PHARMACY

CVS Caremark: vaccinations help reduce hospitalizations

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCEKT, R.I. CVS Caremark will reveal on Monday at the 2008 DMAA Annual Meeting influenza vaccine data that suggests vaccinations can help reduce the risk of hospitalizations in patients with chronic conditions.

For the yearlong study, CVS Caremark monitored the impact of influenza vaccination on subsequent hospitalization rates for 19,908 participants. Results indicated that for chronic disease patients who received the vaccine there was a 19 percent reduction in hospitalization for all causes and a 24 percent reduction in flu and pneumonia-related hospitalizations.

The subjects were enrolled in a common chronic disease management program, and were selected from a continuously enrolled population of all ages—all of whom were predetermined to have one of a number of chronic conditions including asthma, diabetes, coronary artery disease, heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Investigators assessed hospital visits in 2006, and the vaccinated and non-vaccinated groups had equal distributions of gender, age and co-morbidities. The presence of influenza vaccine was derived from self-reported patient data as well as medical claims.

“This data furthers our understanding of the positive impact of influenza vaccinations,” stated Marsha Moore, senior vice president of medical affairs for CVS Caremark. “The results are an example of how our Proactive Pharmacy Care approach can help patients dealing with chronic conditions benefit from the positive impact of an annual influenza vaccination and can be an important tool for communicating the need for flu vaccine in this patient population.”

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PHARMACY

A&P, 4D team up through Live Better! program

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. A&P announced on Thursday that it has teamed up with 4D Pharmacy Management Systems to administer employer group prescription drug benefits through its Live Better! Wellness Program.

Under the agreement, employer groups will have access to 4D’s nationwide network of more than 60,000 pharmacies as well as incentives at the company’s participating banner store Pharmacy Centers. The Live Better! Wellness Program begins managing pharmacy benefits Jan. 1, 2009.

The program will also offer mail service prescriptions through the A&P Mail Order Pharmacy. Plan members will have the option of receiving a 90-day supply of maintenance medications at A&P and subsidiary Pharmacy Centers. The Pharmacy Centers offer one-stop shopping including health screenings, diabetic supplies and patient counseling and information service.

Within the next few weeks, 4D plans to launch group and broker marketing activities.

“This partnership brings our pharmacy offerings to the next level with dynamic services which provide our customers with the information and benefits they need to make healthy decisions in all aspects of their lives,” stated Rebecca Philbert, A&P senior vice president of merchandising, supply and logistics.

In addition, Live Better! Wellness Program pharmacists will provide on-site visits to employer groups to assist with health and prescription drug education.

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Rite Aid reopens nine New Orleans locations

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Thursday reported it has reopened nine stores in the New Orleans area that can accommodate both Rite Aid and non-Rite Aid customers. The company continues to open more stores on a daily basis as conditions allow.

Residents displaced by the hurricane can visit any open Rite Aid for their prescriptions because the company’s satellite-linked computer network assures a complete customer prescription history at any Rite Aid store. Because of the state of emergency, Rite Aid pharmacies also can access prescription information for patients who do not normally get their prescriptions at Rite Aid.

In addition, the Rite Aid store at 7060 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, La. is selling 20-pound ice bags to the public for $4. More than 200,000 pounds of ice were sold in Baton Rouge since Sunday, and two Rite Aid stores there are now selling ice, the company stated. The company will continue to truck in ice and other supplies where most needed.

Relief teams of Rite Aid associates, including store cashiers and pharmacists, have traveled or are traveling from Tennessee and unaffected areas of Louisiana and Alabama to help stores that have been impacted and to help reopen additional stores. Earlier this week, Rite Aid reported it had re-opened 32 stores in these areas.

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