PHARMACY

CVS forum puts spotlight on med adherence

BY Antoinette Alexander


WASHINGTON — In a move that not only shed more light on how to battle the $300 billion problem of medication nonadherence but also helped to raise consumer awareness on the importance of adherence, CVS Caremark convened its first-ever national forum in late May.


The forum brought together health experts — including Troy Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer for CVS Caremark, and William Shrank of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School — to discuss the body of published medical studies for the first half of CVS Caremark’s three-year research partnership with Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


During the discussion, Shrank highlighted some of the key findings of the research to date and told attendees that researchers have been working to get a sense of the predictors of whether or not a patient will abandon prescriptions. A key predictor: cost. “When medications cost [more than] $50 a prescription, there was a four to five times greater rate of abandonment. This may not come as a great surprise, but this really highlights this notion of sticker shock,” Shrank said. 


Emerging from the discussion also were several key recommendations, including, but not limited to:


Developing tools that will allow pharmacists to predict and target patients who are at risk for nonadherence and prescription abandonment;


Working with pharmacists and other healthcare providers to simplify pharmacy care for those with the most complex therapies by utilizing a “pharmacy home” concept;


Researching the use of financial or other incentives to encourage adherence; and


Developing a personalized medication approach, such as through pharmacogenomics or individualized counseling with pharmacists.

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PHARMACY

Fionnuala Walsh joins Lilly’s executive committee

BY Allison Cerra

INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly’s SVP global quality has joined the drug maker’s executive committee, effective July 1.

Fionnuala Walsh, who joined Lilly in 1988, will continue in her current role at Lilly, where she ensures the company maintains high-quality standards across its worldwide operations.

Walsh reports to company chairman, president and CEO John Lechleiter.

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McLane freshens up in-store offerings

BY Alaric DeArment

Consumables have long been a major component of any drug store’s product mix, but where stores historically have limited their offerings to soft drinks, candy and beer, more of them now are selling fresh produce and prepared foods.


Temple, Texas-based supply chain services provider McLane is one company that can help retail pharmacies freshen up their inventories. McLane operates a network of 19 facilities that allow the company to reach every ZIP code in the continental United States with its 2,000 temperature-controlled trailers delivering everything from frozen food to fresh vegetables and fruits.


“Through that network of providing multitemp options or just a large dynamic of items, we have the ability to tailor or customize a product mix,” McLane category manager for perishable, supplies and food service Greg Tradup told Drug Store News. “Anything you could find in a grocery store, we have the ability to tailor for a drug store.”


Tradup sees retail pharmacies as well-positioned to address the food desert problem. “I think a pharmacy, being a little bit more local, has probably the most unique ability to offer up a fresh food program where it might not be available locally,” he said. But retailers have to do it right to be successful.


This includes placing fresh foods in areas where customers will notice them, such as open-air coolers near the front of the store. 


“There needs to be more involvement from the operators and the workers there in the store in regard to maintaining the programs, rotating the items and keeping the areas clean,” Tradup said. “They definitely need to advertise, make it known these items are available [and] put them in an area where they’re recognizable and can be seen.”

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