lower costs. The program is expected to improve medication adherence by both providing a cost value to the patient while maintaining what has more and more become a crucial patient-pharmacist face-to-face encounter.

What a difference a year makes. Far removed from its squabbles over reimubursement, the two companies partner on a new program that reinforces the value that retail pharmacy provides and the innovative ways that retail and mail can work together to create solutions that help get patients on, and keep them on, their medications.

08/05/2013 - 12:22pm

Ahold USA is encouraging its pharmacists to be more proactive and form closer relationships with their patients with the launch of ACT!, a program that stands for “Acknowledge,” “Coach” and “Thank.”

Why is this important? Ahold is a pharmacy retailer to watch. Notice that DSN didn't say "supermarket pharmacy retailer"?

08/05/2013 - 12:21pm

When Seattle-based Bartell Drugs opened its 61st store in the city's rapidly growing South Lake Union neighborhood, it unveiled a store that included not only a nice new format, but also a variety of amenities rarely seen in drug stores, including cold beer on tap; such pet-friendly features as water bowls, pet-hitching posts and free dog biscuits; and a selection of local spirits.

The large-scale evolution of the American drug store has mostly happened in the big, national chains, and despite some doubts from naysayers about some of the concepts in the Walgreens flagship stores, that format has already expanded to several cities. CVS and Rite Aid have expanded their respective Urban Cluster and Wellness store formats as well, providing clear indication of their popularity with consumers.

07/29/2013 - 12:40pm

Research published last week in JAMA Pediatrics found that many parents are turning to retail-based health clinics when their children suffer from minor ailments largely because the clinics are convenient.

Parents are turning to clinics for their children’s minor ailments NOT because they lack an established relationship with a pediatrician but because of convenience. In fact, most of the parents surveyed (74%) had first considered going to the pediatrician but instead opted for a retail-based health clinic because the clinic had more convenient hours or because their doctor didn’t have an appointment available.

07/29/2013 - 12:11pm

Walgreens and Duane Reade are testing a new mobile shopping system at stores in New York that help shoppers make choices by providing relevant product information from a network of friends and experts and then sending them "perks" they can redeem at checkout. The system combines the respective mobile platforms of Pretty in my Pocket and Sparkfly, and L'Oreal Paris has signed on as the first brand partner.

As retail industry futurist Doug Stephens recently told Drug Store News in an interview for an article in the Aug. 12 issue of the magazine about the future of retail pharmacy, younger consumers are "conditioned to understand that they can have whatever they want, whenever they want it, wherever they happen to be."

07/29/2013 - 11:59am

The evolution of services now available at retail pharmacy has gained traction with news organizations targeting the investment community. CNNMoney recently spoke at length with one of the retail pharmacy change catalysts — Greg Wasson of Walgreens.

Wasson and other retail pharmacy operators have been blazing a new pathway to cheaper and more convenient health care for some time now. Inoculations and medication therapy management programs were ever only the beginning, because the future of retail pharmacy is in successfully managing lives with a healthcare system partner. "There's an opportunity for the pharmacist to play a much greater role in health care, especially with what we have going on in this country with the shortage of primary-care physicians," Wasson explained to CNNMoney. "Plus, we can also involve the front of our store, being the first source for health and daily living, continuing to make sure we're relevant in today's society."

07/22/2013 - 12:23pm

CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic is striving to help patients lose weight and live healthier lives via a new weight-loss program that incorporates the DASH diet.

The move is important as it further illustrates the increased focus among retail-based health clinics to move beyond acute care. Many retail clinic operators have already started migrating toward expanded services, including weight-loss, smoking-cessation and fitness programs. For example, RediClinic has its Weigh Forward weight management program and Lindora, which operates a handful of clinics within select Rite Aid stores, began as a weight-loss clinic first and evolved into acute care later.


07/22/2013 - 12:23pm

Cardinal Health and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation are calling for proposals to research the effects of pharmacist-provided medication therapy management services on hospital readmission rates.

Medications only do their jobs if patients take them as instructed by physicians, but physicians' ability to ensure that patients are doing what they're supposed to is limited. That's where pharmacists can step in to help make a difference.