PHARMACY

On hamburgers and health care

BY Rob Eder

This is going to be a big year for retail clinics because this is going to be the year that payers really begin to engage with retail-based care on a meaningful level. 


At its annual Analyst Day Dec. 20, CVS Caremark executives unveiled a new program that integrates its retail clinic and pharmacy-benefit manager offerings. “Caremark is now offering an exciting new program where clients have the opportunity to change their benefit structure to substantially reduce and, in some cases completely eliminate, co-pays at MinuteClinic in order to lower overall healthcare costs,” Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and SVP and associate chief medical officer for CVS Caremark, told analysts.


Key to that is the ability of the clinics to move beyond acute care. “Providing access to both acute and chronic care for the 60 million Caremark members is an important integration sweet spot for our company,” Sussman said. Non-acute care visits are the fastest-growing segment of MinuteClinic’s business, he said, expected to reach 25% of its mix over the next five years — services like chronic disease monitoring, point of care testing and physical exams. 


This news was in sharp contrast to the noise that came out of the Senate antitrust committee hearing Dec. 6, where Express Scripts CEO George “I-can’t-stop-certain-pharmacies-from-going-out-of-business” Paz, in making his case for the ESI-Medco deal, suggested that the U.S. market was oversaturated with 68,000 pharmacies versus about 10,000 McDonald’s locations or 13,000 Starbucks locations. That’s just a stupid analogy as it leaves out the tens of thousands of fast food locations those two companies compete against. It also suggests America needs more options for hamburgers than health care.


In contrast to CVS Caremark, which sells an integrated offering of services — CVS stores, the rest of its network, mail if you want it, specialty if you need it and now it has come up with an innovative way to bundle its clinics into the offer — ESI is kind of a one-trick pony. And if the Federal Trade Commission doesn’t approve this deal, in the new world of health care where outcomes matter most, it could become a dinosaur.


Rob Eder is the editor in chief of The Drug Store News Group, publishers of Drug Store News, DSN Collaborative Care and Specialty Pharmacy magazines. You can contact him at [email protected].

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PHARMACY

Revamped Navarro adds convenience

BY DSN STAFF

MIAMI — Navarro Discount Pharmacy recently celebrated the opening of its 30th store in Homestead, Fla., in the Homestead Pavilion Shopping Center. The store further differentiates the retailer from its competition and caters to the Hispanic market with its mix of ethnic products, such as chili peppers, piñatas and Jumex nectars.


For added convenience and improved customer service, the pharmacy department has been moved to the front of the new 11,280-sq.-ft. store. The store layout features new colors and enhanced signage in English and Spanish, wider aisles, a larger fragrance section with added light boxes, and more products in the refrigerated food and dairy section. Services for customers include a pediatric window for busy parents, compounding pharmacy services, a free Diabetes Club for adults and children, and free prescription delivery for all customers.

To see the photos, click here.

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Study: Children at greater risk of ADHD if mother has gestational diabetes, low socioeconomic status

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Mothers that have low socioeconomic status and develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy are more likely to bear children that are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Researchers led by Yoko Nomura of CUNY Queens College in Flushing, N.Y., compared 212 offspring (ages 3 and 4 years) of mothers with and without GDM in an economically diverse sample. What they found was that exposure to maternal GDM was associated with a two-fold increased risk for ADHD at 6 years of age, compared with those not exposed. The same rang true for children exposed to low SES — exposure to the factor was associated with a two-fold increased risk for ADHD at 6 years of age. Additionally, when the relationship of GDM and SES exposure was examined, the study authors also found that children were 14 times more likely to develop ADHD when exposed to both GDM and low SES.

"This study demonstrates that children of mothers with GDM raised in lower SES households are at far greater risk for developing ADHD and showing signs of suboptimal neurocognitive and behavioral development," the authors conclude. "Since ADHD is a disorder with high heritability, efforts to prevent exposure to environmental risks through patient education may help to reduce the nongenetic modifiable risk for ADHD and other developmental problems."


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