Albertsons named Top Large Pharmacy Chain by OutcomesMTM
BOISE, Idaho — OutcomesMTM, a Cardinal Health company and a national administrator of medication therapy management, has named Albertsons the Top Large Pharmacy Chain for the first quarter of 2017. This marks the fourth quarter in a row Albertsons has earned the top spot in the large pharmacy chain category, and OutcomesMTM named Albertsons the 2016 Top Large Pharmacy Chain last year.
“We’re proud of this recognition and the exceptional care our pharmacy teams provide their patients each and every day,” Albertsons SVP pharmacy, health and wellness Mark Panzer said. “The demand for MTM is at an all-time high, as is the demand for accessible, quality affordable healthcare. Albertsons Companies is committed to meeting that demand by empowering our pharmacy teams to help patients take the right medications in the right way at the right time.”
Albertsons uses the OutcomesMTM Connect platform to offer its pharmacy teams opportunities to engage with patients that include performing annual comprehensive medication reviews and supporting adherence, as well as resolving interventions related to safety and cost, among other areas.
Walgreens medication disposal program collects 72 tons in first year
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens’ efforts to provide a space to dispose of unwanted medication had a big first year. The retailer on Wednesday announced that in its first year, its medication disposal program, which saw it install safe disposal kiosks in 600 pharmacies across 45 states, brought in 72 tons of medication — the weight equivalent of roughly 40 midsize cars.
The kiosks, which can be accessed during regular pharmacy hours to dispose of prescription and OTC medication that has expired, gone unused or isn’t wanted, are part of the company’s broader efforts to help combat the rising numbers of overdose-related deaths in the United States.
This year, Walgreens will again participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 29. Stores across the country — both with and without the year-round disposal kiosks — will serve as a collection point for law enforcement to collect medications to be disposed of safely.
In addition to making the kiosks available, Walgreens also has made opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone available without a prescription at more than 7,600 of its pharmacies in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Walgreens said it was able and eager to work with regulators in the remaining states to allow prescription-free naloxone dispensing.
“Since we launched this program last year, we have been truly encouraged by how our patients have embraced the opportunities to safely dispose of their medications. Simply put, this epidemic is one of the most serious issues facing our country today, and this program is making a difference in helping fight against prescription drug abuse,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of pharmacy and retail operations.
NCPA to advocate on behalf of pharmacy through 2017 Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — This week, hundreds of community pharmacists will convene in Washington, D.C. to advocate for their patients and their businesses during the National Community Pharmacists Association's 2017 Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In.
On April 26 and 27, community pharmacists will meet with members of Congress to generate support for legislative priorities that improve patient access to prescription drug services. Those efforts will be supported by a week-long advertising campaign in leading Washington, D.C. news outlets.
"Community pharmacists see firsthand every day the importance of assuring patient access to their prescription drug therapy," stated Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO. "There's an important national discussion about prescription drug coverage and affordability that continues today. Independent community pharmacists are part of the solution both through greater transparency and achieving better health outcomes through proper medication use," he said. "Community pharmacists will also educate members of Congress this week about their experiences with pharmacy benefit managers' pricing games and offer legislative solutions to make drug middlemen more transparent and accountable, which in turn will improve health outcomes for patients overall and bend the cost curve."
The legislative priorities independent community pharmacies will advocate for include:
- Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Spending (S. 413 / H.R. 1038). Retroactive pharmacy DIR fees have exploded in Medicare Part D. These bills would prohibit retroactively reducing payment on claims submitted by pharmacies under Medicare Part D. This would increase transparency in Medicare, lower cost-sharing levels for seniors, reduce the program's catastrophic costs and support patient access to independent community pharmacies;
- Creating Prescription Drug Price Transparency (H.R. 1316). Generic prescription drugs account for more than 80% of medications dispensed by community pharmacies, yet how they are priced by PBMs is a black box. This bill would codify Medicare transparency provisions concerning 'maximum allowable costs' for generics and apply them to TRICARE and FEHBP. It would also establish a MAC appeals process and prohibit PBM requirements to use a PBM-owned pharmacy;
- Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies (H.R. 1939). This bill would give seniors more access to discounted copays for prescription drugs at their pharmacy of choice. It would allow pharmacies in medically underserved areas to participate in Medicare preferred pharmacy networks if they accept the drug plan's terms and conditions; and
- Obtaining Pharmacist Provider Status (S. 109 / H.R. 592). These companion bills would recognize pharmacists as providers under the Medicare Part B program. If enacted, pharmacists would be able to perform services for patients consistent with their state's scope of practice if their pharmacy is located in a medically underserved area, health professional shortage area, or medically underserved population.
In addition, NCPA is looking to ensure that any legislation replacing the Affordable Care Act retain provisions that enhance patient access to prescription medications, including preserving prescription drug coverage as an essential health benefit, maintaining meaningful access to retail pharmacies, preserving Part D improvements to medication therapy management services and keeping the current average manufacturer price definition used for Medicaid fee-for-service reimbursements.