CVS Health expands Cleveland Clinic partnership
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health and Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday announced the expansion of their eight-year clinical affiliation in Northeast Ohio and Florida. The expanded partnership will include various efforts to better coordinate patient care and provide services to support healthy outcomes for Cleveland Clinic patients in these regions.
“Our clinical collaboration with Cleveland Clinic has successfully increased access to care for thousands of patients,” MinuteClinic SVP and executive director Sharon Vitti said. “By expanding and enhancing our affiliation, we will broaden electronic communication between providers in both organizations and leverage population health data to help improve the health outcomes and reduce the cost of care for the patients we serve.”
Among the aspects of the broadened relationship will be clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations. It also will see the development of joint clinical programs aimed at addressing such chronic diseases as hypertension and helping patients manage their medications.
CVS Health also has joined Cleveland Clinic’s Quality Alliance as part of the expanded partnership. The Quality Alliance is one of the largest integrated networks of providers collaborating on quality measures focused on chronic disease management. The organizations will share protocols and quality metrics and review population health data through secure, integrated systems, the companies said.
"This collaboration enhances the quality of care patients will receive and allows us to oversee their care more seamlessly than we do today," Cleveland Clinic dept. of family medicine chairman Dr. Michael Rabovsky said. "As part of our Quality Alliance, CVS Health joins our clinically integrated network which uniquely positions us to share treatment guidelines and protocols and puts the patient at the center of a larger system of care when they need it."
MinuteClinic, CVS Pharmacy and Cleveland Clinic said they would work to streamline and enhance patient communication through their electronic health record systems, including electronic message sharing and alerts about patient prescription information. It also will encompass visit summaries, diagnosis and treatment protocol being shared with a treating physician and CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic with the patient’s consent.
"The expanded collaboration with CVS Health also allows us to provide better access to quality care for patients in Florida," Cleveland Clinic Florida dept. of family medicine chairman Dr. Hermann Stubbe said. "The ability to share information, quality measures and protocols will reduce chronic disease and ultimately improve our patients' quality of life."
GNP rolls out new tools, emphasizes advocacy at ThoughtSpot 2017
LAS VEGAS — At last week’s Good Neighbor Pharmacy ThoughtSpot 2017, AmerisourceBergen rolled out new solutions for independent pharmacies while focusing on the role independents can play in shaping the healthcare landscape through advocacy.
“Independent pharmacists are a vital source of care — a reliable, critical provider in communities across the country,” Good Neighbor Pharmacy president Brian Nightengale said “But we recognize that independent pharmacists aren’t immune to today’s mounting industry pressures. That’s why, at AmerisourceBergen, we leverage our scale to advocate on behalf of independent pharmacists and provide them with necessary resources to ensure they can continue to deliver their hallmark, high-quality and cost-effective patient care.”
At the tradeshow’s opening session, AmerisourceBergen executives showcased solutions aimed at helping pharmacists navigate industry challenges and optimize front-end sales. The company’s new direct and indirect remuneration, or DIR, fee estimator tool offers pharmacists a way to estimate their monthly rates through real-time, claim-level data. And the enhanced ABC Order platform got a facelift, showing off a new user interface to make ordering more efficient, the company said.
The event also hosted and Advocacy in Action event, which featured a five-person panel discussion that included National Community Pharmacists Association CEO Doug Hoey and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins. Panelists discussed how pharmacists can advocate for pro-pharmacy policy change on such issues as provider status and DIR fees. AmerisourceBergen and Good Neighbor Pharmacy also highlighted their advocacy resource website Our Independent Voice, which offers such resources as templates for letters to lawmakers and opportunities to connect with other pharmacists and pharmacy organizations.
“We continue to pursue ways to support and advocate on behalf of independent pharmacists because we know their patients and the overall health of our communities depend on them now more than ever,” AmerisourceBergen group president of pharmaceutical distribution and strategic global sourcing Bob Mauch said. “At AmerisourceBergen we are united in our responsibility to create healthier futures, and our work to amplify the voice of community pharmacists and ensure they are able to meet the needs of patients in a fair marketplace is a key demonstration of how we live our purpose.”
Additionally, AmerisourceBergen recognized Staten Island, N.Y.-based St. George Pharmacy with the Good Neighbor Pharmacy 2017 Pharmacy of the Year award. The owner, Al Gentile, has been part of his community for more than 30 years, making sure to keep his doors open in the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.
FDA chief promises ANDA submission guidance by year’s end
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to improve competition in the generics market — its Drug Competition Action Plan — is officially underway. The regulator held an open meeting on July 18, at which FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said would be the beginnings of a new internal strategy for dealing with abbreviated new drug applications, as well as a guidance on the best submission practices.
“Consumers derive greater value when they have access to more choice and competition,” Gotlieb said. “This is especially true when it comes to new drug categories. … The benefits of competition are equally obvious when it comes to generic drugs. But in some cases, we know that branded companies are using our rules that are intended to protect consumers, or meant to make the regulatory process more predictable, and taking advantage of these rules in order to deliberately forestall the entry of expected generic drug competition.”
Besides identifying where companies are gaming the system to reduce competition, Gottlieb said the FDA also is working on the efficiency of the review program, and that before the end of 2017, the FDA would issue a Manual of Policies and Procedures pertaining to internal policies a the FDA that will streamline the review process.
“This efficiency doesn’t mean lowering our standards,” the FDA commissioner said. “In the United States, approximately 90% of drugs that are dispensed are generics. That’s because when consumers go the pharmacy, they can be confident that a generic will work the same as the brand. FDA will continue to be the gold standard for review and approval of all drug applications, and we will make sure that consumers can continue to trust in that gold standard.”
Additionally, he said the agency would issue a “Good ANDA Submission Practices” guidance for manufacturers. Gottlieb said the guidance would outline common, recurring shortcomings of applications and offer suggests on avoiding these pitfalls to ensure the first submission is as complete as possible.
“Neither our internal MAPP nor the guidance alone can ensure that ANDAs will be approved more efficiently,” he said. “But taken together, I believe they will help effectuate real and measurable change.”