CVS Health brings prescription-free naloxone to Kansas locations
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Kansans can now access opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone at CVS Pharmacy locations in the state. CVS Health on Tuesday announced the drug’s availability without the need for a prescription at all of its 53 Kansas locations, including those inside of Target stores, through a statewide regulatory protocol.
“Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by expanding access to this medication in our pharmacies in Kansas we can help save lives,” CVS Pharmacy VP pharmacy professional services Tom Davis said. “CVS Health is dedicated to helping the communities we serve address and prevent prescription drug abuse and we are expanding access to naloxone to give more people a chance to get the help they need for recovery.”
Kansas is now the 43rd state where CVS Pharmacy patients can access naloxone without a prescription. Naloxone availability is part of the chain’s efforts to combat prescription drug abuse and misuse, with other efforts including its Pharmacists Teach campaign and its collaboration with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, which donates disposal units to local police departments.
“The new Kansas law making opioid antagonist medications, such as naloxone, available without a prescription will save lives only with the support of pharmacies to make the medications available,” Kansas attorney general Derek Schmidt said. “I applaud CVS for its commitment to this effort.”
Diplomat acquires Focus Rx
FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Pharmacy has a new addition to its ranks. The company on Monday announced the closing of its acquisition of Focus Rx Pharmacy Services, a New York-based specialty and infusion pharmacy with two locations in the state.
Focus Rx offers home infusion and specialty prescription management services, and its acquisition will strengthen Diplomat’s ability to deliver solutions for increasing infusion therapy demand, the company said.
“This partnership opens growth opportunities, especially in the key markets of New York and New Jersey,” Diplomat VP and president of Diplomat Specialty Infusion Group Phil Rielly said. “Focus Rx brings over 15 regional and national payor contracts, boosting Diplomat’s prescription and payer access.”
Diplomat said Focus Rx’s nutrition deficiency business would complement its existing Thrive Rx nutrition division of Diplomat Specialty Infusion Group, offering growth in the New York market. The company expects Focus Rx to generate roughly $47 million in revenue and $3 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the full year 2017.
“As a specialty infusion provider in today’s rapidly evolving health care environment, we are excited to partner with Diplomat to enhance the delivery of comprehensive and personalized services to our patients,” Focus Rx CEO Lou Puleo said. “Our efforts improve patient results, as well as the clinical, operational, and financial well-being of our partners. Diplomat will further our commitment, enabling us to deliver integrated health care services to new and existing consumers and advancing our strong clinical expertise.”
NACDS touts in-district RxImpact efforts
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With Congress back from its August recess, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has shared some data about the efforts it made to reach out to lawmakers in their district. The organization said that more than half of NACDS RxImpact 2017 activities allowed advocates access to legislators who support pharmacist provider status, and that almost 20% signed on to support the bill following the in-district efforts.
Roughly 31% of NACDS member companies took part in the activities, 79% of which were tours of members pharmacies with lawmakers. About 18% of the activities were town hall meetings.
NACDS’ efforts brought them in contact with 43% of all newly elected members of Congress, and 69% of lawmakers with whom NACDS RxImpact has had no previous in-district contact. Overall, advocates reached 32% of the Senate, 44% of which were Democrats and 56% of which were Republicans.
In terms of Senate decision makers, NACDS said that its in-district efforts brought them in contact with 35% of the Senate Finance Committee, 30% of the Senate Armed Forces Committee and 26% of the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee.