December 18, 2013

UnitedHealthcare on Wednesday announced the winners of the 2013 UnitedHealthcare Medication Adherence Targeted Intervention Program Challenge benefiting the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation.

December 16, 2013

Since 2005, more than 80% of Americans have rated nurses as having "high" or "very high" honesty and ethical standards, Gallup noted Monday with the release of its latest ethics poll.

December 12, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association urged U.S. Senators on the Senate Finance Committee to support a proposal intended to expand coverage in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program of medication therapy management programs.

December 6, 2013

McKesson's Health Mart pharmacy franchisees recently gained access to a tool that has the potential of giving community pharmacy a leg up on the competition in the coming years. EQuIPP, from Pharmacy Quality Solutions, does just that — equips independents with individual store data that marks the performance of their pharmacy vs. a national benchmark.

It's putting the pestle where the mortar is — retail pharmacy has the patient touchpoints and data-tracking wherewithal to make a material impact on patient outcomes. Important, because that's what the new year will bring — more and more healthcare payers looking to improve their own patient outcomes. And what better way to do it than to partner with outperforming pharmacies?

December 6, 2013

A study conducted among rural patients at Thrifty White Pharmacy locations in the Midwest and published in the November/December issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association found that patients who received appointment-based medication synchronization were up to six times more likely to adhere to their therapies than those who didn't receive them.

Over the years, study after study has shown that pharmacists can play a crucial role in ensuring that patients take their drugs when they're supposed to and as instructed. And poor medication adherence is no small issue, as studies have shown it costs the country nearly $300 billion per year, in addition to contributing to poor health outcomes. It's been said that improvements in medication adherence can be the equivalent of a blockbuster drug, and according to the National Coalition on Health Care, self-management of chronic diseases could save $10 for every $1 spent.

November 21, 2013

Health care has begun to emphasize quality in addition to cost as a means to provide what is known as value-driven health care.

November 8, 2013

It’s called medication synchronization, and the concept is simple enough — shifting patients to a synchronized, easy-to-comply-with, once-a-month prescription refill program so they can pick up all their medications with one visit to the pharmacy each month, instead of multiple trips.

November 8, 2013

PharmaSmart's kiosks will be integrated with PDX's Enterprise Pharmacy System, allowing pharmacies with the EPS system to collect data from patients through the kiosks, under a partnership between the two companies announced Friday.

November 8, 2013
Higi ‘scores’ with kiosks

Through its biometric screening kiosks, its smartphone application and its website, Higi encourages users to take a more holistic approach to their health. True wellness, its creators insist, springs not just from such physical metrics as blood pressure, glucose readings and body mass index, but from lifestyle choices and connections to family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.

October 30, 2013

Community pharmacy is an important healthcare partner in providing cost-saving solutions within the healthcare system.

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.

September 27, 2013

Health kiosk maker PharmaSmart International and a drug chain that operates stores in Minnesota and Iowa have integrated PharmaSmart's technology into the chain's software system.

September 24, 2013

The healthcare industry has always had its fair share of buzz words and the pharmacy sector is no exception, said Emdeon's Kevin Mahoney. Medication synchronization, outcomes, clinical services, medication therapy management, accountable care organizations… our conferences and publications are full of experts discussing how pharmacies can successfully participate in these new opportunities. What I find to be so interesting in this new crop of go-to phrases is they all really boil down to one common element and that is patient care.

September 13, 2013

Theranos and Walgreens announced a long-term partnership to bring access to Theranos’ new lab testing service through Walgreens pharmacies nationwide. As the service becomes available through Theranos Wellness Centers inside Walgreens stores, consumers will be able to access less invasive and more affordable clinician-directed lab testing.

With this news, it becomes clear that the days of the Walgreens pharmacist and nurse practitioner are numbered. Not because those professionals are going anywhere, mind you. But because the connotation associated with those occupations really no longer apply. With the number of healthcare services being rolled out under the Walgreens umbrella, it would be more apropos to identify them as healthcare brokers.

September 6, 2013

Expanding pharmacists' role in Canada could reduce the burden of chronic illness on patients and save the country's healthcare system between C$1.4 billion and C$1.9 billion (US$1.34 billion-$1.83 billion) over the next three years, according to a new report released by Arthritis Consumer Experts, the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada and Shoppers Drug Mart.

Canada's single-payer healthcare system is vastly different from that of the United States, not to mention differences between the two countries in terms of laws and regulations that govern pharmacy, but the lessons from the study apply equally to both.

August 14, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is urging lawmakers to examine “commonsense, pro-patient, pro-pharmacy reforms” in an effort to modernize the Medicare program for beneficiaries.

August 11, 2013

Changes in healthcare delivery today are influencing the way community pharmacy serves patients. That was the key message healthcare policy wizard Mark McClellan, M.P.A., M.D., PhD., had for attendees of an Aug. 9 industry general session in Seattle at Cardinal Health's annual Retail Business Conference.

July 29, 2013

The Community Pharmacy Foundation and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation announced on Monday that they will work together to evaluate the impact on patient outcomes of the integration of community pharmacy-provided medication management strategies into a statewide, patient-centered medical home network in North Dakota. More than 70% of physicians participate in the state’s medical home program.

July 29, 2013

The same organization that reached the often-cited figure of nearly $300 billion wasted each year due to poor medication adherence has developed a six-point agenda for improving it.

July 22, 2013

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.

July 16, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation, in partnership with the Cardinal Health Foundation, has issued a request-for-proposals to research the impact of integrating community pharmacist-provided medication management services into the hospital discharge process.

July 10, 2013

Patient care is local. And at the end of the day, when the book has been written on healthcare reform that simple fact will create more opportunity for community pharmacy owners — at least the ones who are able to seize that opportunity.

July 8, 2013

Amid mounting evidence of the negative clinical and economic consequences of medication nonadherence, research featured on the cover of this month’s Health Affairs breaks new ground by urging innovative approaches to improve medication adherence and to “achieve a higher-performing health system.”

July 1, 2013

In a new article in Men's Health magazine, pharmacists are listed among a number of other health and wellness professionals dubbed "health detectives," and seeing them about certain health problems is described as an alternative to seeing the doctor.

To regular readers of DSN, the idea of pharmacists as the face of neighborhood health care or physician extender is old news. But it's still a relatively new concept to the public at large, and that's why the Men's Health article is such a big deal and why it got a response from National Association of Chain Drug Stores' president and CEO Steven Anderson.