PHARMACY

Albertsons, HCSC team to tackle adherence

BY DSN STAFF
Customer-owned health insurer Health Care Service Corporation has launched a multi-phase program called Pharmacists Adding Value and Expertise in collaboration with Jewel-Osco, Safeway and Albertsons Pharmacies in Illinois, Montana and New Mexico, as well as with the Texas Pharmacist Association. The move represents the company's effort to help improve medication adherence rates with its Medicare and dual-eligible (Medicare/Medicaid) members.
 
Medication non-adherence costs the U.S. healthcare system between $100 and $300 billion a year. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, the figures represent 3 to 10% of total U.S. healthcare costs — every penny of which is needlessly wasted.
 
PAVE aims to engage members and pharmacists in a clinical intervention program to address the various causes for non-adherence. In the first six months of the program, medication adherence rates have climbed more than 18%, as measured by proportion of days covered, a metric commonly used to measure medication adherence.
 
“Through the PAVE program, we have demonstrated that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to medication adherence and that focusing on one-to-one member interactions is an ideal way to help build trust while boosting the member’s engagement in their care,” said Jay Gandhi, PharmD, divisional VP, Enterprise Pharmacy, HCSC. “When members are engaged in conversations concerning their health with providers they trust, they are more open to having an honest dialogue about their individualized clinical, financial, physical, social and cultural barriers that they may be experiencing as it relates to medication adherence. Community pharmacists have the respect, understanding and trust of our members and we want to preserve and empower that member-pharmacist bond.”
 
By leveraging its proprietary claims data, HCSC identifies members who have not been adhering to the medication regime prescribed by their doctors and enlists community pharmacists to engage with its members and discuss their treatments. Some common solutions included setting up reminders on members’ phones to take medications at a certain time, distributing pill boxes to help members organize medications or contacting the member’s doctor to address more clinical and complex issues.
 
“Patients’ adherence to their medications is critical to managing their health and well-being. Our pharmacists are acutely aware of this and welcomed the opportunity to partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield to improve their members’ medication adherence,” said Mark Panzer, senior VP of pharmacy health and wellness, Albertsons Companies. “We are working as a team to optimize treatment outcomes and maintain better health for HCSC members, our valuable customers.”
 
The program launched in early 2016 with more than 5,000 members who filled prescriptions at more than 200 participating Jewel-Osco, Safeway and Albertsons pharmacies in Illinois, Montana and New Mexico. It focused on adherence to diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol medication.
 
Following the program's reported success, the company has plans to expand and include HEB stores in Texas and members in Oklahoma. The program will also target interventions that go beyond medication adherence to include activities to limit inappropriate use of certain high-risk medications in members who are 65 years and older, such as some sleep medicines, estrogen therapy and some types of antidepressants; drug utilization reviews and appropriate use of specialty medications and pharmaceuticals.

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Allergan adds new board director

BY David Salazar
DUBLIN — Allergan on Monday announced the addition of Adriane M. Brown to its board of directors, effective February 2017. Brown serves as president and CEO of private global invention company Intellectual Ventures.
 
"I am pleased to join the board of Allergan as they deliver results around the world that serve their customers and patients," said Brown. "Their commitment to innovative and meaningful work with the goal of helping people live longer and healthier is commendable."
 
Before she joined intellectual Ventures in 2010, Brown was SVP energy strategy at Honeywell International, where she served in various leadership positions during her 11 years at the company, including president and CEO of Honeywell Transportation Systems, VP and general manager engine systems and accessories and VP and GM aircraft landing systems. Before Honeywell, she spent nearly 20 years at Corning, where she rose to be VP and GM of tis environmental products division. 
 
Since June 2013, Brown has served on the board of Harman International Industries, where she serves on the compensation committee and the technology and innovation committee. 
 
"Adriane Brown is an accomplished executive with extensive experience leading global businesses in multiple industries,” Allergan chairman, president and CEO Brent Saunders said. “With nearly 30 years of management experience, she has operational know how and a proven track record of developing and growing technologies and products across a network of global R&D centers and manufacturing plants. Adriane’s public board experience, understanding of the value of innovation and experience developing and protecting intellectual property complements the experiences of our current board."  
 

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Avella Specialty Pharmacy acquires Oncology Plus

BY David Salazar
PHOENIX, Ariz. — On the heels of its announcement that it had hired a new medical advisor, Avella Specialty Pharmacy on Monday announced that it had acquired Oncology Plus, a Tampa, Fla.-based  provider of patient-specific compounded therapies. Avella said that the acquisition would further its strategic vision to become the nation’s leading omni-site specialty pharmacy and add breadth to its compounding and oncology-focused capabilities and offerings. 
 
“Oncology Plus is dedicated to providing unsurpassed value to its customers while ensuring the highest levels of quality and safety,” Avella CEO Rebecca Shanahan said. “This aligns perfectly with Avella's own high standards for our business. As a result, the move to integrate the people and products of Oncology Plus within our own compounding capabilities will give us greater scale and unique capabilities to service all of the pharmacy outsourcing needs of our practice and hospital partners."
 
With the acquisition, Avella adds Oncology Plus’s 5,000-sq. ft. facility and its Logics+ proprietary ordering, dosing and pathway compliance software. The company said its oncology offerings now span across such sites of care as the physician’s office, retail pharmacies and hospitals, and it expands its offerings to include compounded and oral therapies. Avella also serves hospitals and health systems through its 340B drug discount program, and it has recently announced the acquisition of Texas-based Advanced Pharma. 
 
"We are very excited to become part of a specialty pharmacy with such a strong reputation for clinical excellence and high-quality compounding," said Zach Scholl, President of Oncology Plus. "Avella's national footprint, industry relationships and expertise in the oncology space, combined with the IV compounding capabilities of Oncology Plus, will uniquely position us as a leader in this marketplace."
 
Oncology Plus will be rebranded as part of Avella. 
 

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