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CRN continues growth, adds new members

BY Jason Owen

WASHINGTON — The dietary supplement industry’s leading trade association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, today announced the addition of four new members: Voting Members — DrVita.com; and Parchem Nutrition Inc.; and Associate Members — Arnold & Porter LLP; and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.

DrVita.com is an online retailer of dietary supplements, headquartered in Las Vegas. DrVita offers thousands of natural products from hundreds of manufacturers, including the DrVita brand, manufactured in state-of-the-art facilities, and packaged and stored in conditions of the highest standard.

Parchem Nutrition Inc. is a leading global supplier of ingredients for the nutrition industry, headquartered in New Rochelle, N.Y. Parchem Nutrition serves the needs of the nutritional industry, offering a wide range of vitamins and amino acids, emollients, thickeners and stabilizers, emulsifiers, excipients and colorants. Parchem Nutrition provides high-quality natural and synthetic materials with the leading certifications.

Arnold & Porter LLP is an Am Law 100 firm focusing on the intersection of business, law and public policy. With its roots in Washington, D.C., the firm has more than 800 lawyers across the U.S. and Europe, twenty of whom focus on food and drug law. The firm’s San Francisco office, in particular, is known for its work advising and defending companies regarding California’s unique toxics and labeling law, Proposition 65, and California’s expansive consumer protection laws.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a national law firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., and five other cites, is known for its quality and commitment to clients, and for offering integrated, relationship-based services and capabilities typically found only in boutique firms. The firm has extensive experience helping dietary supplement, food, cosmetic and other companies of all sizes navigate Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration regulations; bringing and defending advertising challenges at the National Advertising Division, the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program and in court; and defending consumer class actions.

For a complete list of CRN member companies, visit CRN’s website.

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OraSure Technologies praises new hepatitis C testing recommendations

BY Rebecca Haughey

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — OraSure Technologies, makers of the OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test, on Tuesday announced its support for the new recommendations issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

The USPSTF gave both hepatitis C (HCV) screening for at-risk individuals and age-cohort screening a "B" grade. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, preventive services that have received an "A" or "B" grade from the USPSTF must be covered by insurance policies without cost-sharing and be part of the essential health benefits for those individuals eligible for Medicare.

The new recommendations, "Screening for Hepatitis C virus infection in adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement," significantly expand the USPSTF’s previous recommendation of screening for HCV. The recommendation is in response to the higher prevalence of HCV infection among Baby Boomers; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1-out-of-30 Baby Boomers is living with hepatitis C infection. The USPSTF recommends that all Baby Boomers be tested for hepatitis C at least once.

"We applaud the new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations, which will help to make hepatitis C screening much more accessible as a regular part of medical care," said Douglas A. Michels, president and CEO of OraSure Technologies. "As a result of the recommendations, we believe that over time more individuals will get tested and learn their hepatitis C status, and we expect that our OraQuick Rapid HCV test will enable individuals presumed to be infected to be referred immediately for follow-up care."

The OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test is the first and only FDA-approved, CLIA-waived rapid, point-of-care test of the detection of antibodies of the hepatitis C virus. OraQuick HCV results are available in 20 minutes, which can help increase the delivery of test results, allowing early diagnosis and linkage to care, treatment and prevention services.

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McKesson ideaShare 2013 shines spotlight on vitality, opportunities within retail pharmacy during opening general session

BY Michael Johnsen

LAS VEGAS — May you live in exciting times. And if you make your business in healthcare or retail pharmacy, you most certainly are — in "an exciting dynamic time," Mark Walchirk, president of McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical, told attendees of Thursday afternoon’s Opening General Session, marking the official start of McKesson ideaShare 2013.

The market is certainly looking up, Walchirk said. And so is independent pharmacy. “[Community pharmacy] is obviously a thriving marketplace — we continue to see new stores come into existence.”

The aging population continues to provide a strong foundation for that growth, but it will be the services and capabilities provided by community pharmacy operations that represents the real growth opportunity.

A larger population participating in health care courtesy of healthcare reform will do more than drive incremental prescription growth. That reform also will help drive outcomes-based medicine, and community pharmacy is well positioned to drive healthcare savings by ensuring patients stay adherent and compliant with their therapies. “Just small increases in adherence and compliance with medications can drive significant growth in the marketplace,” Walchirck said.

Of the challenges facing the industry, changing reimbursement ranks high, Walchirk said. Combined with declining reimbursement rates, community pharmacies must learn how to collaborate to participate in preferred and performance-based networks.

As this shift from a fee-for-service system to a performance-based healthcare model based on delivered value continues, McKesson expressed its committed to helping customers take advantage of emerging reimbursement opportunities by investing in new offerings designed to improve medication adherence and patient outcomes. “In reality, independent community pharmacy is positioned very well … you have the opportunity with the tremendous relationships you have in your community and with your patients to be more of a caregiver or provider versus simply filling prescriptions,” he said.

“Specialty medicine is another significant opportunity for community pharmacy – a real emerging market for retail pharmacy and we are in conversations with a number of business partners to have a more comprehensive approach [to specialty pharmacy],” Walchirk said.

Following Walchirk, Frank Starn, SVP and COO, McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical, recognized Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy as the 2013 Pharmacy of the Year. "[The Pharmacy of the Year honor] is about maximizing local relationships, to position [the] store as a true healthcare destination,” Starn said. As part of the honor, McKesson made a $2,500 donation to the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

The Opening General Session concluded with futurist David Houle delivering the keynote presentation. Houle identified a number of “dynamic flows” within the healthcare space on which independent pharmacy can capitalize. For example, healthcare is primed to transition from a disease treatment system to a disease prevention system, and community pharmacy is already positioned on the forefront of educating their patients around wellness. “In the next three to four years most Americans — a lot of them educated by you — will begin to understand the benefits of prevention,” he said.

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