PHARMACY

Cardinal Health announces Women in Pharmacy initiative

BY Allison Cerra

LAS VEGAS — At its annual national trade show, Cardinal Health on Thursday introduced a new initiative that celebrates and encourages female community pharmacy ownership.

The Women in Pharmacy initiative was launched at the wholesaler’s Retail Business Conference in Las Vegas in conjunction with the National Community Pharmacists Association. The initiative will work through NCPA student chapters to encourage female pharmacy students to consider careers in community pharmacy by sharing the success stories of 20 of Cardinal Health’s most successful female pharmacy owners. These success stories also will be promoted through a series of print advertisements, promoting female pharmacy ownership in student-focused pharmacy trade publications.

“Today, the vast majority of community pharmacy owners are men, even though women comprise about half of all practicing pharmacists. To support the growth and long-term viability of community pharmacy, we need to do more as an industry to encourage women to consider owning their own pharmacy,” said Mike Kaufmann, CEO of Cardinal Health’s pharmaceutical business. “Through our new Women in Pharmacy initiative, we’re honored to celebrate and share the success stories of the female pharmacy owners we serve. We believe these real-life, inspirational stories are the best way to capture the imaginations of future pharmacists — to help them understand both the tangible and intangible benefits of a career in community pharmacy.”

According to Cardinal Health, more than half of pharmacy students are female; however, only a fraction of them are community pharmacy owners.

"Entrepreneurial pharmacists come in all genders and nationalities. NCPA is pleased to work with Cardinal Health’s new Women in Pharmacy initiative to inspire a new generation of female pharmacist entrepreneurs," NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey said. "Pharmacy ownership is a perfect choice for pharmacy students to consider when seeking a career in which they have a say in how they practice and care for their patients."

Cardinal Health’s Retail Business Conference is being held in Las Vegas from Thursday through Saturday.

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Juno Technologies seeks to simplify medication packaging with m-pack container

BY Alaric DeArment

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Juno Technologies has introduced a new way to package medications that keeps drugs secure but makes them easier to ship and store.

The new m-pack container is designed to replace the traditional round vials commonly used in retail pharmacies.

The company said that the containers would be easier to open for elderly patients while still being child-proof, would be easier to process by the U.S. Postal Service and would take up less space in pharmacy machines and on pharmacy shelves. In addition, they provide 80% more label space than round vials.

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Retail pharmacy groups respond to merger agreement between Express Scripts, Medco

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The merger agreement between Medco Health Solutions and Express Scripts announced Thursday has drawn objections from retail pharmacy trade groups.

In a joint statement on Thursday, National Community Pharmacists Association EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey and National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson said Express Scripts’ $29.1 billion acquisition of Medco would “exacerbate [pharmacy benefit managers’] detrimental effect on pharmacy patient care.”

“Today’s announcement that Express Scripts will buy Medco creates a middle man that is too big to play fair and will have immense power to unfairly dominate the market,” a statement by Hoey and Anderson read. “This combination will monopolize control of the supply line for brand and generic prescription drugs, [it will] threaten access to pharmacy patient care and [it] is a bad deal for America, for healthcare plans, for pharmacies and — most notably — for patients.”

The organizations said they would consult with the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general and other officials to determine the next steps they would take.

“Community pharmacy services help to improve patient health and lower overall healthcare costs,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, practical and rhetorical actions by the PBM community have increasingly ignored, and treated with irrational hostility, the vital importance of the patient-pharmacist relationship.

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