PHARMACY

Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy initiates content partnership with NASP

BY Michael Johnsen

FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy on Monday announced that it has initiated a content partnership with the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy.

The new partnership will support Diplomat’s recently launched web platform, diplomat.is, and its goal to be a leading resource for specialty pharmacy. Additionally, the partnership will further establish NASP’s position as a leading voice in specialty pharmacy and clinical news.

“Our goal is to build partnerships within the industry and foster an environment of collaboration to enhance education and improve the care that patients receive,” stated Gary Cohen, NASP CEO. “We support efforts by our industry partners that allow pharmacists and other stakeholders to gain additional education and knowledge about targeted specialty therapeutic categories.”

The partnership agreement also presents the potential for future growth and opportunities for Diplomat to provide educational materials as well.

“Our partnership with NASP will allow us to share rich, deep content supported and developed by industry experts,” stated Jenny Cretu, VP IT and marketing at Diplomat. “NASP is committed to providing the highest quality of information for continued education and awareness and we are excited to bring this to our Diplomat patients and partners.”

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McKesson, Rite Aid expand generic distribution deal in new five-year agreement

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson and Rite Aid on Tuesday announced the signing of an expanded distribution agreement to include both brand and generic pharmaceuticals. The new five-year agreement, which extends through March 2019, creates efficiencies for both companies by leveraging the strength of Rite Aid as one of the leading national drug store chains in the United States, and McKesson as a leader in pharmaceutical sourcing and supply chain management, the companies reported. 

As part of the expanded agreement, McKesson will assume responsibility for the sourcing and distribution of generic pharmaceuticals for Rite Aid as part of McKesson’s One Stop proprietary generics program. Rite Aid stores will benefit from the full value of McKesson’s daily direct-to-store delivery service model for brand and generic pharmaceutical products.  

"I am extremely proud of McKesson’s industry-leading service levels and the strength of our global sourcing and supply chain capabilities; which mean that we deliver the right products at the right time with exceptional efficiency for our customers" stated John Hammergren, chairman and CEO, McKesson. "Rite Aid has been a valued customer to McKesson for more than 16 years and I am honored at the trust they have placed in us as we expand our partnership."   

"We are excited to expand our partnership with McKesson," commented John Standley, Rite Aid chairman and CEO. "The combination of Rite Aid’s and McKesson’s generic purchasing scale and sourcing expertise, in conjunction with McKesson’s industry-leading drug distribution capabilities, will enable us to achieve supply chain efficiencies, provide even better service to Rite Aid customers, and generate additional cash flow to fuel our company’s growth."

 

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Walgreens expands access to Walgreens Connected Care hepatitis C program

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With new advances in treatment therapy now available for hepatitis C patients, Walgreens on Monday announced it is expanding access to Walgreens Connected Care hepatitis C program through its more than 100 hepatitis C-specialized pharmacies. Walgreens Connected Care is an education and support plan designed to help patients achieve a sustained virologic response and improved quality of life through medication adherence. 

The expansion comes at a critical time, Walgreens noted, as the once potentially life-threatening condition affecting more than 3.2 million Americans is now increasingly curable due to recent advances in therapy. Also, a growing number of Americans with hepatitis C infection are expected to have access to health insurance based on the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Walgreens now offers more than 100 hepatitis C-specialized pharmacies with new hepatitis C virus medications available and pharmacists specially trained on next generation oral therapies. Walgreens hepatitis C specially-trained pharmacists are also qualified to identify HCV-associated health concerns and can provide hepatitis C patient care for those with a HIV co-infection or other comorbid conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. The specialized support has been proven to benefit patients, contributing to 90% adherence for patients who completed past treatments.

“While recent hepatitis C therapy advances can be more effective and present fewer side effects, some patients, with high instance of comorbidity, can experience difficulty in managing care and an increased cost of therapy,” stated Glen Pietrandoni, Walgreens director specialty products and services, virology. “Walgreens Connected Caresm hepatitis C program, delivered through our hepatitis C- specialized pharmacies, is designed to meet the holistic needs of people diagnosed with hepatitis C before, during and after HCV treatment. This can help patients achieve SVR and an improved quality of life through medication adherence, while continuing to manage other health outcomes.”

Patients in Walgreens Connected Caresm hepatitis C program receive support services including 24-hour access to specially trained pharmacists, help verifying insurance and identifying financial assistance options, convenient access to or delivery of medication and pharmacist-led regimen check points to monitor response to therapy and encourage medication adherence.

Walgreens hepatitis C specially trained pharmacists work with patients to determine the best method of delivery. HCV medications can be picked up at a Walgreens hepatitis C specialized pharmacy or a designated local Walgreens pharmacy. Delivery is also available through hepatitis C specialized pharmacies or Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy locations.

“As the most common blood transmitted infection in the U.S. largely affecting an aging population with high instance of other health concerns, careful holistic patient pharmaceutical care and supported comprehensive therapy treatment plans are critical to maintain total medication adherence,” Pietrandoni said.

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