PHARMACY

Emdeon affirms e-prescribing for controlled substances is a ‘practical necessity’

BY Alaric DeArment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Electronic prescribing network Emdeon is supporting the approval of security standards for e-prescribing of controlled substances, Emdeon said last week.

The company, which calls itself the only e-prescribing network with market-based experience in controlled substances, said it was committed to helping the Drug Enforcement Administration and healthcare industry to implement the interim final rule for e-prescribing the drugs. Controlled substances include prescription drugs for such conditions as chronic pain and psychiatric disorders that are prone to abuse and diversion.

“Our market experience during the Massachusetts Department of Public Health research project indicates that electronic prescribing for controlled substances is safe and a practical necessity,” Emdeon CEO George Lazenby said. “The potential impact is tremendous.”

The Agency for Health Research and Quality, a government agency, funded the MDPH research project with the aim of demonstrating the technological feasibility and potential benefits to patient safety in e-prescribing of controlled substances.

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Report: Kroger seeks to expand The Little Clinic business

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI Kroger views its in-store health clinic business, The Little Clinic, as an important part of its commitment to health and wellness, and is in the midst of developing an expansion plan, according to a local report.

 

"It is part of our long-term plan," Kroger spokeswoman Meghan Glynn was quoted as saying in a Cincinnati Enquirer article. "Customers more and more are focused on health, fitness and wellness, especially with rising healthcare costs."

 

 

There are currently 80 Little Clinics inside select Kroger stores nationwide. The relationship between Kroger and the clinic operator began in 2003 when Kroger opened its first Little Clinic in a Kroger store in Louisville, Ky. In February, Kroger acquired The Little Clinic for, according to the news report, a price tag of $86 million.

 

 

Kroger had declined to comment on how it might change the business model or growth Little Clinic brand going forward.

 

 

As previously reported by Drug Store News, Michael Stoll, former VP corporate benefits for Kroger, was recently named CEO of The Little Clinic.

 

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Analyst upgrades AmerisourceBergen, deems company top drug distributor

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Boasting more than 3,600 Good Neighbor Pharmacy banners under its independent network has helped push AmerisourceBergen ahead of its wholesaler competitors, prompting a Goldman Sachs analyst to name ABC his top pick among pharmaceutical distribution companies on Friday, according to an Associated Press report.

Because of that large network of independents, Goldman Sachs’ Robert Jones believes ABC stands to benefit the most from the number of generic drugs that will enter the marketplace over the next few years. Jones suggested ABC would get a “larger boost than its competitors” because the wholesaler has greater exposure across its independent affiliates as compared with its pharmacy chain customers.

Jones kept a “Buy” rating on AmerisourceBergen, with a price target of $35 per share, while downgrading Cardinal Health to “Neutral” from “Buy” and maintaining a “Neutral” rating on McKesson Corp, the AP reported.

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