PHARMACY

Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy supports employee health and wellness with new programs

BY Alaric DeArment

FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy has several new programs in the works to promote health and wellness among its employees, the company said.

Diplomat announced a new fitness center at its headquarters that will include stationary bikes, strength-training machines, ellipticals, medicine balls, an exercise video center and a Wii system.

In addition, the Flint, Mich.-based company is taking part in the Greater Flint Health Coalition’s Six Weeks to Wellness competition, in which businesses compete to encourage local employees to reach wellness goals. The company will also take part in an upcoming 5K race and participate in National Walk at Lunch Day.

Internally, Diplomat is sponsoring its own Challenge within a Challenge competition, in which teams of eight will compete for prizes, a smoke-free policy on the company’s campus, weight loss programs and diabetes education programs.

"The health of our patients is incredibly important, and so is the health of the people at Diplomat who take care of them," Diplomat wellness coordinator Becky Foerster said.

 

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PHARMACY

FDA panel gives favorable vote to GSK, Theravance COPD drug

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON — A Food and Drug Administration panel has recommended that the agency approve an experimental drug for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease made by GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance, the two companies said.

The FDA Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee voted 9-4 to recommend Breo Ellipta as a long-term maintenance treatment for airflow obstruction in patients with COPD and for reduction of COPD exacerbations in patients with a history of them. The drug is a once-daily inhaler that combines fluticasone furoate and vilanterol.

The panel also voted that the safety of the drug had been adequately demonstrated.

An FDA advisory committee vote does not guarantee approval of a drug, and the agency is not required to follow its recommendation, but usually does.

 

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Catalina Health finds near-total interest in simplified medication information

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Results of a survey indicate a positive response among patients to redesigned patient medication information distributed to patients at retail pharmacy chains in two states as part of an eight-week program.

Catalina Health said it launched the eight-week quality improvement initiative in August 2012 to disseminate the information focusing on three medications dispensed in stores in an unnamed "leading pharmacy chain" in California and Michigan.

Results of the initiative showed that 90% of patients recalled receiving the new information and considered it useful. The purpose of the QI initiative was to provide patients with clearer medication information when they pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy.

"This eight-week project demonstrates that patients want, read and keep a single page of information about their prescriptions that is written in an easy-to-understand format rather than multiple pages of complex medical text," Catalina Health president Renee Selman said. "Catalina Health is committed to providing patients clearer information, and we are proud to have led this pharmacy pilot with our healthcare partners."

Results, collected in a telephone survey of patients, showed equal recall rates among men and women and among all age groups. In addition, new patients were more likely to read and to keep the patient medication information, and those aged 18 to 40 said they would prefer to have it delivered electronically in addition to receiving a single-page information sheet in the pharmacy and would like having a pharmacist explain it.

In addition to Catalina Health, the initiative included experts at Duke University, Emory University, Northwestern University, Purdue University, the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Effectiveness Research, the Food and Drug Administration, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. 

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