PHARMACY

Analysis by app maker MediSafe ranks 10 cities, six age brackets by medication nonadherence

BY Alaric DeArment

HAIFA, Israel — Patients ages 20 years to 29 years and those in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., have the worst medication adherence in the country, according to an analysis by a company that markets an app for improving adherence.

MediSafe, based in Haifa, Israel, conducted an internal study of 1.7 million users of medication across the country, ranking 10 cities and six age brackets according to how nonadherent they were to their medication therapies. MediSafe’s app is designed to prevent emergencies resulting from over- and under-dosing medications. According to a widely cited study by the New England Healthcare Institute, medication nonadherence costs the country an estimated $290 billion per year in added medical spending.

"We chose to analyze our data and reveal these findings in order to help raise awareness of non-adherence issues and encourage people to better manage their medication compliance," MediSafe CEO Omri Shor said. "These results are a wake-up call. Mobile pillbox technologies like Medisafe are free and easy to use, eliminating the excuse of forgetfulness when it comes to adherence. Nonadherence is a costly issue, but more importantly, it’s affecting health outcomes, and [is] sometimes the cause behind fatalities."

After Fort Lauderdale, Brooklyn, N.Y., came in second for poor adherence, followed by Baltimore, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Washington and Atlanta. Among age groups, adherence rates mostly improved with older brackets, though patients ages 60 years to 69 years had the third-worst adherence, followed by those ages 40 years to 49 years.

 

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Reports: Mich. bill would allow marijuana sales in pharmacies

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — State legislators in Michigan are considering a bill that would allow pharmacies to sell medical marijuana, according to published reports.

The Detroit Free Press reported that the state Senate Government Operations Committee had passed a bill that would reclassify marijuana as a Schedule 2 controlled substance and allow licensing and regulation of companies to grow and test pharmaceutical-grade marijuana and then sell it to pharmacies to dispense. The newspaper reported, however, that the federal government would first have to reclassify marijuana as well, as it is currently a Schedule 1 controlled substance, meaning the government regards it solely as an illegal drug with no legitimate medical use.

Opponents of the bill say it would take business from small-scale and home growers and was a "money grab" by large growers and pharmacies.

Should pharmacies be allowed to sell medical marijuana as Michigan state lawmakers propose? Click Here to Vote

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Reports: Schnucks opens infusion services center in St. Louis

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Schnuck Markets is expanding its presence in specialty pharmacy services, according to published reports.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Schnucks opened its first Schnucks Infusion Solutions location last month in St. Louis, where the supermarket chain is based.

The 6,500-sq.-ft. facility provides infusion services for serious, chronic conditions like autoimmune diseases, hemophilia, cancers and others, staffed by nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who prepare infusions and administer them in patients’ homes or its ambulatory infusion center.

Schnucks has been involved in specialty for a while. In May 2012, it opened a stand-alone pharmacy in the pavilion of St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Ill., its first stand-alone specialty pharmacy in Illinois. The 2,000-sq.-ft. pharmacy specializes in conditions like HIV, hepatitis, autoimmune disorders, organ transplants and cancers and replaced the specialty pharmacy at a nearby store.

 

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