PHARMACY

Collaboration in diabetes fight

BY DSN STAFF

Drug Store News speaks with John Beckner, director of pharmacy and health services at Ukrop’s.

Drug Store News: Why did Ukrop’s start its diabetes program?

John Beckner: We felt that diabetes was a significant health issue, not only in our market area but also within our associate population. Therefore, implementing a diabetes program really seemed like the right thing to do. We believe that our pharmacists working in concert withour dieticians and other healthcare professionals can positively impact the lives of those who suffer from this disease. We also think that disease state management programs, such as diabetes, ultimately will result in consistent reimbursement from payers.

DrSN: How do you leverage your capabilities as a supermarket pharmacy in implementing the program?

Beckner: Given the huge impact that nutrition has on Type 2 diabetes, offering diabetes education and counseling in a supermarket environment makes perfect sense. Diabetes patients already visit the pharmacy more often than the average person because of the many medications they take. Adding the numerous trips for groceries, patients with diabetes are in the store on a very frequent basis. This creates an opportunity for the pharmacist and the dietician to interact with the patient regularly for education and reinforcement, which is key to effecting behavior change with any chronic disease, especially diabetes.

DrSN: What role can supermarket pharmacies play in the U.S. healthcare system?

Beckner: Supermarket pharmacy can play an integral role in today’s evolving healthcare system. The pharmacy is the magnet that draws people into the store for health and wellness, including the management of chronic diseases, such as diabetes. By working collaboratively with other disciplines, we can help patients better manage diseases, lower stress, improve nutrition and enhance their quality of life through healthy eating and proper use of medications. The end result: lower healthcare costs.

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PHARMACY

Walgreens offering free review sessions to Medicare Part D beneficiaries

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens now is offering free review sessions to Medicare Part D beneficiaries at all of its more than 7,100 pharmacies throughout the country.

Following the open enrollment period for Medicare Part D insurance plans, Walgreens is assisting those beneficiaries who’ve made changes to their prescription drug coverage. Review sessions with Walgreens pharmacists are available daily by appointment through Jan. 31, and are designed to help patients maximize their plan benefits.

Review sessions include:

  • A review of beneficiary’s current medications, tiers within their selected plan, co-pays and cost-savings opportunities
  • Discussion of available health and wellness services including pneumonia and shingles vaccinations and 90-day prescription benefits
  • Checks for potential drug interactions

Customers can call their nearest Walgreens pharmacy to schedule an appointment. Visit www.walgreens.com or call 1-800-Walgreens for store locations and hours.

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PHARMACY

Watson files FDA application for generic LoSeasonique

BY Allison Cerra

MORRISTOWN, N.J. Watson Labs, a subsidiary of specialty pharmaceutical company Watson Pharmaceuticals, has filed an abbreviated new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration for an oral contraceptive.

Watson is seeking approval to market its levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol (0.10-mg/0.02-mg) oral contraceptive product prior to the expiration of U.S. Patent No. 7,615,545, which is owned by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Teva.  Watson’s levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol product is a generic version of Teva’s LoSeasonique, which is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy.

On Nov. 23, 2009, pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act, Watson notified Duramed that its ANDA requesting approval from the FDA for a generic version of LoSeasonique contained a paragraph IV certification asserting that the LoSeasonique patent is invalid, unenforceable and/or not infringed.  Teva Women’s Health filed suit against Watson on Jan. 6, 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey seeking to prevent Watson from commercializing its product prior to the expiration of U.S. Patent No. 7,615,545.  Based on available information, Watson believes it may be entitled to 180 days of generic market exclusivity or shared exclusivity should its product receive approval.

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