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Committee advances bill to secure pharmaceutical supply chain

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. — A federal drug track-and-trace bill has made it out of a congressional committee.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to approve H.R. 1919, the Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act of 2013, sponsored by Reps. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, and Jim Matheson, D-Utah.

"We are pleased that Congress is closer to enacting a bipartisan solution to protect patient safety and enhance the efficiency of the healthcare supply chain — the passage of this bill today through the House Energy and Commerce Committee is an important step in that direction," president and CEO John Gray of primary healthcare distributor trade group HDMA said.

 

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Md. state employees eligible for MTM pilot program

BY Alaric DeArment

BALTIMORE — The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is piloting a program that will allow state employees to receive medication therapy management services, the university announced.

The pilot, offered through the Maryland P3 Program — whose name stands for patients, pharmacists and partnerships — involves the university, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and the Maryland Pharmacists Association. Certain state employees at the State Center office complex in Baltimore will have the opportunity to receive MTM services through the program during the next 14 months. The Maryland P3 Program started operating in summer 2006, and the pilot will be available to 5,000 workers.

"We look forward to demonstrating the program’s positive results to determine the potential value-based benefit to the state," Maryland P3 Program director and University of Maryland School of Pharmacy chairwoman Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner said.

According to the school, MTM services have a history of improving outcomes and reducing direct healthcare costs by between $495 and $3,281 per participant each year, due largely to reductions in hospital and emergency room visits.

The pharmacy school will develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of the comprehensive MTM services, while pharmacists work with the state workers’ primary healthcare providers to assist them with proper use of medications and help with diagnostic testing, counseling and disease management. A more comprehensive program will be available to those who have or who are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, such as those with hyperlipidemia, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome or tobacco dependency.


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Giant-Carlisle donates $3 million to schools

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLISLE, Pa. — A division of Ahold USA is donating millions of dollars to local schools.

Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets, also known as Giant-Carlisle, announced Wednesday the donation of $3 million to 2,868 public and private schools through its A+ School Rewards program for the 2012-2013 school year. The program has donated more than $16 million since 2005. The program allows local schools to earn money for technology, scholarships, school programs, field trips, playgrounds and other needs.

Landover, Md.-based Giant Food, another Ahold USA banner, also known as Giant-Landover, said it would donate snack packs for the USO of Metropolitan Washington’s Your USO Meal, or YUM Lunch.

 

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