PHARMACY

Bartell Drugs wins award for recycling, prescription disposal programs

BY Alaric DeArment

SEATTLE A regional retail pharmacy chain has received recognition for its efforts to promote environmental sustainability.

Bartell Drugs, which operates 55 stores in the Seattle area, received two major awards from the Boston-based Product Stewardship Institute for its recycling and prescription drug disposal programs. As a participant in the Take It Back Network, Bartell collects unused medications for free and disposes of them safely, preventing them from being flushed down toilets and contaminating waterways.

“We’re proud to receive these awards, as well as the recognition our team has received,” chairman and CEO George Bartell said. “Offering free recycling opportunities for our customers is not only a service, but a way to close the environmental loop in a safe way for many of the products we sell.”

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PHARMACY

NCPA makes recommendations for the Affordable Health Choices Act

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. An organization representing the country’s independent pharmacies has sent a list of recommendations for healthcare reform to the chairman of the Senate’s healthcare committee.

The National Community Pharmacists Association announced Tuesday that its EVP and CEO Bruce Roberts had sent a letter with five specific recommendations for the Affordable Health Choices Act to Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The recommendations address grants establishing community health teams supporting a medical home model, grants for medication management services to treat chronic disease, requirements for pharmacies to provide health insurance, pharmacy exemption for durable medical equipment accreditation and features of the public health plan option.

Roberts wrote that the NCPA supports the requirement that community health teams provide patients with access to pharmacist-delivered medication management therapies in the medical home model provision.

“NCPA believes that pharmacists’ services should be an integral part of a patient’s medical home because prescription medications are the primary medical intervention used to improve health and quality of life,” Roberts wrote.

The letter expressed support for the law’s proposed establishment of a grant program for medication therapy management and exemptions for pharmacies from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ durable medical equipment accreditation requirements, which they must fulfill in order to sell diabetes-testing supplies. On the other hand, it asked the committee to consider that small businesses with highly trained professionals, such as pharmacies, have higher-than-average salaries as it decided on an annual salary phase out for tax incentives to provide health insurance. It also emphasized its preference that the drug benefit component of any public plan be administered by a pharmacy benefits administrator rather than a pharmacy benefits manager.

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Fruth Pharmacy elects founder’s daughter as board chairwoman

BY Alaric DeArment

POINT PLEASANT, W. Va. Regional retail pharmacy chain Fruth Pharmacy has elected a new chairwoman of the board.

Fruth CEO Don Pullin announced the election of Lynne Fruth, which occurred during the board meeting in March. The company said Fruth will direct the company’s affairs and make decisions on major company issues.

Fruth, the youngest daughter of company founder Jack Fruth, has spent more than 20 years in careers related to education, serving as field researcher for the federal government and in the Putnam County, W.Va., school system. She also works as a private consultant to many county school systems in West Virginia and has been an owner and operator of several private businesses, including restaurants and a vending route.

“In the words of my father, the harder I work, the luckier I get,” Fruth stated. “I will strive to bring to this position that level of dedication, as well as a commitment to the values on which our company was founded – hard work; integrity; true concern for our employees, customers and communities; and a vision for where we can take Fruth Pharmacy in the future.”

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