PHARMACY

Arizona county teams up with Walgreens to reduce drug costs

BY Alaric DeArment

DEERFIELD, Ill. A county in Arizona has reduced prescription drug costs for its government workers through a partnership with Walgreens Health Initiatives.

Maricopa County, home to the city of Phoenix and one of the country’s fastest-growing urban regions, lowered prescription drug costs for employees by 2.44 percent by working with the pharmacy benefit manager in 2007, Walgreens announced Tuesday.

It accomplished this by, among other strategies, encouraging employees to use generic medications whenever they could. According to IMS Health data, the county’s generic dispensing rate for 2007 exceeded the national average.

Maricopa County’s benefit won two awards in 2007, from the National Association of Counties and the Arizona Quality Alliance.

“We’re proud of our ability to successfully balance plan savings with member care and satisfaction, not only for Maricopa County, but for more than 9 million covered lives nationwide,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens Health Initiatives’ executive vice president.

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PHARMACY

CDC campaign aims to make U.S. healthiest nation

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Some Americans might be surprised to find that according to some key measures of national health around the world, the United States doesn’t make the top 10.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hopes to change that. It’s launching the “Healthiest Nation Campaign” to protect people’s health before they visit the doctor. This includes more bike lanes and sidewalks, public smoking bans and better food in the schools.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the United States ranks 47th in life expectancy at birth and 180th in infant mortality. The highest-ranked country in life expectancy is Andorra, and the lowest ranked in infant mortality is Singapore.

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PHARMACY

McKesson plans program to aid in pharmacy ownership

BY Drew Buono

LAS VEGAS McKesson has announced that it will launch a pharmacy ownership transfer program, for independent pharmacy owners. The McKesson RxOwnership program will provide independents with the information, business resources and confidential consulting services they need to buy or sell an independent pharmacy.

As part of this new program, McKesson will also offer an RxOwnership Web site, which will serve as resource for buyers, sellers and students interested in a career in independent pharmacy.

Through McKesson’s Rx Ownership program, independent pharmacy owners, regardless of whether they are a McKesson customer—can confidentially speak with an expert advisor to identify potential buyers or sellers, create a plan for buying or selling their pharmacy, access step-by-step ownership transfer guides, evaluate financing options and learn about additional business resources.

Additionally, McKesson announced the appointment of Bob Graul, a long-time independent pharmacy owner, to the newly created role of ownership consultant. In this role, Graul will be responsible for the overall strategy, coordination and implementation of McKesson’s RxOwnership program—a position in which he will work directly with independent pharmacists to identify and address their ownership transfer goals.

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