October 16, 2013

Medicare beneficiaries' use of medications — both effective and risky — varies widely across different regions of the United States, according to a new report.

October 16, 2013

Patients taking a drug used for weight loss were able to reduce their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

October 15, 2013

An increase of 1% in prescribed drug use decreases Medicare spending on other medical services by 5%, according to statements made Tuesday at a specialty pharmacy conference by a former chief of staff for the Obama administration.

October 15, 2013

Independent pharmacies are focusing more on helping patients adhere to their medication therapies and save money by using generics, according to a new digest for members of a trade group that represents independents.

October 15, 2013

Calling it a "looming threat," the National Council on Patient Information and Education released a 10-step plan to draw attention to the problem of poor medication adherence among elderly people with multiple chronic conditions.

October 15, 2013

Nearly half of patients with schizophrenia don't comply with doctors' prescription instructions, according to a new physician survey.

October 11, 2013

It's been the week of the dollar store. Dollar General opened store No. 11,000 last week, and Family Dollar continues to reinvent its brand relevance with the consumer as the company posted monster gains for its fiscal fourth quarter and the year, driven by store experimentation, remodels and the introduction 1,000 SKUs, including many health and beauty items.

October 11, 2013

A new law in Maine will allow the importation of drugs from abroad through mail-order from some pharmacies, formalizing a practice that has existed in many parts of the country for several years, and marking the first time a state government has, by law, gone against Food and Drug Administration regulations that bar importation of drugs.

Bloomberg columnist Megan McArdle said Maine was "going rogue" on drug importation, and that pretty much sums it up. The state, which has long had a close relationship with Canada — its governor, Paul LePage, is of French-Canadian descent and spoke Quebecois French as his first language — is openly defying federal law. And because federal law ultimately trumps state law, it's likely the federal government will crack down at some point.

October 11, 2013

The global market for drugs to treat constipation resulting from use of opioid painkillers will increase more than tenfold by 2017, according to new research.

October 11, 2013

By November, Walgreens will have completed fine-tuning its management structure for maximum effectiveness in realizing its three-pronged strategy. That strategy includes improving the front-end experience through retail theater. It includes establishing the pharmacist as the go-to source for healthcare, not just for the patient but for the payer, too. And it includes creating an unrivaled global economy of scale.

Now with all of the pieces in place, Walgreens has shown it has both a knack for creating the optimal retail health experience and identifying the corporate talent who possess a proven track record of transforming good ideas into better realities.

October 10, 2013

The drug market in Brazil is expected to grow to nearly $60 billion by the next decade, but problems remain with coverage of the population, according to a new report.

October 8, 2013

More than half of prescribers are writing prescriptions electronically, according to a new study.

October 8, 2013

Consumers paid more for prescriptions as the country's economy recovered from the recession, according to a new study.

October 8, 2013

More than half of the country gets a "fair" or "poor" score when it comes to standards affecting dental care access for elderly people, according to a new report.

October 7, 2013

Doctors have continued prescribing antibiotics for mild conditions that don't require them despite decades of efforts by government authorities to discourage the practice, according to a new study.

October 4, 2013

A new mobile game app designed by CyberDoctor showed improvements in medication adherence, diet and exercise in diabetes patients, according to a study.

October 4, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is taking to the airwaves to emphasize the role its members play in disseminating information about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health insurance exchanges, which officially opened on Tuesday. NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson appeared on Bloomberg TV's "Surveillance" Tuesday morning to talk about what pharmacies are doing for healthcare delivery.

The NACDS and National Community Pharmacists Association have long touted retail pharmacies as the most accessible centers for health and wellness, and pharmacists as the face of neighborhood health care. That role is especially important given widespread ignorance among the public about the Affordable Care Act and the exchanges.

October 4, 2013

Walgreens reached a 19.1% prescription market share for its fiscal year ended Aug. 31. But that wasn't the story to come out of the Chicagoland retailer's conference call. The story was how far along Walgreens has come in its pledge to transform pharmacy.

Truth is, there isn't one aspect of the pharmacy business that hasn't been touched by Walgreens' focus on transformation. And with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act yet to come in 2014, Walgreens is far from done. See for yourself: click on DSN's Walgreens news feed — all Walgreens news, all the time — and you have one story after another about how Walgreens is helping to redefine what retail pharmacy means to employers, payers and most importantly, the patient, almost on a daily basis.

October 3, 2013

Thirty-seven percent of shoppers in the United States are shopping omnichannel, compared with 29% around the globe, according to a new study.

September 30, 2013

Customer satisfaction with retail pharmacies has increased faster than mail-order pharmacies despite the perceived cost competitiveness of the latter, according to a new study.

September 27, 2013

Congress is expected to pass the Drug Quality and Security Act, which would subject sterile compounding pharmacies to stronger federal regulations and has attracted support from an independent pharmacy trade group, compared with a previous effort at federal regulations of compounding, Senate Bill 959, which many pharmacists feared would threaten their businesses and patients' access to compounded drugs. The efforts to place compounding pharmacies under federal regulations stem from last year's scandal in which many patients died and more were sickened after taking injected steroids contaminated with fungus.

The bills' purpose is simple enough: protecting the safety of patients by preventing irresponsible pharmacies like the New England Compounding Center from slipping through the cracks. But the older bill attracted opposition from independent pharmacies because, despite its good intentions, forced them to make costly changes to their business models or force them out of compounding altogether.

September 27, 2013

H-E-B pledged to not reduce employee work hours in an effort to avoid having to cover their healthcare last week. In contrast, other employers have been cutting their employee hours to avoid the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provision that would require healthcare coverage, according to a report published in the San Antonio Express-News.

And while some companies may be looking at ways to squeeze more out of their businesses, H-E-B, along with Walgreens and others, should be applauded for doing the right thing.

September 26, 2013

Flu vaccination coverage in children increased dramatically during the last season, with smaller increases in coverage among adults, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

September 25, 2013

A bill under consideration by the Senate could force more than 40% of compounding pharmacies to abandon compounding, according to a new survey.