PHARMACY

Health IT vital to medication therapy, NACDS tells congressional panel

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. In a new plea to Congress, the chain pharmacy industry renewed its support for the rapid nationwide adoption of health information technology as a major tool in the nation’s drive to improve patient compliance with medication therapy.

 

That call came in written testimony provided Tuesday by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores to the Health Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee. The panel held a hearing Tuesday on “Efforts to Promote the Adoption and Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology [HIT].”

 

 

NACDS’ statements to the panel are in line with its ongoing campaign “to raise awareness of pharmacy’s ability to help patients take their medications correctly, to save and improve lives and reduce healthcare costs,” the group noted. Key to that effort, the pharmacy group told members of Congress, will be “technology-based strategies such as electronic prescribing and electronic medication records.

 

 

“Chain pharmacy has been on the leading edge of the adoption of HIT for many years,” NACDS wrote. “We have been actively involved in fostering the use of technology to improve the quality of patient care and developing standards to allow the exponential growth of HIT in pharmacy practice.”

 

 

Pharmacy HIT systems, added the group in its testimony, “assist pharmacy with providing critical patient care services such as medication therapy management and evaluation of patients’ adherence to prescribed drug therapy regimens, in addition to providing pharmacists with information on patients’ prescribed drugs, potential drug-to-drug interactions, and drug dosing.”

 

 

NACDS urged the inclusion of pharmacy in programs designed to foster widespread HIT adoption. “As the most consumer-accessible healthcare provider, pharmacy’s critical role should be recognized in the development of an interoperable healthcare system,” the organization testified. “As such, pharmacies should be considered for any grant or incentive funding that fosters further adoption of HIT.”

 

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PHARMACY

Kerr innovator to lead N.C. pharmacy board

BY Jim Frederick

RALEIGH, N.C. —Rebecca Chater, one of community pharmacy’s leading clinical-care innovators, has been elected president of the North Carolina board of pharmacy for 2010-2011.

Chater is EVP of Kerr Health—the company recently renamed itself to reflect its complete offering; Kerr Drug remains the name of its retail stores—and as such is one of the architects of many ground-breaking patient-care initiatives at the North Carolina retail drug innovator, directing the Care Management service line—previously known as KDI Health Solutions—a healthcare provider organization specializing in preventive and chronic care services.

Chater is in her second five-year term on the board and assumed the role of president for the second time. “It is an honor to serve in this capacity,” she said. “With some measure of national healthcare-reform legislation imminent, it is imperative we, as pharmacists, continue to assume an ever-increasing role in upholding and protecting public safety.”

“In leading the development of clinical pharmacy services within Kerr Drug, Chater earned recognition for Kerr as 2006 Pinnacle Award recipient by the American Pharmacists Association Foundation; 2007, 2008 and 2009 National Medication Therapy Management Provider of the Year by Outcomes Pharmaceutical Health Care; [and] 2008 North Carolina Provider of the Year by the American Diabetes Association,” Kerr stated.

Chater has been recognized nationally for her professional leadership as a past trustee and fellow of the APhA, past recipient of that group’s Gloria Niemeyer Francke Leadership Mentor Award and the APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Administrative Practice Award. Most recently, she was tapped for the 2008 Eagle Award by the North Carolina Alliance of Healthy Communities.

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Novo Nordisk completes enrollment for largest insulin therapy study

BY Alaric DeArment

ZURICH, Switzerland A population large enough to fill an American college town during fall semester will take part in a multinational study to investigate the effects of modern insulins on Type 2 diabetes treatment.

Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk announced Monday the recruitment of the 60,000th patient in its “A1chieve” study, which it said would be the world’s largest observational study in insulin therapy, involving more than 3,300 physicians in 28 countries on four continents. The company expects results to become available next year.

“Multinational observational studies like A1chieve provide valuable insights in the way current therapies are applied when it comes to varying cultural, economic and epidemiological circumstances,” A1chieve global advisory board chairman and professor of diabetes medicine at England’s Newcastle University Philip Home said.

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