PHARMACY

Amid shortage, Walgreens compounds Tamiflu

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens said its pharmacies are prepared to compound Tamiflu capsules into liquid form after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported widespread flu activity in the United States.

The drug store chain said it is addressing the demand for liquid Tamiflu for children, which has resulted in a shortage of the flu-fighting drug.

“These are the highest levels of flu activity health officials have seen this season,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy services. “For people who get sick and who are prescribed an antiviral drug like Tamiflu, it’s best if started within the first 48 hours. With the shortage of liquid Tamiflu for children, we’ve taken proactive measures to ensure our pharmacists can compound these prescriptions, and many have already begun doing so. In addition, we continue to offer flu shots at all of our stores and Take Care Clinics every day.”

The CDC recently disclosed that 44 states have reported flu activity.

All Walgreens and Take Care Clinics continue to offer flu shots daily with no appointment necessary, the drug store chain said.

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PHARMACY

Topco to utilize Supplylogix’s pharmacy inventory management, demand forecasting services

BY Allison Cerra

GRAPEVINE, Texas — A member-owned cooperative has inked a deal with a technology company that develops and provides integrated data-driven solutions for healthcare inventory logistics.

Topco said it selected Supplylogix to provide pharmacy inventory management and demand forecasting services, which will improve inventory positions and forecast demand for more than 60,000 pharmaceutical products sold across more than 1,000 pharmacy locations nationwide.

Topco member-owners are utilizing two of Supplylogix’s software-as-a-service, or SaaS, solutions: the Pinpoint Transfer and Pinpoint Order applications. These applications will significantly enhance Topco member-owners’ abilities to maximize patient service levels, while reducing pharmacy inventory expense by helping in the following key areas:

  • Decrease out-of-stocks for acute and refilled prescriptions;

  • Right-size pharmacy inventory and safety stock levels; and

  • Identify potential shrink losses.

“Topco and [its] member-owners are ideally suited to take advantage of our pharmacy inventory management SaaS solutions," said Mark Wilgus, Supplylogix president and CEO. "We are thrilled to announce this partnership with one of the industry’s most successful purchasing aggregation organizations and to support the growth of [its] member-owners’ pharmacy businesses.”

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NACDS, NCPA believe Tricare beneficiaries should have right to choose

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Two lobbying groups representing the nation’s pharmacies are emphasizing how community pharmacies can help lower prescription drug costs, as well as the importance of maintaining the right of military families and veterans to choose where they fill their prescriptions through the Tricare program.

In a joint letter sent to letter Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association responded to a letter Levin received from the joint chiefs of staff, urging congressional support for the President’s budget proposals. While NACDS and NCPA expressed support for the emphasis on increasing generic utilization rates — and noted community pharmacy’s valuable role in doing so — the associations noted they did not support the incentivizing of Tricare beneficiaries’ use of the Tricare mail-order pharmacy program.

“We understand the burden of rising health costs and the need to control spending in the military healthcare system. We strongly support the recommendation by the joint chiefs to encourage greater utilization of generic drugs,” the letter stated. "However, we do not support the recommendation by the joint chiefs to modify pharmacy co-payments to further encourage the use of mail order. Tricare beneficiaries, particularly retirees, have demonstrated a strong preference to obtain their prescription drugs and pharmacy services from retail pharmacies, despite the fact that there are already strong incentives in the Tricare program to encourage the use of mail order. We believe the choice of where to obtain prescription medications is best left to Tricare beneficiaries."

To view the letter, click here.

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